NEW YORK – CNN News Group on Monday said it has tapped an online media CEO and news veteran as its new president overseeing U.S. news, just a little over a year after hiring a former local TV newsman to run its domestic operations.
Jonathan Klein, founder and chief executive officer of The FeedRoom Inc. (search), a high-speed Internet news network and video streamer, will become head of U.S. news operations in December, answering to CNN President Jim Walton.
Klein replaces Princell Hair (search), who was appointed to oversee the U.S. news group as executive vice president and general manager of CNN U.S. in September 2003 amid a shake-up of its ranks.
CNN has said it plans to shutter its financial news network in December, the victim of heightened competition from rival CNBC, owned by General Electric Co. (GE) News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch (search) told reporters recently that the company plans to debut a cable business news channel by next summer.
Klein will be based in CNN's New York bureau, the network's first top executive to be located outside its Atlanta headquarters.
"Six years steeped in the digital information industry have helped me understand today's news consumers in ways never before available to media executives," Klein said in a statement.
Klein's appointment comes just a year after Hair was lured from Viacom. At the time, industry analysts questioned whether Hair, who ran Viacom Inc.'s (VIA) television stations and was a former TV news director in Los Angeles and Baltimore, was the best candidate to run one of the world's most prestigious news networks.
Hair will assume a new role as senior vice president of program and talent development across the CNN News Group.
"The decision today is not about something going wrong. Princell has had many successes, not the least of which was the integration of news gathering and production," Matt Furman, CNN spokesman said.
"But our priority is now on the strategic and editorial direction of the network. Jon is better suited to provide the big picture and creative leadership of the network."
Klein was former executive director of CBS News, overseeing its flagship "60 Minutes" program.