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CNN PR exec VP ankles

Binford exits to 'take a period of rest'

NEW YORK — One of the most visible PR women in the news biz, Sue Binford, has resigned as executive VP of public relations for the CNN News Group.

Binford, who officially leaves on Nov. 16, is a nine-year veteran of Turner Broadcasting, the last four years as chief spokesperson for CNN. Sources said she felt a letdown earlier this year when AOL Time Warner put Brad Turell above her in the organization, creating a layer between her and the president of CNN.

Turell came in with Jamie Kellner, who took on responsibility for CNN and the Turner Broadcasting networks in addition to his duties as head of the WB network.

Binford said Turell was gracious in agreeing to let her leave to “take a period of rest” before she decides on her next job.

Binford’s title will disappear, and her responsibilities will go to her lieutenants Matt Furman, the Atlanta-based VP of PR, and Christa Robinson, the New York-based VP of PR. Binford was based in Washington, D.C. CNN has hired Ali Weisberg, director of PR for People magazine, to be PR director in D.C.

Furman and Robinson will report to Turell and to Walter Isaacson, chairman and CEO of the CNN News Group.

Binford said she’s leaving CNN on a positive note because the network has drawn praise for its exhaustive coverage of the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

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