Jonathan Wald Named Executive Producer of CNN’s Piers Morgan Show

Former producer of “Today” show, NBC “Nightly News” heads to struggling cable news network

Jonathan Wald — the well-regarded, Emmy Award-winning former executive producer of the “Today” show and NBC’s “Nightly News” — has been named EP of CNN's forthcoming “Piers Morgan Tonight,” the network announced on Monday.

Morgan’s show is slated to debut in January. Wald’s appointment — which had been rumored for weeks — is effective immediately.

Morgan called Ward "tough, funny, smart as hell, incredibly experienced, and wants to win."

For CNN, Wald gives Morgan’s much-hyped debut as Larry King’s replacement some much-needed credibility. Ratings for “Parker-Spitzer,” CNN’s newest primetime show featuring Kathleen Parker and Eliot Spitzer, have been lackluster so far — and that's being kind.

It also gives CNN executive vice president Jautz someone else to blame if Morgan fails. Both Morgan and the “Parker-Spitzer” show were more or less the creations of Jautz’s predecessor Jon Klein.

“Jonathan has spent more than 20 years as a top producer in broadcast and cable television news and has the unique ability to produce television that is smart and provocative,” Jautz said in a release announcing the hire. “We are thrilled that he’ll be joining the CNN family.”

“CNN is an important news organization and a powerful worldwide brand,” Wald added.  “I can’t wait to get started and to collaborate with Piers on redefining the long-form interview program in primetime.”

Wald was CNBC’s senior vice president from 2006 to 2009. More recently, he had been an advisor to AOL.