Hecht has recently been appointed station head at HLN, CNN’s news insight channel by company president Jeff Zucker
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Albie Hecht / Getty
Albie Hecht, rated as being one of the television world’s most talented and dynamic managers has been handed one of the toughest challenges in the world of media – to head up CNN’s HLN, regarded as being the leading “ breaking news” channel.
Under the tutelage of Scot Safon, who left the station just last month after 22 years with CNN many of them spent building the channel , HLN grown dramatically and earned itself a sterling reputation as the national television network which American viewers switch on to see what’s going on inside the news.
In recent years CNN has invested considerable resources in developing HLNtv.com, the network’s digital platform, which has also become the place to click on to receive in-depth insights into local national and international news.
Now Albie Hecht has been handed the gauntlet by Jeff Zucker to maintain the tremendously high standards achieved by Scot Safon and his team at HLN.
Hecht has been handed the responsibility, to oversee every aspect of HLN’s operations including programming, management and day-to-day operations, as maintaining the ever-growing market share at HLNtv.com. HLN, a member of the CNN Worldwide network, is estimated to reach more than 100 million US households.
Hecht comes with a rich pedigree in the world of media. A longtime veteran of MTV Networks, Hecht was also responsible for the founding of Spike TV as well as spending a number of years as president of Nickelodeon Entertainment.
Albie will be leaving his role as CEO of the digital entertainment studio Worldwide Biggies, at the end of this month to join HLN.
Announcing the appointment Jeff Zucker stated that CNN were highly satisfied with Albie Hecht’s decision to take up the appointment as head of HLN as he was one of the most creative executives in the media industry.
“His diverse experiences at Viacom gave him a keen understanding of cable television, where he created some of the media’s most well known brands and franchises. All of that, coupled with his lifelong passion for news and information, makes him the perfect fit for HLN. I wanted someone who could build off the strength that currently exists at HLN, which is enjoying one of its highest rated years ever, and evolve the network and its fast-growing digital properties even more.” Summed up Zucker.
In response to Zucker’s statement, Albie Hecht explained that there were three key factors made the decision to join HLN easy. First, the opportunity to further evolve a noted brand, secondly to help to reinvent news in a digital age and thirdly the opportunity to work with Jeff Zucker, an industry giant.
“Creating engaging and buzzed-about content across multiple platforms is in my DNA, and I am excited to make magic with the talented team at HLN.” Hecht enthused.
Media analysts point out that Zucker’s decision to hand Hecht the keys at HLN could be described as a calculated risk. The risk being that Albie Hecht’s experience in traditional TV news is best described as limited, though has been responsible for the production of a number of news orientated documentaries through Shine Global, a nonprofit company that he established in 2005 along with his wife Susan MacLaury, a professor at Kean University.
Hecht and MacLaury were recipients of an Emmy Award as well as an Oscar nomination for their documentary film War/Dance released in 2010.
Albie Hecht brings to his new task a wealth of experience as president of Nickelodeon Entertainment, where he oversaw the development and production of some of TVs most popular children’s shows SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer and Blue’s Clues, as well as the highly popular live-action show All That.
In addition Albie Hecht was the producer of some of Paramount’s Studios most successful films of the last five years, most outstandingly The Rugrats Movie, the first animated movie to generate box office receipts over $100 million in the United States that did not come from Disney Studios . Hecht was also behind the camera for the production of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, which was a candidate for four Academy Award nominations.