TV exec to develop new progamming
NEW YORK — Joel Cheatwood, a programming exec known for his tabloid sensibility, is jumping from CNN to Fox News Channel, where he will develop programming for both FNC and the upcoming Fox Business Channel.Cheatwood had served as executive director of program and talent development at CNN, where he created a more glitzy primetime for Headline News with shows like “Glenn Beck” and “Showbiz Tonight.” He also oversaw the launch of “Nancy Grace,” the net’s highest-rated show. Cheatwood will report jointly to FNC topper Roger Ailes and to the heads of programming for both FNC and FBC. Before joining CNN, Cheatwood was EVP at CBS Television Stations, where he managed news and promotion for all the Eye’s owned and operated stations. Before that, Cheatwood had a long career in local news, where he became associated with the “if it bleeds, it leads” philosophy when he managed WSVN-TV, a Fox affiliate in Miami. “In Miami, crime was the number-one issue far and away; we covered it aggressively,” Cheatwood said. “I always felt you could have a top-notch news program that was also fun to watch.” Cheatwood’s strategy in Miami, which included programming 7.5 hours of daily news, became known as the “WSVN format” and was widely imitated in the industry. At CNN, Cheatwood was given a blank slate with the revamp of Headline News, and he created a tabloid-tinged primetime that often challenges CNN in the ratings. With Fox Business Channel in development, Cheatwood says he sees an even bigger opportunity. “I’m thrilled to be a part of a network that is synonymous with innovation, creativity and risk-taking–it’s a television producer’s dream,” he said.