Athan Stephanopoulos, a New York City-based digital entrepreneur who had previously been president of NowThis News, a news and media company that targeted millennials, will take over as CNN’s chief digital officer.
The role is a critical one at the news outlet, arguably one of the world’s largest and most well-known news brands, where the company is making efforts to attract a new generation of digitally-savvy followers that are used to apps like Twitter, TikTok and Instagram to learn the day’s news. Stephanopoulos will oversee the digital worldwide business, including editorial, product, technology, business operations and innovation strategies and report to CNN’s CEO, Chris Licht.
Stephanopoulos recently served as president of the digital-news outlet NowThis, which caters to Generation Z and millennial audience. He supervised editorial, revenue, product and technology strategy, audience development and data insights, and guided the company as it was acquired by Group Nine Media and, subsequently, when Group Nine was purchased by Vox Media in early 2022.
“CNN’s digital reach around the world is truly unrivaled and its digital offering is best-in-class, and yet there is still so much opportunity for growth and innovation to move CNN into the future, Stephanopoulos said. ” I look forward to working with Chris and the entire CNN team to drive deeper engagement among existing audiences online, as well as expand the brand’s digital reach to new audiences around the globe.”
His new role will be a massive one.
CNN Worldwide is the most recognized brand in news, reaching more individuals on television and online than any other news organization in the United States. Globally, CNN International is the most widely distributed news channel. CNN Digital, which Stephanopoulos will head, is the #1 online news destination, with more unique visitors and video viewers than any other news source in the world.
Prior to NowThis, Stephanopoulos was the founder and CEO of Cliptamatic, a social video distribution platform that was acquired by NowThis in 2014. Paramount Pictures, HBO, ABC News, AMC Networks, MTV, Starz and Saturday Night Live used the company’s technology to distribute video.
Stephanopoulos also won an Academy Award in 2021 as a producer of the film Two Distant Strangers.
Stephanopoulos is a lifetime member of the Council of Foreign Relations and previously served as an adjunct professor at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Business in New York City, where he taught courses on media entrepreneurship and social media. He is a long-time supporter of the Greek America Foundation, a New York City-based non-profit which honored him as a member of Greek America’s Forty Under 40 in 2012.
CNN’s CEO welcomed Stephanopoulos in a company announcement.
“I am thrilled Athan is joining CNN. His vision for digital journalism, alongside his leadership and business acumen, is exactly what we need to build CNN’s digital future,” said Chris Licht, CNN Worldwide Chairman and CEO.
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