Tag Archive | "CNN"

Navarrete parts ways with CNN, signs with Fox News

Navarrete parts ways with CNN, signs with Fox News

Ruben NavarretteCNN did not renew its contract with syndicated columnist and radio and television commentator Ruben Navarrete. He had been a paid contributor for the cable news network for the past five and a half years.

But that seems to be just fine with Ruben, who is now writing columns for FoxNews.com and will be appearing on various Fox programs.

Ruben says his criticism of how CNN covered “the wrong stories” may have rubbed some network execs the wrong way, as well as asking for a pay raise.

“My CNN columns got a ton of reaction, and I worked hard on them,” says Ruben. “That sort of thing deserves to be fairly compensated. They knew that the new contract was going to be more expensive than the old one, so that may have been a factor as well [for not seeking a contract renewal].

They didn’t fire me, mid-contract. My contract expired. They didn’t renew it. Happens all the time. Contributors come and go, at all networks. And they pop up elsewhere, often at higher salaries. I trust my audience will follow me wherever I go.”

Although Ruben had been under contract since January of 2010, he had been on air at CNN for 20 years.

“I had a really, really long run. I’m extremely grateful to CNN and the great people who work there. Now I’m excited to contribute to Fox News, and perhaps other networks. I’ve been contacted by a few. Latinos will figure prominently into the 2016 Presidential election. And so I imagine, as the most widely read Latino columnist in the country, I’ll be awfully busy and have lots to contribute,” he points out.

“I should make clear that I haven’t been banned from CNN. I can still go on air there whenever I want, and I still get invitations to go on from CNN bookers and producers in New York and Atlanta. But here’s the difference. Previously, while under contract, those appearances were paid. Now, like most appearances by most commentators on most networks, they won’t be. And so that won’t work for me.”

Ruben says he’s relieved that he’s no longer under an exclusivity contract.

“For the six years or so I was under contract at CNN, I was prohibited from going on other broadcast TV networks. During that time, I was often invited to appear on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” or MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” — shows that I’ve appeared on for many years — and I always had to say “no.” You miss out on a lot of other opportunities. Now I have the freedom to say “yes.”

Besides doing his TV rounds, Ruben will be writing five columns a week — for the Washington Post Writers Group, The Daily Beast, USA Today and FoxNews.COM.

The Harvard-educated journalist also hosts radio shows for Clear Channel in Los Angeles and San Diego and now runs an events business – “Ruben Navarrette Presents,” where he produces and books live interview programs with prominent Latino newsmakers and non-Latinos whose work impacts the Latino community.

“All while — in my most important job of all — making breakfast for my kids, packing lunches, shuttling them around, going to Little League and volleyball games,” he says. “It’s all good. I’m blessed.”

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García-Bell joins CNN

García-Bell joins CNN

Roxanne Garcia-BellRoxanne Garcia, who in December left NBC after 20 years with the company, is now Director of Newsgathering at CNN.

Based in Atlanta, she’s in charge of leading and coordinating the cable network’s domestic news coverage with the bureaus across the country. She joined CNN in March.

She reports to Terence Burke, VP of Domestic Newsgathering.

Roxanne left her job as NBC’s Director, South Region when the network moved her position to Miami.

Prior to her move to Atlanta in 2012, she was Deputy Director, North Region, based in New York. She was previously NBC News Bureau Chief in NY and also spent 6 years as a producer for NBC Nightly News.

Before joining NBC, she worked for Telemundo as a special projects producer.

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González joins CNBC as Director of Social Media

González joins CNBC as Director of Social Media

Anna GonzalezAnna González has left CNN in Atlanta, where she spent the last 4 years, to become Director of Social Media for CNBC. She is now based in the New York City metro area and reports to Kevin Krim, SVP and GM of CNBC Digital.

She’ll be responsible for leading CNBC’s social media team, helping grow the organization through creative social content and attracting and engaging its multi-platform audience.

Her first day at CNBC was Monday, March 30.

Anna’s last day as CNN’s Social Media Manager was Friday, March 13. She was previously a Multiplatform and Social Media Producer for HLN. She started at CNN as a National Assignment Editor in October of 2010.

She started her career in digital media as a Web Producer for KTVT, the CBS O&O in Dallas in 2005, and moved to TWC’s News 8 Austin (now Time Warner Cable News Austin) in 2009.

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Tanzina Vega leaves NYT for CNN

Tanzina Vega leaves NYT for CNN

Tanzina VegaAfter an 8-year run at the New York Times, Tanzina Vega is leaving the paper to join CNN Politics as a digital correspondent. She’ll continue to be based in New York.

She starts the new job on April 20.

In her new role, Tanzina will be covering the intersection of technology, politics and civil rights leading up to the 2016 presidential elections.

In a memo sent to staff, CNN Politics Executive Editor Rachel Smolkin described Tanzina’s role:

“She’ll look at innovative ways the 2016 campaigns are using technology, the evolution of micro targeting and new twists in voter registration. She’ll also mine the blending of technology and politics beyond the beltway, from grassroots movements to civil rights to hashtag activism on social media.”

Tanzina tweeted about the new job and thanked her colleagues at the NYT.

During her tenure at the NYT, Tanzina was a web producer, media reporter and national correspondent covering race issues. The paper moved her from that beat in January of this year to cover the Bronx court system as a metro reporter.

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FAA clears CNN to test drones for reporting

CNN drone

Photo courtesy CNN.

CNN will start using drones for reporting. The Federal Aviation Administration signed a research agreement with the cable news network to “advance efforts” to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in U.S. airspace for news gathering and reporting.

CNN is testing the camera-equipped drones with the help of the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

“Our aim is to get beyond hobby-grade equipment and to establish what options are available and workable to produce high quality video journalism,” said David Vigilante, CNN’s senior vice president of legal.

The FAA currently bans drones for commercial use. Several news organizations, including The New York Times, the Associated Press, Gannett and Hearst, filed a legal brief with the NTSB in May of 2014, stating the ban violates “the First Amendment right to gather news” and that use of drones can benefit the public:

“Reports on traffic, hurricanes, wildfires, and crop yields could all be told more safely and cost-effectively with the use of UAS. Lower-cost aerial photography would help more newsrooms across the country bring more accurate and useful information to the public.”

In the brief, the news organizations argue:

“Unlike the FAA, for example, the Supreme Court recognizes that the publication of news is not a commercial activity comparable to the sale of goods and services. The First Amendment fully protects both for-profit and non-profit gathering and dissemination of news and information.”

Therefore, news organizations shouldn’t be included in the commercial use drone ban.

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Sanfuentes hired to oversee CNN’s White House coverage

Antoine SifuentesStarting January 5, Antoine Sanfuentes is joining CNN as Senior Supervising Producer, reporting to Adam Levine, Managing Editor of news gathering.

He’ll be in charge of overseeing coverage of the White House and Congress as the leader of the cable network’s newly combined White House and Capitol Hill beat.

Sanfuentes was Sr Vice President of News at NBC until January of this year. He left NBC after an almost 25 year career, when he was passed over for the news division’s top position. Although he had taken over the role after President Steve Capus resigned, NBC hired Deborah Turness – a former editor of Britain’s ITV News.

Sanfuentes spent a great part of his career at NBC working in D.C., working first a White House Producer, working his way up Deputy Bureau Chief – a role he held for 14 years, before getting promoted to Washington Bureau Chief in 2011. He was again promoted to SVP of News a year later.

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Rodríguez leaves CNN for SVP job at NBC News

Janelle RodriguezJanelle Rodríguez, VP of Programming at CNN for the past three years, is leaving the cable news network. She had been with CNN for 15 years. Starting in January, she’ll be SVP of Editorial at NBC News, reporting to Deborah Turness.

In her new role, Rodríguez will be in charge of coordinating enterprise and original storytelling, as well as guiding breaking news coverage.

She’ll also oversee NBC News’ specialist editorial units, focusing first on investigations and medical, with more planned. Richard Esposito, Sr Executive Producer of the investigative unit will report to her, as well as the bookings unit.

When NBC News unveils an integrated digital and broadcast newsgathering Hub early next year, she’ll play a central role, generating editorial initiatives and driving long-range planning in close collaboration with all platforms.

In a memo sent out to staff on Tuesday, Turness wrote about the hire:

“We began the search for this position on the leadership team approximately six months ago, and in Janelle, we have found the right combination of skills and expertise.”

While at CNN, Rodríguez held a number of producer jobs, increasing in responsibility. Among her many roles: EP of “American Morning” and Sr producer for “Anderson Cooper 360” and “The Situation Room.”

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Ramos hit by CNN layoffs

Mari RamosWeather anchor Mari Ramos is no longer with CNN. She was among the hundreds of people recentnly laid off from the network. She signed off from the air last Wednesday.

CNN announced it was slashing about 1,500 jobs nationwide as part of its restructuring of the company.

Mari had been with CNN since 1999, presenting weather segments on CNN Newsroom, News Stream, World Business Today and CNN International. She has also appeared on CNN, Headline News and CNN en Español.

Before joining CNN in 1999, Mari worked as an on-camera meteorologist and reporter for The Weather Channel Latin America.

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CNN cancels Vélez-Mitchell, cuts underway

Jane_Velez_MitchellCNN’s plans to lay off about 1500 people has begun.

Jane Velez-Mitchell is the first high profile talent casualty of CNN’s deep restructuring. The network cancelled Jane’s nightly HLN show, effective today. She, as well as her entire staff – about 15 people – are leaving the company.

The last episode aired last night. Today’s 7 pm ET time slot will be filled by “Forensic Files.”

Jane’s show would have celebrated its 6th year anniversary this coming Friday. Originally launched as “Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell” on October 17, 2008, when Glen Beck left CNN for Fox News Network, the show’s title changed to “Jane Velez Mitchell” in February of 2012.

Before hosting her own show on HLN, Jane worked for Nancy Grace as producer and fill-in host.

She previously reported for the nationally syndicated show “Celebrity Justice” and spent more than a decade anchoring and reporting for KCAL-TV in Los Angeles. Before that, she was a reporter/anchor for eight years at WCBS-TV in New York City.

According to a story on The Wrap, Jane’s show was struggling in ratings. It lost 31% in total viewers in the third quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2013. The program averaged 227,000 in total viewers and fewer than 100,000 in the 25-54 news demo in the most-recent full quarter.

CNN today also shut down its entertainment unit, eliminating top entertainment producers. It also cut Christiane Amanpour’s NY staff.

Turner Broadcasting last week announced plans to reduce its workforce by 10% – estimated at about 1,500 employees.

The layoffs will affect staffers in Atlanta, NY, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.

Approximately 900 employees from different Turner divisions in Atlanta will be let go. CNN Worldwide will lose a total of 170.

These latest layoffs follow cuts at CNN and Turner in Atlanta last Wednesday. Apparently, mostly sales employees from CNN and HLN and some workers from TNT were affected.

Back in August, the company offered voluntary buyouts to 550 employees, indicating that if not enough staffers accepted the voluntary buyouts, there would be layoffs. Only about 130 CNN Worldwide employees took a buyout.

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CNN moves Machado to Miami

Alina_Machado-trimmedCNN announced today that correspondent Alina Machado will be leaving Atlanta to be based in Miami for the network.  A Miami native, Alina joined CNN last year.

In a statement, Terence Burke, VP of domestic newsgathering for CNN/U.S. attributed the move to capitalizing on her “fluency in Spanish” to give the network “the opportunity for deeper and broader coverage across multiple platforms.”

When CNN hired her in March of last year, the network announced Alina would report for CNN, CNN en Español and CNN Latino, the syndicated news block that will cease to exist later this month.

Prior to CNN, Alina was a reporter for the ABC-TV affiliate WSB-TV2 in Atlanta and before that, she was at ABC 11 – WTVD in Raleigh.

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Sambolín leaves CNN

zoraida_sambolin-smallAfter two years with the network, Zoraida Sambolín is leaving CNN.  Her last day as host of “Early Start” is Friday, December 13.  She’ll be moving back to Chicago with her family.

Zoraida, a mother of two, was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and underwent a double mastectomy. She’s currently cancer free.

“Walking away from morning television will be very difficult for me, it’s what I love and do best,” Zoraida says.  “My work this past year raising awareness about breast cancer was incredibly fulfilling and that will hold some prominence in my future plans as well.  For now I am going to huddle with my family and figure out which opportunities work best for us.”

When asked if she has plans to work in the Chicago market, Zoraida says she’s keeping her options open. “There are some great opportunities in Chicago that I’m exploring but I’d also like to keep a national presence.”

Her cancer scare has made her focus on what’s important.  On her Facebook page, she told fans: “This past year has been full of challenges, blessings and a tremendous amount of reflection. I have come to realize that in order for me to be happy, my family has to be my first priority.”

Before joining CNN in 2011, Zoraida spent 9 years at Chicago’s WMAQ, where she was a weekday morning anchor of NBC5 News Today in Chicago and special assignment reporter and fill-in news anchor for Telemundo.

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Valencia promoted to full time reporter at CNN

Nick ValenciaNick Valencia has just signed a new 2 year contract at CNN.  He is now national news reporter for the cable news network. His new position was officially announced on Monday.

Nick regularly appears across HLN, CNN International and CNN en Español, and files reports for CNN.com.

He has been at the network since March of 2006, starting out as a teleprompter operator, before moving to associate producer for CNNI’s “Inside Africa” and taking on roles as national and international desk editor.

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Veronica Villafañe, Editor and Publisher



I'm an Emmy award-winning journalist, who's worked as an on-air reporter in Spanish and English-language television news. I've worked for Univision, Telemundo, CNN en Español and Los Angeles Fox and UPN stations before diving into a convergence model at the San Jose Mercury News. I was president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists from 2004 to 2006. As an online news manager, I was West Coast Web Editor for impreMedia and Managing Editor of IntersectionsSouthLA.org. I am also a freelance writer, reporter and producer. I founded Media Moves in June of 2007.