Reese Schonfeld

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Maurice Wolfe "Reese" Schonfeld is an American television journalist who is a co-founder of CNN and the Food Network.

Schonfeld grew up in Newark, New Jersey, graduated from Dartmouth College and received an M.A. and a law degree from Columbia University.[1]

He began his career with United Press Movietone News in 1956. Later he became vice president of United Press International Television News. In 1975, he founded the Independent Television News Association, a service that provided independent television stations with pooled news coverage delivered via satellite.[2][3]

In 1979 he became one of the founders of the Cable News Network (CNN), serving as its first president and chief executive until Ted Turner took over CNN's leadership in 1982. While at CNN, Schonfeld is credited with originating the 24-hour cable news concept. Schonfeld was succeeded as president by CNN's executive vice president, Burt Reinhardt.[4]

After leaving CNN, Schonfeld joined Cablevision Systems in New York, where he developed and oversaw the first 24-hour all-news service on a local cable system, "News Twelve" on Long Island. Schonfeld also produced "People Magazine on TV" for CBS and helped to develop "News Channel 8" for Allbritton Communications Company.

Schonfeld then worked with Time Warner in planning the International Business Channel. In 1993 he designed and implemented the Medical News Network, an interactive TV news service, for Whittle Communications. He also served on the board of Robert Halmi International prior to its sale to Hallmark.

In 1992, Schonfeld began developing Food Network (originally called the TV Food Network), which launched on November 23, 1993. He served as president of the network, which was sold to Belo Broadcasting in 1996 and was later resold to the E.W. Scripps Company. In 1999 Schonfeld sold his interest in the Food Network to Scripps.

Currently, Schonfeld is on the advisory board of Matter Network and the Culture Change Institute. He consults to various media projects and contributes a blog to The Huffington Post.[2]

He is the author of Me and Ted Against the World, an account of the development and early history of CNN, and "The Global Battle for Cultural Domination", an essay in Developing Cultures, Essays on Cultural Change.



  1. ^ James Verini, Reese's Pieces: Mr. Schonfeld, Forgotten Founder of CNN, Is a Man of Many Projects, The New York Observer, January 28, 2001
  2. ^ a b Biography, The Huffington Post
  3. ^ Patrick Parsons (2008), Blue Skies: A History of Cable Television, page 381. Temple University Press, ISBN 1-59213-287-1, ISBN 978-1-59213-287-4. 804 pages
  4. ^ Wiseman, Lauren (2011-05-10). "Burt Reinhardt dies at 91: Newsman helped launch CNN". Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-05-19. 

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