NEW YORK — Stuart Varney, co-anchor of CNN’s “Moneyline” and one of the cable net’s first employees, has resigned.
Beginning March 26, “Moneyline” co-anchor Willow Bay will begin anchoring the show out of New York, working with a regular rotation of correspondents.
Varney, who joined the news net in 1980, was reportedly unhappy with “Moneyline’s” direction and frustrated with his limited airtime. He felt the net’s flagship financial newscast was too focused on the stock market, while ignoring broader economic stories.
In January, Ken Jautz was appointed executive VP and general manager at CNNfn, which will relaunch as CNN Money later this year. Jautz has been vocal about wanting to beef up “Moneyline,” including plans that did not include Varney.
The show has been dipping in ratings since Lou Dobbs ankled in June 1999. In addition to anchoring “Moneyline,” Dobbs served as CNN financial news prexy and CNNfn CEO. Varney, who returned to CNN after a year-long absence and took Dobbs’ spot on “Moneyline,” never had the same creative control.
When Bay’s husband, Disney’s prexy and chief operating officer Robert Iger, relocated to the West Coast last year, she moved to Los Angeles to co-anchor “Moneyline.” With Varney gone, Bay will now be anchoring more frequently from New York, but will continue to split her time between the two coasts.
Since joining CNN in 1980, Varney has anchored shows such as “Your Money,” “Business Morning” and “Business Day.”