OLD Media Moves

Barbieri named CNNMoney executive editor as Haris to run investigative unit

January 30, 2017

Posted by Chris Roush

Rich Barbieri
Rich Barbieri

CNNMoney.com executive editor Lex Haris is leaving the business and financial news site to run CNN’s investigative unit. He is being replaced by Rich Barbieri, who had been managing editor.

Here is the announcement from Andrew Morse, executive vice president at CNN:

Since its founding, CNN has maintained a strong commitment to investigative journalism. In recent weeks, our reporting teams have continued that fine tradition, breaking some of the biggest stories of 2017.

Today we are announcing plans to significantly expand our efforts by creating a new cross-platform investigative unit that will combine the power of our current investigative teams with a dozen more journalists dedicated to the same mission:

Seek truth. Break news. Hold the powerful accountable.

With this new unit, we will build upon the impressive work already happening across CNN, and supercharge our efforts in critical areas. The new unit will feature more than 25 reporters and producers, with expertise in the following beats: Politics, Business, Health Care, Justice, Environment, Consumer Advocacy and Race.

Lex Haris, who has spent the past 16 years growing CNNMoney into a top 5 destination for business and financial news, will leave his post to head CNN’s Investigative Unit as Executive Editor. Lex will report to Terence Burke, SVP of National News, who will also play a critical role in steering our investigative efforts. At CNNMoney, Managing Editor Rich Barbieri will assume the role of Executive Editor.

In addition to the new hires Lex and Terence will make across key beats, they will also bring together a number of award-winning investigative journalists already working for CNN:

Drew Griffin, who will remain CNN’s Senior Investigative Correspondent, will join the new unit, as will Patricia DiCarlo, who will work alongside him as Executive Producer. They will continue to produce the kind of quality investigative journalism that has won them so many awards, including the Peabody and the Murrow. Their work to uncover the VA scandal in 2014 is just one of many significant scoops Drew and Patricia have produced for CNN.
Andrew Kaczynski, Kyle Blaine, Chris Massie and Nate McDermott of the KFile team will also be a part of the new Investigative Unit. Since joining CNN in the month before the election, they have turned out a steady stream of breaking news. Most recently, their reporting on plagiarism by Monica Crowley, a nominee for a top national security communications post, led her to withdraw her nomination.
Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken will bring their expertise in financial reporting to the new unit. In the past year, they identified the masterminds behind a massive global mail fraud that ran for decades and claimed millions of victims. Then they unmasked the unknown payment company that made the fraud possible, and broke the news that the government was taking it down.
• Pulitzer Prize winning CNN Correspondent Sara Ganim is another critical member of the team. She helped break important stories on the Flint Water Crisis, and of course, her coverage of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case at Penn State won her the top award in journalism.
Scott Glover will work for the investigative team, based in Los Angeles. Scott’s award-winning work has helped expose widespread corruption within the Los Angeles Police Department and helped free a man serving a life sentence for murder. Shortly after arriving at CNN in 2015, Scott, along with Maeve Reston, broke a story that brought to light Presidential hopeful Ben Carson’s accounts of childhood violence.
• We are also pleased to announce the addition of two contributing editors: Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Bernstein, who has played an important role in CNN’s most recent coverage of Trump and Russia, and James B. Steele, the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes for investigative reporting with Donald L. Barlett.

You may ask (as many already have): Is this investment in investigative journalism a response to President Trump? The answer is no. These plans were in the works long before we knew the outcome of the election, and the need for strong investigative journalism exists no matter who is residing in the White House.

While we will focus some of our efforts on Washington, the new team will report stories across the country and around the world. We believe abuse of power is always a risk and that vulnerable people need someone to stand up for them. CNN is well positioned to do that, given our reach and resources and our deep commitment to reporting the facts.

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