Header image for Meet Alumnus Ed Stephen: CNN Executive Leader, Media Expert

Meet Alumnus Ed Stephen: CNN Executive Leader, Media Expert

ed stephen-01Ed Stephen has always been a media guy at heart. While studying Communications at Florida State in the early 1990s, he worked at local TV stations WCTV and WFSU.

“Broadcast TV has always sorta been my thing,” Stephen said. “Now it’s more about local media.

“Now” is CNN – the cable network in nearly every home in America. Stephen has been with the company since 2000 and served as the Vice President of Marketing and Contracts for seven years. In 2007, Stephen was promoted to his current position, Senior VP and General Manager of CNN Newsource.

Newsource is a division of CNN that handles licensing content to local affiliates. Collectively, CNN Newsource is the most widely-distributed syndicated service, catering to broadcast television/radio, print and digital news makers. Staying relevant in an ever-changing industry is a challenge, but under Stephen’s leadership, CNN Newsource’s affiliate footprint has increased 47.5%. With more than 900 local affiliates in North America, Stephen is a busy man

To put it simply, Stephen keeps the business running. His strategic plans open up CNN’s resources to his groups and affiliates. His businesses deal decisions impact the future of CNN Newsource. Stephen’s passion for local media is passed to his employees and he says maintaining culture in his divisions is a top priority.

“Everyone should have a meaningful, fulfilling job,” said Stephen.

In his division, Stephen oversees around 30 employees. However, CNN is a big place and Stephen connects with everyone in the organization to corral expertise, which is then packaged up for affiliates to use on their local platforms.

In 2011, Stephen became the Senior VP of CNN Collection, which handles licensing CNN content to everyone else – documentary filmmakers, advertisers and directors.

“I’m passionate about local media because it plays an important role in communities, your TV and newspaper are essential parts of you day-to-day life,” said Stephen. “And working at CNN, I can help them deliver the best news products possible.”

More on the School of Communication’s undergraduate programs can be found here.