ATLANTA, July 27 (UPI) -- CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton announced Friday he will leave his post at the U.S. cable television news network at the end of the year.
"After more than 30 years at this company and nearly 10 years as the leader of this great news organization, I have decided to leave my role at CNN on Dec. 31, 2012," Walton said in a statement issued to staffers.
"For some time, I've been talking with [Turner Broadcasting Chief Executive Officer] Phil Kent about wanting to make a change, and he supports my decision," he said. "I've told Phil that I will cooperate with any transition timeline that he and Time Warner want to implement. Phil requested that I work out the year and be available after that if needed, which I've agreed to do. I am proud of what we have accomplished together over these last 10 years -- innovative programming, the development of great talent in front of and behind the cameras, expansion in digital and mobile, significant investment and expansion in international coverage, financial success and, most importantly, great and trusted journalism. Thank you for the role you have played in our successes. CNN needs new thinking. That starts with a new leader who brings a different perspective, different experiences and a new plan, one who will build on our great foundation and will commit to seeing it through. And I'm ready for a change. I have interests to explore and I want to give myself time to do it."
Kent issued his own statement calling Walton "the leader we all aspire to be: smart and steady, tough and fair, business-savvy and respected by his team, and with a track record of great judgment when it matters most."
"His vision has modernized and globalized our legacy news brand, enhanced CNN's journalistic standing, positioned it at the forefront of multi-platform branded news content and challenged the organization to think bigger, reach further and do better. I am honored to work alongside him and proud to call him my friend," Kent said.
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