CNN's Jon Klein on ousting: 'I got shot'
Says he was fired by Jim Walton on WednesdayHow Ken Jautz plans to boost CNN ratings
CNN's Jon Klein says he was completely blindsided to find out he was out the door as president.
"People get shot in our business. I got shot," Klein told New York magazine in a phone interview Friday after the network announced he'd be replaced by HLN's Ken Jautz in an effort to boost primetime ratings.
CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton informed Klein he was out during a brief in-person meeting in New York on Wednesday.
Klein knew the announcement would be publicly announced Friday, so he didn't come into the office. "I didn't want to put people in an awkward situation," he explained.
This fall, Piers Morgan takes over Larry King's job, and former governor Eliot Spitzer and Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker launch a new show. Says Klein, "I expected a decision would be made after the show[s] had been on for a while. Others thought differently. I'm disappointed."
"I'm a big proponent of accountability. But I thought a judgment would come on three levels: one, quality; two, ratings; three, profitability," he continued.
Klein speculates on the network's decision on timing: "There could have been a fear in making a change later which could make it seem like these shows and the schedule are in trouble."
But he admits, "I don't know their thinking, and I'm not interested in their thinking."
He's going to take some time off, he tells New York magazine. He's going to the Yankees game Friday night, and the Giants game on Sunday.