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CNN chief Jim Walton exiting at end of year

July 27, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • CNN's Jim Walton is quitting, saying the beleaguered news network needs a different leader with a new perspective and plans.
CNN's Jim Walton is quitting, saying the beleaguered news network… (CNN )

Jim Walton, the longtime president of CNN Worldwide, is resigning at the end of the year amid a severe ratings slump at the company's U.S. flagship channel, CNN.

"CNN needs new thinking," Walton said in a note to staff. "That starts with a new leader who brings a different perspective, different experiences and a new plan."

Walton's resignation does not come as a surprise to TV news insiders. CNN has been struggling for years to compete against Fox News and MSNBC, which have found success with shows that cater to the two sides of the political aisle.

CNN has been trying to play it straight, but audiences now primarily tune in to the network strictly for breaking news.

Turner Broadcasting Chief Executive Phil Kent, who is very close to Walton, praised him for his 30 years of service to the company.

"Jim is the leader we all aspire to be," Kent told CNN staffers, adding that Walton had a "track record of great judgment when it matters most."

CNN did not name a replacement for Walton.

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