Senior Producer CNN Idea Lab
Heather Whitley began her career with CNN nearly 15 years ago as a writer for CNN Newsource. From there, she became a production assistant with the CNN Newsstand team where she helped produce long form programming for two news magazine shows; CNN & Fortune and CNN & Entertainment Weekly. Heather quickly moved up the ladder into an associate producer role followed by a promotion to producer. During this time, she also co-produced an award-winning election special titled, “Election 2000: 36 Days That Gripped the Nation.” Heather’s next move at CNN was to the Special Projects department. Here she produced sponsored segments which aired across a wide variety of CNN’s global networks. Within this role, she managed teams of producers and created year-long programming series and specials. After being promoted to senior producer, she was selected to produce two live theater events in NY’s Time Warner Center. These CNN & L’Oreal Inspire Summits featured celebrity guests and high profile clients coming together to discuss important women’s issues. In 2007, Heather was asked to join a new innovation team called the CNN Idea Lab. She turned her creative writing skills into programming pitches and pilots for CNN’s Development & Strategy unit. Through training and research, she has learned to tackle challenges with unique and fresh perspectives and she enjoys sharing these practices with others at CNN through her department’s weekly Free Thinking Friday brainstorming sessions.
Outside of her core job at CNN, Heather also is an active member of the CNN Action Team, the Green Employee Task Force, and Turner Volunteers. She is also responsible for creating a grassroots movement at Turner supporting the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women initiative. The event has grown into a yearly, multi-bureau effort with extensive employee participation across the company.