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NBC's Mark Whitaker named managing editor of CNN Worldwide; Antoine Sanfuentes to replace him

January 28, 2011 |  8:11 am

Whitaker On Friday, CNN announced that NBC News' Washington bureau chief Mark Whitaker will join CNN Worldwide as executive vice president and managing editor. Starting February 14, he will lead editorial coverage across CNN’s domestic and international networks and digital platform, directing the overall approach and tone of the network's reporting.

Whitaker joined NBC News in 2007, and suceeded the late Tim Russert a year later as senior vice president and Washington bureau chief for NBC News. Before that, he was editor of Newsweek from 1998-2006 and also worked as vice president and editor-in-chief of new ventures in the digital division of The Washington Post Company.

“Our aim is to position a strong managing editor, working closely with the head of each CNN network and Web site, to generate reporting and analysis that consistently stands out, sparks conversation and captures the true meaning and relevance of the events in the news,” said Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide, in a statement.  “Mark is a distinguished journalist and news executive who is experienced in leading large enterprises, and I am pleased that he will help direct our long-term editorial approach and strategy.”

“CNN plays an invaluable role in television and digital journalism as a source of non-partisan reporting and analysis, global perspective and groundbreaking documentaries,” said Whitaker in a statement. “I am excited to be joining Jim and his team in advancing that proud legacy.”

Just minutes after CNN reported its news, NBC announced that NBC News' Deputy Washington Bureau chief Antoine Sanfuentes will replace Whitaker. His responsibilities will include bureau management, administration and editorial affairs, and maintaining executive oversight of “Meet the Press.”

"Antoine's inclusive management style combined with his expert knowledge and experience make him the ideal leader to guide the Washington Bureau into the next phase," said NBC News President Steve Capus in a statement. "He is a true news producer through and through, with an outstanding dedication to integrity and professionalism in the field. He started his career in our DC newsroom and knows both the team and the political beat better than anyone."

--Melissa Maerz

Photo: Mark Whitaker. Credit: Associated Press.