Exclusive: Tribeca’s Hannibal joins CNN, Sexton promoted

The motion picture division of CNN has shuffled its executive team with the hiring of former Tribeca Film Institute executive Alexandra Hannibal (pictured, left) and promotion of Courtney Sexton (right) to department VP.
May 5, 2016

CNN Films has shuffled its executive team with the appointment of former Tribeca Film Institute executive Alexandra Hannibal (pictured, left) and the promotion of Courtney Sexton (right) to department VP.

Hannibal has been named associate director of CNN Films. The exec – who was most recently manager of documentary programs at Tribeca – will support the team in the development and acquisitions of CNN Films titles, and is also to vet incoming submissions. In addition, she will be charged with finding the next generation of doc short and feature directors for the organization.

Meanwhile, since joining the Los Angeles-based team in 2013 as senior director, Sexton has worked with independent filmmakers to shape the CNN Films slate while identifying films to acquire and strategizing the company’s presence at various international film festivals.

Elsewhere, Dana Panagopoulos has been promoted to director of production at CNN Films and CNN Original Series, while Ryan Robinson, formerly a production and development assistant at Viacom-owned VH1, boards the company as business coordinator for the Los Angeles team.

Molly Harrington, meanwhile, has been tapped as manager of CNN Original Series where she will work alongside Lizzie Kerner, VP of CNN Original Series, to develop original series while shaping series episodes as they’re delivered.

In New York, Sierra Cowan will join the firm as manager of development for CNN and HLN Original Series. She previously served as an associate producer at Discovery Communications-owned net Destination America, where she worked on the development and production of unscripted series.

Finally, Katie Isaacson has been named development coordinator for the New York team. She previously worked in series development at sister station HLN.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.