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GOSSIP & RUMORS: Zucker’s former top deputy Rebecca Kutler becomes latest to leave CNN

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A veteran CNN executive who is credited with contributing to the success of star talent such as Abby Phillip and Van Jones is the latest senior officer to depart the network, according to a report.

Rebecca Kutler, who held the title of senior vice president and head of programming for the now-defunct streaming service CNN+, is on her way out, according to Variety.

Kutler, who was a top deputy for former network boss Jeff Zucker, was in charge of overseeing CNN’s roster of analysts, contributors, and commentators.

As part of her portfolio, she was executive producer for primetime host Don Lemon as well as political anchor John King.

She was also instrumental in recruiting top-flight names such as Kasie Hunt, Chris Wallace, and Audie Cornish to CNN+.

CNN+ was the highly touted streaming service that was heavily promoted by the mothership in the weeks and months leading to its March 29 launch.

But it was shut down just weeks after CNN came under the corporate umbrella of the newly merged entity Warner Bros. Discovery.

The poor subscriber numbers coupled with Warner Bros. Discovery plans to bundle its streaming platforms that include HBO Max and Discovery meant that CNN+ was expendable.

After CNN+ was shut down, another top executive, Andrew Morse, who oversaw the launch of the short-lived streaming channel, announced that he would resign.

In late May, Meredith Artley, the editor in chief of CNN Digital, also said she was leaving.

Alex MacCallum, the interim chief of CNN’s digital operations, has resigned effective June 30.

Kutler is credited with contributing to the success of Van Jones.
Getty Images for Global Citizen
Kutler is credited with hiring top-tier talent including anchor Abby Phillip.
Kutler is credited with hiring top-tier talent including anchor Abby Phillip.
Getty Images for The New York Ti

Robyn Peterson, CNN Digital’s chief technology officer, is also on her way out.

CNN is in a period of major transition under its new president, Chris Licht, who is seeking to attract bigger audiences to the cable network by de-emphasizing partisanship and opinionated commentary — a departure from his predecessor Zucker.

Kutler was also executive producer for primetime host Don Lemon.
Kutler was also executive producer for primetime host Don Lemon.
Getty Images

Licht reportedly nudged producers to avoid describing former President Donald Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was stolen as “the big lie” – a move that comes as top brass drive a shift toward neutral news coverage.

Licht, who took over as CNN’s president earlier this year and is driving an overhaul at the left-leaning network, revealed his preference during a conference call with show executive producers and management on Tuesday, Mediaite reported.

Zucker stepped down earlier this year after it was learned that he and his top marketing officer were having a years-long affair.

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