Athan Stephanopoulos has been named EVP and chief digital officer of CNN Worldwide, reporting to CNN chairman/CEO Chris Licht. In this role, Stephanopoulos will oversee the digital worldwide business, including editorial, product, technology, business operations and innovation strategies.
Separately, Wendy Brundige was promoted to SVP of CNN Digital Worldwide.
“[Athan’s] vision for digital journalism, alongside his leadership and business acumen, is exactly what we need to build CNN’s digital future,” Licht said in a statement. “Wendy’s editorial instincts, operations and business expertise and deep knowledge of CNN and its people make her a key leader in this organization. Together they will propel the number one digital news platform in the world into new heights.”
Stephanopoulos joins CNN after more than eight years at NowThis, where he served as president and led the brand to become one of the largest and fastest growing digital news outlets for a young Gen Z and millennial audience. Most recently, he guided NowThis during its integration into Vox Media following its acquisition of Group Nine in early 2022.
Stephanopoulos will begin his new role on Nov. 14 and be based out of CNN’s New York bureau.
In her new role, Brundige will oversee business operations, commerce and audio, in addition to continuing her management and oversight of the global digital video team. Brundige has been at CNN for eight years, most recently serving as SVP of global video for CNN Digital, working in close partnership with every corner of the organization around the globe. Prior to CNN, Brundige was Bloomberg TV’s West Coast bureau chief and executive producer of Bloomberg West. She began her career at ABC News where she spent more than seven years working across the network on shows such as “Good Morning America,” “World News,” “20/20” and “Nightline.”
The hire and promotion come a day after Licht, in a reported staff memo, indicated the company would be downsizing non-essential departments through the end of the year as it attempts to restructure internally.
“All these moves are designed to keep CNN essential across platforms to ensure that wherever and however people get their news, they must have CNN,” Licht wrote in the memo.