Reese Schonfeld is a television journalist and co-founder of CNN and the Food Network.
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 (aka the "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 Food Network to Scripps but continues to consult to both the Food Network and Belo Broadcasting.
In 1996 he advised the founders of Auto-by-Tel .Currently, Schonfeld consults to Amiga Inc., an Internet games and technology company; a broadcasting/television advertising company, a Chinese media developer and is researching a new niche cable network.
In February 2001 Harper Collins published Schonfeld”s, ''Me and Ted Against the World'', detailing the creation and course of CNN. ''Me and Ted.'' .He continues to write about the television business for magazines and newspapers and appears regularly on cable network television programs as a media expert. His essay, “The Global Battle for Cultural Domination”, appears in Developing Cultures, Essays on Cultural Change, (Routledge Press 2006.)
Schonfeld is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds an M.A. and law degree from Columbia University.