Sam Feist Named C-SPAN CEO, Will Depart CNN After 34 Years

Longtime CNN executive Sam Feist will leave the network at the end of June to become the new CEO of the nonprofit public affairs network C-SPAN, the network’s board of directors announced Tuesday.

Feist will become only the third CEO in the network’s 45-year history, taking over the role from co-CEOs Rob Kennedy and Susan Swain, who have served in this role since 2012.

“Our democracy needs C-SPAN now more than ever,” Feist said in a statement. “I look forward to working with C-SPAN’s extraordinary and dedicated team to expand the network’s reach and meet new audiences where they are.”

Currently, Feist serves as CNN senior vice president and Washington Bureau chief, which includes the network’s largest news-gathering operation. He also leads the digital and editorial transformation of CNN’s Spanish-language network.

Feist will remain at CNN through the end of June in order to assist in the transition. He will begin his C-SPAN CEO duties in late Summer. Kennedy steps down on May 18 and Swain will continue as sole CEO until Feist takes over.

Earlier this year, a search committee was formed on behalf of the network’s board in an effort to find a new CEO.

“Out of a small group of excellent finalists, Sam Feist stood out for his deep respect for C-SPAN, his leadership skills, his knowledge of Washington, and his digital transformation bona fides. We are confident that we are leaving C-SPAN in good hands,” Kennedy and Swain said in a statement.

“C-SPAN is an American treasure and I could not be more excited to lead this essential institution,” Feist added.

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