CNN taps two heavyweights

Net vets Neufeld and Doss to join cabler

NEW YORK — CNN is expected to name two heavyhitters from broadcast TV on Monday to revitalize the net’s flagging primetime lineup.

Victor Neufeld, former exec producer of CBS’s “The Early Show,” will be tapped as exec producer of “Paula Zahn Now” and David Doss, former exec producer of ABC’s “Primetime Live,” will join the cabler as exec producer of “Anderson Cooper 360.”

The hires will be charged with leading a ratings turnaround in the heart of CNN’s primetime.

“Anderson Cooper 360” drew an average of 451,000 viewers in May, about flat with last year; “Paula Zahn Now” drew 476,000, a 14% drop from last year.

The two shows precede “Larry King Live,” at 9PM, CNN’s highest-rated hour with nearly a million viewers and the only CNN show among the top-ten in cable news.

Before his stint at CBS, Neufeld spent three decades at ABC, serving for many years as the exec producer of “20/20” before being named exec producer of newsmagazines in 2000.

At “The Early Show,” Neufeld reported to senior exec producer Michael Bass. He won’t immediately be replaced.

Doss was exec producer of NBC’s “Nightly News” in the late 90s before moving to ABC to be exec producer of “Primetime Live.” Doss left “Primetime” in 2004, unable to come to terms with ABC on a contract extension.

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