A CNN corporate attorney will take over a new role as senior vice president and chief diversity & inclusion officer for WarnerMedia News & Sports.
Johnita Due has been at the company 16 years as the lead editorial attorney for CNN Digital, CNN Films, CNN Sports, CNN Business, CNN Health, “United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell,” and domestic morning programming. She previously headed CNN’s diversity and inclusion efforts from 2005 to 2013.
Due will be based in Atlanta and report to Chairman Jeff Zucker, who made the announcement she would join his executive team Monday.
“I am so pleased to make this announcement and welcome Johnita to the leadership team. Johnita is someone who is well respected by employees and managers alike throughout CNN and WarnerMedia for not only her legal guidance and editorial insights but also for her diversity and inclusion leadership,” said Zucker. “I am thrilled she has agreed to transition legal responsibilities so she can lead the diversity efforts.”
Ramon Escobar, CNN’s vice president for talent recruitment and development, has led diversity and inclusion initiatives since 2017.
“I want to thank Ramon for his tireless work these past two years,” said Zucker. “Every day you can see the huge impact he has made across our platforms in identifying and developing talent in front of and behind the camera. He will continue his work in this important area as a partner to Johnita.”
CNN is part of Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting System, which was absorbed into WarnerMedia, based in California, owned by AT&T, which merged with Time Warner last year.
Due recently co-chaired the Turner business resource group BlackProfessionals@Turner and has been leading a Turner-wide task force on African-American retention and advancement.
“In the midst of our corporate changes to align with WarnerMedia’s goals, it’s more important than ever to ensure that diversity and inclusion remain business priorities,” Due said. “I am proud of Jeff’s commitment to this area and the significant gains made by CNN to develop and showcase diverse voices that reflect our audiences and to produce content that not only resonates with all audiences but also makes a difference in society. I am looking forward to furthering Jeff’s vision for his organization around transparency, recruitment, and development which will benefit all employees and the business overall.”
Prior to CNN, Due worked as a media lawyer for four ABC affiliate television stations, BusinessWeek magazine and Standard & Poor’s, all then owned by The McGraw-Hill Companies. She graduated from Harvard University, Cornell Law School and the University of Sussex in England.