ELSA KLENSCH LEAVES CNN POST
Byline: Lisa Lockwood
NEW YORK — After a 21-year career with CNN, Elsa Klensch has called it quits.
This confirms a report on page 14, Jan. 12 that she was leaving CNN, where her show, “Style with Elsa Klensch,” has been an institution since 1980.
“I can confirm that I have asked to leave the network,” Klensch told WWD. “I want to spend less time traveling, and have more time with my husband and friends. The ‘Style’ show was broadcast 52 weeks a year…I’m interested in new opportunities.”
A CNN spokeswoman confirmed that Klensch resigned from the show, and added: “There’s been no decision on whether the show will continue without her. CNN will continue to cover all news, including fashion news.” She declined to comment on how many people would be affected by Klensch’s resignation.
Last year, Klensch celebrated her 20th anniversary with CNN, where she pioneered video coverage of the runways. Though Klensch’s own show has been imitated, few had the reach or viewership that she built up over the years. CNN is delivered to more than 200 million households.
Klensch’s tapes are on view at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In an interview with WWD last year, Klensch discussed her frenzied schedule, pointing out that she had done five stories every week for 20 years. The best part of the job? The designer interviews, she said. And she’s interviewed them all, from Azzedine Alaia to Yohji Yamamoto.
Klensch, who spent the early part of her career at publications such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and WWD, managed to wrangle interviews with Liza Minnelli, Andy Warhol, Martha Graham and Halston for her very first program, and broadcast a Halston runway show. However, she recalled that, in the beginning, bringing a bunch of bulky cameras to the show was a tough sell.
“I had to argue about getting space for the crew,” she recalled in last year’s interview. “We used to have to take up room where the buyers were sitting at the end of the runway. And asking someone to remove four chairs was a bit difficult. I was quite well known, but a lot of designers just didn’t understand what I was doing.”
Klensch is said to be entertaining several offers and her crew has still made requests for seats at the upcoming fall shows.