Tuesday, February 1, 2011

CNN’s New Black Managing Editor: Could This Be Window Dressing?


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Heads were turning this week as CNN announced that it was hiring Mark Whitaker as it's new Managing Editor. Whitaker, who is African American, once served as the Washington Bureau Chief for NBC News. He took his position at NBC after the sudden death of Tim Russert in 2007. He was also editor at Newsweek from 1998 - 2006.
The Managing Editor position was created when the CNN/US President, Jon Klein, left the network in September of last year. CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton said that Whitaker would be chosen as "an executive vice president and managing editor of CNN Worldwide to lead collaboration across all platforms and elevate CNN's unique journalism and analysis."
"Our aim is to position a strong managing editor, working closely with the head of each CNN network and Web site, to generate reporting and analysis that consistently stands out, sparks conversation and captures the true meaning and relevance of the events in the news," Walton said in a public statement. "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."


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