Report: As CNN makes big talent grabs, Time Warner plans top-level management shake-up

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Jim Walton with Larry King. ()
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It's no secret that Time Warner brass is unhappy with CNN's perpetually poor ratings performance.

Now it looks like they're quietly preparing to do something about it.

According to The New York Post, "Senior management is putting together a short list of potential candidates to run CNN Worldwide to end the ratings death spiral at the flagship news channel."

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Claire Atkinson reports:

Such a rating meltdown demands action and TW higher- ups are brainstorming for ideas for new management candidates with an eye on potentially replacing Jim Walton, who runs CNN Worldwide, several sources said.

The 53-year old executive’s contract is said to end on Dec. 31. Nothing will happen before the Nov. 6 elections The Post has learned.

When asked if there’s a search on, one TW insider told The Post, “We’re always thinking about succession. Are there any changes right now? No.”

Atkinson hears that one candidate being floated internally "to come in and revive CNN ratings" is former NBC Universal boss Jeff Zucker. And what a coincidence: Atkinson, as Jim Romenesko notes, heard the same thing about Zucker and the Tribune Company earlier this week.

CNN, meanwhile, has made some big talent grabs recently, poaching Anthony Bourdain from the Travel Channel to host a Sunday food show and John Berman from ABC News as a morning anchor.

In other news...

Lawmakers are upping the pressure to crack down on national security leaks. [The Huffington Post]

New York Times managing editor Dean Baquet: "I reject the notion that they were leaks."

Joe Scarborough stands by his criticism of the Times' Romney coverage. [Politico]

Chuck Klosterman is The New York Times Magazine's new Ethicist. [The Atlantic Wire]

Today in gaffes: The Daily News promoted this weekend's Puero Rican Day Parade witih a Cuban flag. [NYT/Media Decoder]

The rise of philanthro-journalism. [The Economist]

Bloomberg View, one year later. [Poynter]

Dennis Holt, "dean of Brooklyn reporters," is dead at 83. [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]

The A.P.'s new chief executive has a new Tribeca pad. [The New York Observer]

Turmoil at Manhattan magazine. [The New York Post]