CNN taps Mark Whitaker

Exec to be managing editor, CNN Worldwide

CNN has hired former NBC Washington bureau chief Mark Whitaker as managing editor of CNN Worldwide, a new position reporting directly to Worldwide prexy Jim Walton.

Whitaker is the former editor of Newsweek and will manage the approach, tone and direction of the reporting on the Turner cabler, which has in the past months undergone significant restructuring under Walton’s direction.

Whitaker racked up four National Magazine Awards over the course of his tenure at the venerable newsweekly and presided over the mag’s operations during 9/11, the Iraq War, the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the 2004 elections. He also held the position of veep and editor-in-chief of new ventures in the Washington Post Company’s digital division.

“Our aim is to position a strong managing editor, working closely with the head of each CNN network and website, to generate reporting and analysis that consistently stands out, sparks conversation and captures the true meaning and relevance of the events in the news,” said Walton. “Mark is a distinguished journalist and news executive who is experienced in leading large enterprises, and I am pleased that he will help direct our long-term editorial approach and strategy.”

NBC News has named Antoine Sanfuentes to replace Whitaker in D.C.; Sanfuentes is a longtime NBCer who most recently held the position of senior White House produce. “Antoine’s inclusive management style combined with his expert knowledge and experience make him the ideal leader to guide the Washington Bureau into the next phase,” said NBC News prexy Steve Capus.

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