Digital media executive Alex MacCallum, who left CNN after a major streaming product she helped build was scuttled, has returned to the news outlet to help build some more.
McCallum, who exited CNN in June of 2022 when she was interim chief digital officer, has been named executive vice president of digital products and services, and will be charged with developing new concepts to attract digital audiences — a key business objective as more of CNN’s cable subscribers find new broadband, social and mobile platforms where they can gain information and knowledge.
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She had been working as chief revenue officer at The Washington Post. MacCallum will start at CNN on March 4.
MacCallum was deeply involved in the launch of CNN+, a subscription-based streaming service meant to appeal to CNN fans interested in such topics as travel, entertainment and culture. The service offered some extensions of CNN franchises like the now-cancelled media-analysis program “Reliable Sources” and featured Wolf Blitzer in a program reminiscent of an evening newscast. Don Lemon was to have offered a weekly talk show with a live studio audience and CNN struck content agreements with people such as Jemele Hill and Scott Galloway.
Warner Bros. Discovery, which bought CNN parent WarnerMedia months after CNN+ was developed, shut the product down and has now developed a streaming counterpart for the network on its Max hub, which transmits many of the same programs as the mainstay linear CNN channel.
Before joining CNN, MacCallum spent eight years at The New York Times in various roles, helping to develop a suite of products tied to topics such as kids, games, audio and cooking. She has the distinction of being the founding Audience editor in the Times’ newsroom. She began her career in media at the Washington Post and was the first news editor for the Huffington Post. She graduated from Brown University and holds a law degree from U.C. Berkeley.
CNN CEO Mark Thompson unveiled a number of new goals on Wednesday, pledging to put new emphasis on the creation of new projects. He also streamlined CNN’s news organization, placing Virginia Moseley atop a combined U.S. and international newsgathering apparatus as its executive editor.
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