Albie Hecht is stepping down as president of HLN as the Turner-owned cable network shifts its programming strategy.
Ken Jautz, an executive vice president at sister network CNN, will replace him on an interim basis.
Formerly known as Headline News, the network reformatted and rebranded to focus on trending topics and social-media driven news as well as talk shows such as The Daily Share and crime docs such as Forensic Files.
In a memo sent to staff on Tuesday (November 24), CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker said that although the network has made gains with morning show Morning Express and its primetime line-up, the transition has been difficult.
“As we look towards 2016, I now believe that by driving HLN’s programming during the daytime and overnight hours closer to CNN’s, and by utilizing a much stronger library of content that has been built in the last three years, we can take that success to even greater heights,” he wrote.
Over the past three years, CNN has ramped up its slate of documentaries – among them, Blackfish and The Hunting Ground – and non-fiction series featuring Anthony Bourdain, Morgan Spurlock, Lisa Ling and Mike Rowe.
Zucker added that Hecht “has done a terrific job running HLN. And it hasn’t been easy. His vision, creativity, persistence and commitment have been unwavering and he has been instrumental to HLN’s progress.
“I want to thank Albie for being a terrific partner to me, and the team at HLN,” he added. “What we have accomplished would not have been possible without him and he will be missed.”
Jautz oversaw the rebrand of Headline News as HLN, which included launching programs featuring Nancy Grace and Joy Behar.