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CNN taps ex-'NYPD Blue' star for anchor post

NEW YORK — Former “NYPD Blue” star Andrea Thompson will bring some name power to CNN Headline News when she joins the cabler as an anchor this summer.

The hiring of Thompson, who has been a reporter for CBS affiliate KRQE in Albuquerque, N.M., since ankling “Blue” last year, is one of the first significant moves the news cabler is making as part of its late-summer relaunch.

“In anticipation of a new, improved and more dynamic CNN Headline News that will roll out by the end of the summer, there will be a series of subtle changes in the network’s format leading up to its relaunch,” a CNN spokeswoman said. She declined to reveal any other details about the upcoming revamp.

Last month, in the first inkling of changes to come, Headline News switched to a dual-anchor format for the first time in its nearly 20-year history.

Jamie Kellner, who was recently appointed chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting, giving him oversight of all Turner nets including CNN, has made it clear that he wants to increase the star wattage at the CNN news nets.

The revamp, however, has been in the works for months under the supervision of CNN Headline News topper Teya Ryan, who was tapped to head up the net in January, when CNN reorganized its executive structure after CNN parent Time Warner merged with AOL.

MacVicar tapped

Separately, CNN announced Tuesday that former ABC News correspondent Sheila MacVicar has been hired as an international correspondent. MacVicar, who was recently laid off by ABC News, will be based out of the CNN London bureau. She starts May 7. CNN also named Jeff Koinage as its first Lagos, Nigeria, bureau chief and correspondent.

Meanwhile, sources confirm reports that CNN is in preliminary talks with CBS News about how the two orgs could share costs and split revenues.

The two entities have held discussions about merging their news operations, but the talks broke down over the issue of which parent company would control the joined service. Both CNN and CBS News declined comment.

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