September 23, 2016

In further evidence of the growing importance of platforms like Facebook, Apple News, Twitter and Snapchat, CNN has added a director of mobile and off-platform to its growing programming team.

Marcus Mabry, who ran Twitter Moments for U.S. and Canadian audiences, will oversee CNN’s mobile and off-platform efforts, including those on Apple News and Amazon Echo. Christina Cuesta Kline, deputy editor on The Wall Street Journal’s mobile editorial team, will also join CNN, as senior editor for mobile.

Both additions are part of an effort on CNN’s part to coordinate its coverage on a variety of mediums untethered from its broadcast operation. The team, which was recently profiled in Digiday, has dozens of members and reports to Mitra Kalita, CNN’s vice president of digital programming and a former managing editor at the Los Angeles Times.

The creation of the team is part of an industry-wide shift toward distributed media, the creation of journalism published natively on many platforms.

Here’s the memo, which Kalita sent to colleagues at CNN:


I am so pleased to announce the new leadership of CNN’s mobile and off-platform team. Marcus Mabry is our new director and starts Sept. 29. Christina Cuesta Kline will be our senior editor for mobile, joining us Oct. 4. Both will be based in New York City.

Having a director of mobile and off-platform is a bit like having a director of everything. Thankfully, Marcus Mabry has done everything.

He comes to us after a year at Twitter (@MarcusMabry), where he ran the Moments product for U.S. and Canadian audiences. Prior, he launched The New York Times’ Watching section, which highlighted noteworthy stories from around the internet. His other roles at the Times included video anchor, business editor and national editor. Before joining The Times,Marcus worked at Newsweek in a number of roles, including stints in Paris, London and Johannesburg. Marcus graduated from Stanford and speaks fluent French. He’s past president of the Overseas Press Club of America, on the board of the Lawrenceville School and the author of two books, one on Condoleezza Rice, and another on black America.

Christina (@CuestaKline) joins us from The Wall Street Journal, where she served as deputy editor on the mobile editorial team. She managed standards for mobile, oversaw app launches and relaunches, and worked with editors and developers across the newsroom to improve mobile storytelling. It is common knowledge in the Journal newsroom that if you want something done, you go to Christina.

This is a banner year for CNN, and mobile is already a huge part of that. Mobile makes up a growing majority of weekday traffic and can reach 80% on weekends. We are in the enviable position of offering audiences both first and second-screen experiences; our app and news alerts reach 50 million people every day; countless more find us via social media and off-platform products such as Apple News and Amazon Echo (aka “Alexa, tell me the news”).

We’re off to a strong start — with lots more to do. We are so lucky to have Marcus and Christina to lead our efforts in this vital, growing, innovative space.

In coming weeks, we will outline more additions to our programming team and ways we can collaborate to help our stories reach more people, have more impact and, together, commit better and smarter journalism. Thank you for your support and a warm welcome to our new colleagues.


Correction: A previous version of this story said CNN’s digital programming team is slated to have 18 employees. In fact, it has dozens of staffers.

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
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