Jim Walton is president of CNN Worldwide. Named to this post in May 2003, Walton has overall responsibility for leading the companys networks and business, including CNN/U.S., HLN, CNN International, CNN en Español, CNN.com, CNN Airport Channel, CNN Radio and CNN Newsource. He is based in Atlanta at CNNs world headquarters and reports to Phil Kent, chairman and CEO of CNNs parent company, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Walton previously served as president and chief operating officer, overseeing editorial and financial operations for CNN. Preceding this, Walton was president of CNNs domestic networks group, which included CNN/U.S., Headline News and CNN.com.
During Waltons tenure, CNN Worldwide has experienced exponential growth as it progressed from a broadcast-network focus to a multi-platform news organization designed to give its audience the news of the world via television, radio, computer, cellphone and portable device. CNN Worldwide today boasts a reach to more than 2 billion people in more than 200 countries and territories through 22 branded networks and services.
Under Waltons leadership, CNN/U.S. debuted such programs as Anderson Cooper 360º and The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer to critical acclaim and ratings successes. Headline News in 2005 launched a new prime-time line-up, breaking its traditional news wheel format for the first time in the networks history. CNN.com has emerged as the No. 1 news and information site according to Nielsen Online. This success followed the unveiling of an intuitive, integrated Web site that puts users within a click of the global, national and local news and information they find most relevant to them.
Other CNN innovations include the development of a portable digital newsgathering kit that enables journalists to report, edit and produce news packages from nearly anywhere on the globe. CNN also launched a user-generated content initiative called iReport, in which CNNs global audience can capture compelling content with cellphones, cameras or other devices to be a part of telling the news.
Walton also announced CNNs largest investment in international newsgathering in its 28-year history, with plans to significantly increase the number of correspondents worldwide, open a regional newsgathering hub in the United Arab Emirates, invest in a London-based digital-production unit, and make major investments in CNNs International Newsource and CNNs in-house wire operations.
During Waltons tenure, CNNs journalism has garnered unrivaled critical acclaim, receiving every major journalism award on numerous occasions including the George Foster Peabody Award, the Alfred I. duPont Award, the Emmy and the Edward R. Murrow award. Notably, CNN won a Peabody for its extraordinary Hurricane Katrina coverage and a duPont for its coverage of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia.
Walton, who joined CNN one year after its 1980 inception, began his career as a video journalist, CNNs entry-level position, and he has held many positions in the television news business from tape editor to executive producer. From 1996-2000, Walton was the president of CNNs all-sports network, CNN/Sports Illustrated, while also in charge of the News Groups sports division.
Two years after his arrival, Walton moved to CNN Sports editor and two years later, after helping to produce CNNs Olympic coverage, he was named an executive producer. Among his honors is an Emmy Award for coverage of the 1996 Olympic Park bombing.
Walton earned a bachelors degree in radio, television and film from the University of Maryland.
CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the worlds most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.