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CNN is relying on performance assessments by some of its top executives to counter allegations in a federal suit that it declined to renew a former anchor’s contract because it wanted to infuse its networks with younger and ethnic on-air talent.

Former CNN International “floating” anchor Marina Kolbe accused the network in her 2003 suit of violating federal anti-discrimination laws after it didn’t renew her contract. As an “older” white woman — she was 42 when she was let go — she claims she was the victim of an aggressive push by CNN to bring more diversity to the air, particularly in overseas news programming.

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