In August of last year, CNN instigated an executive shuffle that saw then president Rick Kaplan ousted from his post. One year later, Kaplan’s successor, Philip Kent, has resigned. His exit comes only two months after Walter Isaacson replaced Tom Johnson as chairman and CEO of CNN News Group. As president and COO of CNN, Kent reported to Johnson on editorial matters.
When Kent joined CNN last year, the newsnet was reconsidering its approach to news in order to compete more effectively against rivals MSNBC and Fox News Channel. Additionally, efforts were underway to make CNN’s management team more cohesive and to bring finances under control in anticipation of the AOL Time Warner merger. The situation is more stable at CNN today and it has been speculated that there was little room for both Isaacson and Kent, as Kent’s position is expected to be phased out.
Vivian Schiller, senior vice president of CNN Productions, doesn’t expect Kent’s departure to affect long-form programming at CNN. ‘Phil Kent was a huge supporter of CNN productions and documentary programming,’ says Schiller, ‘But Walter Isaacson, Sid Bedingfield and other top executives at CNN share Phil’s enthusiasm for long-form programming as an important and compelling part of the network’s coverage.’