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Published on May 8, 2008
Reese Schonfeld has been in the broadcast and cable news business for more than thirty years, helping to change the direction of news and information programming in both media. He began his career with United Press Movietone News in 1956, advancing to managing editor before becoming Vice President of United Press International Television News. In 1975, Schonfeld founded the Independent Television News Association, the first satellite-delivered television news service. In 1979 he helped found the Cable News Network and served as its first President and Chief Executive. At CNN he originated and developed the 24 hour news concept. Under his leadership, CNN grew from a universe of 1.5 million homes to more than 15 million homes. After leaving CNN, Schonfeld joined Cablevision Systems in New York where he developed and oversaw "News Twelve" on Long Island, the first 24-hour local all news service. Schonfeld also produced "People Magazine on TV" for CBS and helped to develop "Newschannel 8" for Allbritton Communications Company. Schonfeld then worked with Time Warner in planning the International Business Channel and in 1993 had 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 the TV FOOD NETWORK with The Providence Journal Company. The Network launched on November 23, 1993 with Schonfeld as President. In 1995 Schonfeld organized the internet team that launched FoodTV.com. and was named Vice Chairman of the network. In 1996 the FoodNetwork was sold to Belo Broadcasting and subsequently resold to the E.W. Scripps Company. In 1999 Schonfeld sold his interest in the FoodNetwork to Scripps but continues to consult to both the FoodNetwork and Belo Broadcasting. For the past several years, Schonfeld has been actively involved in the internet. In 1996 he advised the founders of Auto-by-Tel; he now continues to develop projects for cable and television, while serving on the board of Minutemeals.com Inc., which publishes MyFoodDirectory.com. Schonfeld has recently completed his memoirs, "Me and Ted Against the World," detailing the creation and course of CNN. Me and Ted was published by HarperCollins in February 2001. Schonfeld is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds an M.A. and a law degree from Columbia University.