Exec moves from NPR

NPR’s loss is CNN’s gain: the TV news net has hired Jay Kernis, National Public Radio’s senior VP of programming, as managing editor.

The move is a switch for Kernis on several levels: the biggest, of course, is that he’s changing from one medium to another. But he’s also going into a more hands-on role in the creation of CNN’s editorial content. The new role will put Kernis in charge of news planning, health, technology and environment, entertainment, and guest bookings.

“CNN has the culture and the funds to experiment,” enthuses Kernis. “I loved being a suit, but this gets me closer to the newsroom.”

It won’t be the radio vet’s first time working in television — Kernis left NPR to work as a producer at CBS from 1987 to 2001, when he returned to the radio network. Over the course of his careers in TV and radio, Kernis helped to develop NPR’s “Morning Edition,” “Weekend Edition” and “News and Notes”; and produced reports and segments for CBS’s “60 Minutes” and on “CBS This Morning.”

“A lot of the program creation cycle is over,” says Kernis of his tenure at NPR. “There’s the funding situation in Public Radio, and the fact that it takes years and years to even pilot a show. I had done a lot, and I didn’t want to wear out my welcome.”

In his new position, Kernis will oversee content development for CNN/US out of the net’s New York office in the Time Warner Center, where he will report to VP of newsgathering Nancy Lane. Lane announced Kernis’ hiring on Friday morning, though he will officially start in his new position on Feb. 4.

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