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Updated: 10:35 a.m. ET
Mark Whitaker, CNN's executive VP and managing editor, is resigning from the network, a CNN spokesperson confirmed.
His departure comes after new CNN Worldwide boss Jeff Zucker
officially took the helm last week, which Whitaker cited as his reason for leaving in a memo to staff sent Tuesday and obtained by B&C:
"Now, with Jeff Zucker's arrival, we have a new leader with his own forceful ideas about where to take CNN's reporting, programming and brand. For him to succeed, I believe he deserves his own team and management structure and the freedom to communicate one clear vision to the staff. I have shared that conclusion with him and he has agreed to let me step down as Managing Editor and move on from CNN."
"I want to thank Mark for his service at CNN," Zucker said in a statement. "We are grateful for his contributions and wish him the best in the future."
Whitaker joined CNN in 2011 and was responsible for leading
editorial coverage across the network's multiple platforms. He also oversaw
development of the network's morning shows Early Start and Starting Point, which have
failed to revamp CNN's mornings since debuting a year ago.
He was the first person to hold the position of managing editor at CNN, and the network does not plan to replace him moving forward. "Jeff comes from an editorial background and will lead the editorial direction for CNN Worldwide," said a CNN spokesperson.
On the heels of Whitaker's resignation, CNN political contributors James Carville and Mary Matalin are also leaving the network, a spokesperson confirms. Erick Erickson is also reportedly exiting CNN to be a contributor at Fox News.