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CNN News Hires ‘NYPD Blue’ Actress

April 24, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) _ CNN Headline News is looking for star power to boost its ratings, hiring former ``NYPD Blue″ actress Andrea Thompson for a news job.

Thompson will be an anchorwoman for the network, according to a CNN executive who spoke on condition of anonymity.

CNN also announced Tuesday that it has hired former ABC News reporter Sheila MacVicar as a London-based international correspondent.

Thompson played detective Jill Kirkendall on ``NYPD Blue.″ Her character exited the ABC show in 1999 after marital problems interfered with her police work.

She switched careers and was hired last May as a reporter and fill-in anchor at television station KRQE in Albuquerque, N.M. She said at the time she wanted a job that allowed her more time with her child and to study economics.

Thompson didn’t return a call seeking comment on Tuesday.

Her hiring may signal a flashier new era at CNN. The network recently came under the control of Jamie Kellner, former chief at the Fox and WB networks, and he told USA Today on Tuesday that he was looking for more star power at the news networks.

CNN Headline News, an offshoot of the main CNN network, has an average audience of 171,000 viewers so far this year, according to Nielsen Media Research. That’s virtually unchanged since last year.

Headline News runs a complete news report in half-hour cycles around the clock.

MacVicar was cut loose earlier this year from ABC, where she had reported on Africa, Europe and the Middle East for ``World News Tonight″ and ``Nightline.″

She will start reporting for CNN on May 7, said Eason Jordan, chief news executive for the CNN News Group.

``I am thrilled to be joining CNN, which is committed to serious international news coverage,″ MacVicar said.

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