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Mark Whitaker (journalist)

  (Redirected from Mark Whitaker (CNN))

Mark Whitaker (born September 7, 1957)[1] in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American journalist and media executive. From 2011 to 2013, he was Executive Vice President and managing editor for CNN Worldwide.[2][3][4] He was previously Senior Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief for NBC News, succeeding Tim Russert after his fatal heart attack in June 2008. He oversaw all Washington-based reporting and production for NBC and MSNBC, had executive responsibility for Meet the Press and supervised the network's election and political coverage, in addition to appearing as an on-air analyst. Before moving to Washington, he served as chief deputy to NBC News President Steve Capus in New York.

Before joining NBC in 2007, Whitaker was the editor of Newsweek, the first African-American to lead a national news magazine. While he ran the magazine, from 1998 until 2006, it won four National Magazine Awards—for coverage of 9/11, the Iraq War, the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the 2004 elections. From 2004 to 2006, Whitaker served as President of the American Society of Magazine Editors.

In October 2006, Whitaker was appointed Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of New Ventures of Washington Post and Newsweek Interactive (WPNI), the digital division of the Washington Post Company.

Whitaker graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Social Studies from Harvard College in 1979, where he served on the editorial board of The Harvard Crimson. He then studied International Relations at Oxford University's Balliol College from 1979 until 1981 where he was a Marshall Scholar.

Whitaker was named one of Essence magazine's 25 most influential African-Americans for 2008.[5]

In 2011, Whitaker published a family memoir, My Long Trip Home, that won critical praise and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.[6] His 2014 biography Bill Cosby, Cosby: His Life and Times also received favorable reviews for its portrayal of the social impact of Cosby's work as a stand-up comedian and TV star, with insights into how he dealt with the 1997 death of his son, Ennis, who was murdered in a botched robbery. It made several New York Times bestseller lists.[7][8][9] But it came under scrutiny when, shortly after the book was released, dozens of women came forward accusing Cosby of sexual assault.[10] Cosby had been the target of a criminal sexual assault investigation in New York City in 2000,[11] and was sued in 2005 by Temple University employee Andrea Constand over allegations that he drugged and assaulted her.[12] While dealing with Cosby's history of infidelity and a paternity extortion trial, Whitaker's biography did not explore the more recent assault claims. After originally defending his decision not to mention the allegations, Whitaker issued an apology and the book was not released in paperback.[13][14]

Whitaker also wrote Smoketown: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance about Pittsburgh's accomplished and historic African American community.[15]

Whitaker is married to Alexis Gelber, a former long-time editor at Newsweek.


  1. ^ Mark Whitaker (2011-10-14). "CNN Red Chair Interview: Mark Whitaker". CNN. Retrieved 2011-10-17. 
  2. ^ "Managing Editor Out At CNN". Huffington Post. 29 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "CNN drops Carville, Matalin, Erickson and executive VP Mark Whitaker". The Daily Caller. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "CNN names Whitaker managing editor – CNN Press Room". CNN. 28 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "The Most Influential African-Americans of 2008". Retrieved 2015-11-28. 
  6. ^ Maslin, Janet (2011-11-06). "'My Long Trip Home,' by Mark Whitaker - Review". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-11-28. 
  7. ^ Drumming, Neil (2014-09-18). "Mark Whitaker's 'Cosby'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-11-28. 
  8. ^ "COSBY by Mark Whitaker | Kirkus Reviews". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 2015-11-28. 
  9. ^ "Best Sellers - The New York Times". Retrieved 2015-11-28. 
  10. ^ Winton, Richard (September 30, 2015). "Former Mrs. America, others accuse Bill Cosby of sexual assault". Retrieved September 30, 2015. 
  11. ^ Stamey, Mark (March 2, 2000). "Actress' Bombshell: 'Cos' Rubbed Me the Wrong Way". Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Cosby, Canadian woman settle lawsuit over alleged assault". CBC News. November 8, 2006. Retrieved December 6, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Bill Cosby biographer sorry for omitting sexual assault allegations". CBS News. November 25, 2014. Retrieved September 29, 2015. 
  14. ^ Walker, Tim (July 23, 2015). "Bill Cosby biography pulled as comedian accused of sexual assaults faces civil suit". The Independent. London. Retrieved July 28, 2015. 
  15. ^

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