CNN DIGITAL EXECUTIVES
CNN Digital's executive team guides the overall award-winning editorial coverage and business strategy for CNN.com, CNN Mobile, video, international and iReport.
Kenneth "KC" Estenson, senior vice president and general manager of CNN Digital
Meredith Artley, vice president and managing editor of CNN Digital
Peter Bale, vice president and general manager of CNN International Digital
Karen DeGrammont, vice president of global strategy and business intelligence for CNN Digital
Marisa Gallagher, vice president and executive creative director for CNN Digital
R. Allen Wyke, senior vice president of digital technology and product development for CNN Digital
Kitric Kerns, vice president of product development and operations for CNN Digital
Mike Toppo, vice president and senior editorial director
Alex Wellen, vice president of product, strategy and operations
Nick Wrenn, vice president of digital services for CNN International
Kenneth "KC" Estenson
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER OF CNN DIGITAL
Kenneth "KC" Estenson is senior vice president and general manager of CNN.com, responsible for all aspects of CNN Digital's worldwide business endeavors. A strategic, energetic leader with a track record of success in the development and distribution of digital businesses and content across both the entertainment and news arenas, Estenson manages CNN's Internet, mobile, video-on-demand (VOD) and broadband businesses as well as CNN.com's operations, including business development, administration, finance, marketing, product development and editorial units.
Since taking the reins of CNN Digital in September 2008, Estenson has led the network to double-digit growth in VOD and live video starts, robust video player enhancements and more than 37 million downloads of CNN's apps, making it the number one news organization on mobile devices. Under his leadership, CNN acquired award-winning app developer, Zite, and became the first news organization to stream its 24-7 television broadcast to the Web and mobile through TV Everywhere. In addition, CNN has earned the title of most followed news network on social media during his tenure.
Previously with The Walt Disney Company, Estenson oversaw the digital media businesses across the company's online, on-demand, mobile, gated broadband and wireless products for Disney's wholly-owned cable networks including Disney Channel Worldwide, SOAPnet and ABC Family. During his tenure at Disney, Estenson played a critical role in a wide variety of projects, including the development of Disney-ABC's digital media product and distribution strategy; the assessment of Disney-ABC's international television distribution strategies; and the launch of ABC News Now broadband service.
Estenson first joined The Walt Disney Company in 2001 and was focused on the integration of new divisions, projects and businesses into the company, in particular after Disney Media Networks' acquisition of Fox Family Worldwide.
In 2007, Estenson received a Primetime Emmy® Award for Excellence in Interactive Television Programming for ABC Family's Fallen Alternate Reality Game.
Estenson received his bachelor's degree in political science with honors from St. Mary's College of California and studied at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He also earned a master's of education from Harvard University.
vice president and managing editor of CNN Digital
Meredith Artley is vice president and managing editor of CNN.com. Named to this position in October 2009, Artley is based in CNN's world headquarters in Atlanta and reports directly to KC Estenson, senior vice president and general manager of CNN.com.
In this role, Artley's responsibilities include overseeing the day-to-day production and presentation of news and information published to and distributed via CNN.com and CNN Mobile. With more than thirteen years of working as a journalist and online editor, Artley previously held positions at LATimes.com, International Herald Tribune, and NYTimes.com.
In her previous position at LATimes.com, Artley was responsible for all editorial initiatives, from the vision of the site to the daily execution, as well as the site's recently unveiled redesign. Under her leadership, the site more than doubled its traffic, becoming the fastest-growing website among the nation's largest newspapers; and won several journalism awards.
Prior to joining LATimes.com, she served as digital development director for the International Herald Tribune's web operation in Paris, where she led the strategy and day-to-day editorial execution. Previously, she was the associate editor at NYTimes.com, where she managed the team of producers and editors who published the site.
In 2000, Artley was part of the Pulitzer-prize winning team for the New York Times' "Race in America" series. She is currently an active member of the Online News Association.
Artley received her bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Missouri.
vice president and general manager of CNN International Digital
Peter Bale is the Vice President and General Manager of CNN International Digital. Bale reports directly to KC Estenson, Senior Vice President and General Manager of CNN Digital.
Bale was appointed to this newly created position to lead the editorial and commercial functions of CNN Digital outside the US, articulating the content, product, digital distribution and partnership strategy for the business.
As General Manager, Bale is responsible for the global growth of CNN International Digital, including setting the strategic vision, product development and execution. Charged with identifying and developing product, brand and content distribution strategies to further drive revenue and audience, Bale leads the company's efforts to grow the reach of CNN's digital offerings outside the United States.
Bale is a proven industry leader, and has demonstrated the ability to work in both traditional and emerging media, combining his deep pedigree in journalism with a keen understanding of the complexities in working for a technology giant.
Prior to his role with CNN, Bale was the International Programming Director for MSN, and was responsible for content on MSN's properties outside the US, setting editorial policy and standards on MSN sites worldwide after three years as Executive Producer of MSN UK, the country's largest commercial portal.
Bale's expertise also extends from his role as Online Editorial Director of The Times and The Sunday Times, in which he published TimesOnline.co.uk in London for News Corporation, and was a founder of investment site FTMarketWatch.com for MarketWatch Inc and The Financial Times Group. Bale is also a former Reuters journalist and editor with assignments in Asia, The Middle East, Europe and the UK over 15 years.
vice president of global strategy and business intelligence for CNN Digital
Karen DeGrammont is the vice president of global strategy and business intelligence for CNN Digital. In this role, she is responsible for developing the business and product strategy for CNN‘s digital brands globally, identifying value-maximizing growth opportunities, including emerging products, markets, and geographic territories. DeGrammont informs the business direction of core and future product development, collaborating with cross-functional teams to develop the product roadmap. She also serves as the business lead for major acquisitions, partnerships and new business initiatives. DeGrammont is based in Atlanta and reports to Alex Wellen, vice president of products and operations for CNN Digital.
Prior to joining CNN Digital, DeGrammont served as vice president of strategic planning and corporate development at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. While there, DeGrammont developed and evaluated strategic business opportunities for the CNN News Group, while also overseeing the company's acquisition and investment efforts. Her research and analysis contributed to the development of CNN iReport, the network's user-generated news site. During her tenure, she also held titles as both manager and director of strategic planning.
DeGrammont began her career as a consultant at Bain & Company, a management consulting firm. There she developed and implemented strategic operational solutions for firms in various industries including retail, financial services and consumer products.
DeGrammont is a member of Women in Cable Telecommunications and the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communication (NAMIC).
She serves as a board member of the Atlanta Heights Charter School in Atlanta. DeGrammont is an alumnus of the NAMIC Executive Leadership Development Program and the WICT Betsy Magness Executive Leadership Development Program, which aim to empower minority and women corporate leaders respectively.
DeGrammont earned a bachelor of science in commerce with a concentration in finance from the University of Virginia, for which she received highest distinction.
vice president and executive creative director for CNN Digital
Marisa Gallagher is vice president and executive creative director for CNN Digital. Named to this position in September, 2010. Gallagher is based in CNN's world headquarters in Atlanta and reports directly to KC Estenson, senior vice president and general manager of CNN Digital.
Gallagher runs the experience design practice for CNN across its web, mobile, tablet and other emerging digital platforms. In this role, she leads a team of user experience, video and motion graphics, rich media and visual designers - as they seek to create breakthrough work that makes news and CNN's insightful journalism come alive for people around the world.
Prior to joining CNN, Marisa led the user experience practice for the California offices of Razorfish and served in many other roles during her 10 years there. Before that, she worked in product development at CNET Networks and editorially driven search for LookSmart, a human-powered, human-curated search engine.
Gallagher's work in user-centered design has helped organizations as diverse as ESPN, Singapore Airlines, NASA, McKesson, Visa, Disney World and Cisco to use the digital channel to delight and honor their audiences and customers, while also driving business growth.
Gallagher received her bachelor's degree in Anthropology and Film & Media Studies from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business.
R. Allen Wyke
Senior Vice President of Digital Technology and Product Development for CNN Digital
R. Allen Wyke is the senior vice president of digital technology and product development for CNN Digital. In this role, Wyke oversees all of CNN's digital technology and product development on web and mobile platforms. Wyke joined CNN in April 2013 and is based in Atlanta. He reports to KC Estenson, senior vice president and general manager of CNN Digital.
Prior to joining CNN, Wyke worked in a number of companies from startups to large organizations, generally in the fields of digital media, eCommerce or online advertising. He has been the chief technology officer at iVillage Properties/NBC Universal, chief digital and technology officer at Direct Brands and has served in advisory or acting consulting roles at American Media, Dujour Media, Hearst, USA Today, Global Grind, Madison Logic, HealthiNation and InterMedia Outdoors.
He obtained his undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering with a minor in Economics from North Carolina State University.
vice president of product development and operations for CNN Digital
Kitric Kerns is the vice president of product development and operations for CNN Digital. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing product development across all digital platforms, including mobile, web and video. Kerns is based at the network's headquarters in Atlanta, GA.
Kerns joined CNN in May 2011 and is a digital media veteran with seventeen years experience. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the digital space working with leading branded entertainment websites. In addition to his role of overseeing product development for all platforms, Kerns oversees the day-to-day digital operations for CNN Digital which includes oversight of all publishing platforms, product platforms and services, third-party relationships, and social media strategies.
Previously, Kerns was vice president/executive producer for Cartoon Network Digital where he oversaw the overall strategy and development of content for CartoonNetwork.com. Prior to joining TBS, Inc, Kerns was with the Walt Disney Company, as the director of digital media at ABC Daytime/SOAPnet overseeing the content strategy for SOAPnet.com, The View.tv and the ABC Daytime websites. Kerns was awarded ABC Cable Network's 2008 Digital Media Award for Leadership Excellence and led the team that received SOAPnet.com's 2009 Interactive Media Outstanding Achievement Award for Television. Prior to working at the Walt Disney Company, Kerns served as a Strategic Account Manager for Listen.com and the General Manager of Lightspeed Interactive.
Kerns earned a bachelor's of arts degree in English literature and communications from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida.
vice president and senior editorial director
Michael Toppo is the vice president and senior editorial director for CNN Digital. In this role, he oversees the CNN.com homepage where he balances audience delivery, TV content integration and strong editorial programming. He provides editorial strategy for the features sections such as entertainment, health, living, travel and tech. Toppo also manages a cross-platform programming team to help connect CNN audiences across digital and television while continuing to lead the Video OnDemand teams and the original video team. He is based at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta and reports to Meredith Artley, vice president and managing editor for CNN Digital.
Previously, Toppo worked as the senior director for news operations and production, where he was responsible for the production, presentation and integration of content across CNN Digital. Toppo also oversaw the video team and led the TV/Web integration team that coordinates story coverage with the programs and newsgathering divisions across CNN Worldwide. He was the former supervising producer for news production for CNN Digital where he managed the daily editorial coverage including breaking news of the Mumbai terror attacks and the death of Michael Jackson.
Toppo spent 12 years covering live breaking news and producing various programs for CNN television. From 2006-2007, he oversaw production of CNN's dayside programming as the senior executive producer for CNN Newsroom. Toppo was also the executive producer for CNN's daily newscast Live From. Before Live From, he was an executive producer for CNN's TalkBack Live with Arthel Neville, television's first interactive talk show. Toppo joined CNN TalkBack Live in 1996 as a producer and was promoted to senior producer in 1997. In this capacity, he helped guide the overall direction and development of the program.
Before joining CNN, Toppo worked at WKBW-TV in Buffalo, N.Y., where he was the producer for A.M. Buffalo, the station's morning news program. While at WKBW-TV, he received an Emmy Award nomination for a show on SuperBowl XXVII.
Toppo earned a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from Buffalo State College.
vice president of product, strategy and operations
Alex Wellen is vice president of product, strategy, and operations, leading CNN Digital's mobile and desktop video, TV and connected devices product and business portfolios across all platforms. He is also the executive-in-charge of CNN Worldwide's "TV Everywhere" initiative. Wellen is based in CNN's world headquarters in Atlanta and reports directly to KC Estenson, senior vice president and general manager of CNN Digital.
Wellen has helped set the vision and implement a globally integrated programming and product strategy to build highly scalable, innovative global products that resonate with consumers, grow revenues and strengthen brands. In 2011, he oversaw the reinvention and launch of the new CNN.com video experience as well as CNN's "TV Everywhere" product line, which streams the linear TV channels 24-7 to more than 80 million subscribers.
Since joining CNN in 2005, Wellen has held a series of roles for CNN Worldwide, including senior executive producer for integrated programming on behalf of CNN/US, where he spearheaded CNN Worldwide's strategy to integrate CNN/US programming and CNN Digital's editorial content and products across all platforms and devices. Wellen was also deputy political director for digital content. His contributions to Election Night 2006 earned his team an Emmy Award. The network's multi-platform coverage of the 2008 presidential primary campaigns, debates, and Election Night 2008 earned CNN a National Headliner and Peabody Award. In addition to his work in the CNN Political Unit, Wellen was a senior producer and on-air legal analyst for The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.
Wellen has also been published in the New York Times, ZDNet, MSNBC, CNET, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and SF Magazine as well as appeared on a wide range of syndicated television and radio programs. He co-created, executive produced, and co-hosted 100 episodes of the TechTV series, CyberCrime, the first and only investigative TV series devoted to covering high-tech crime. The Emmy Award-winning series lasted three years and was syndicated worldwide.
Before working in media, Alex Wellen was a high-tech intellectual property litigator at the New York law firm Pennie & Edmonds. He has published two novels with Random House and is the inventor on a half dozen patents. Wellen holds a law degree from Temple University and a systems engineering degree from Rutgers.
vice president of digital services for CNN International
Nick Wrenn is vice president of digital services for CNN International, based at the network's headquarters in Atlanta. He is the leading editorial executive over all of CNN's digital assets outside the United States and reports to Peter Bale, general manager of CNN International Digital.
Wrenn oversees the editorial direction of the services, working with colleagues across CNN.com's domestic operation and in Turner International to manage the growth of the business through the development of new products and services. These include CNN.com/international, CNNArabic.com and the CNN international mobile brand together with numerous broadband services. Under Wrenn's management, CNN was honored with the Royal Television Society's "Innovative News" award for a CNN.com interactive that featured tweets during the 2010 World Cup.
Previously Wrenn was based in London, CNN's largest production center outside the U.S., and served as CNN International's managing editor for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for more than five years. He was responsible for CNN's newsgathering operations, which produced more than 10 hours of live programming each day, the CNN International production unit, CNN.com/international, all of CNN's English language international web operations and CNNArabic.com.
Wrenn joined CNN in April 2000 and was instrumental in the launch of CNN.com Europe in September of that year. He was first promoted in May 2001 and launched the new international edition of CNN.com in February of 2003, taking over the management of CNN's Hong Kong-based interactive teams, in addition to the European teams.
Prior to joining CNN, Wrenn was duty editor and UK editor of BBC News Online and was one of the founding members of the team that created and developed the site. He has also worked at the Press Association, Reuters and UPI (sport) as well as BBC Ceefax.
Wrenn began his journalistic career on the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Gazette. He also worked for other Evening Echo titles in the Southern Newspaper Group including the Bournemouth Evening Echo.