Thursday, November 30, 2006

New "World Markets" graphics

Caught by surprise at 0424gmt on CNNI. The "World Markets" graphics shown at the start of some commerical breaks have been completely changed, with new fonts, colour schemes and objects. There is more use of white, but surprisingly I think it looks *less* like the overall CNNI look than what it replaced, which itself was updated when the new look came in earlier this year.

Unusual intro to AC360

Just before 0300gmt this morning on CNNI, and after the commerical break, instead of going straight into Anderson Cooper 360º live from Amman, we crossed back to Shakuntala Santhiran live in Hong Kong, who then introduced AC360º. Why? Usually we'd just go straight to the programme.

Maybe they were a few seconds early coming out of the break. In the past, we'd just get a few seconds of the CNNI filler graphic/music, but I'm not sure such a thing exists anymore.

Amanpour returns to screens

* A face I haven't seen on CNN for a while reappeared early this morning on CNN International. On CNN Today from Hong Kong at 0215gmt, Christiane Amanpour was in the London studio being interviewed by Johnathan Mann in the Atlanta studio on the letter to the American people from Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Originally I thought this must have come from the previous evening's Insight programme, but I caught a re-run of this later and it was about the environment in Brazil. In any case, good to see Christiane back on the screen again

* A brief observation. Last week I reported that the background screens at the Hong Kong set had stopped moving. I noticed on CNN Today from Hong Kong this morning that they are now back to normal.

* For anyone who doesn't usually get to see the full CNNI graphics package, Pipe 3 on CNN Pipeline at 0255gmt this morning re-run the previous evenings edition of CNN Connects: Voices of Brazil with Jim Clancy in Rio de Janeiro. The rerun had obviously been recorded straight off-air from CNNI, as it came complete with CNN logo top left, the CNN Connects logo bottom right, and a rather out of date news flipper across the bottom of the screen!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Pedro Pinto returns

* I mentioned that CNN sports anchor Pedro Pinto featured every now and then on World Sport last week. Well today he's officially back full time. He appeared with Monita Rajpal and Max Foster during CNN Today (from London) at 0650gmt this morning. He then anchored World Sport live from London at 0930gmt. Pedro Pinto was a regular on CNNI in the late 90s and early 00s, including during the CNN/SI days, and was based in Atlanta. He then moved back to Portugal to work for Sport TV in 2003

* I also questioned if Quest would be continuing, as the latest edition was a "best of" compilation. Well, the "Coming In December" promo running on CNNI features the next edition of Quest, so I suppose that answers my question!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Pipeline problems

At 1800gmt this evening, Pipe 1 on CNN Pipeline didn't switch to World News live from Atlanta (with Ralitsa Vasileva), but instead stayed with the interstitial news/sport/weather slides. This remained the case until 1813 gmt. At this point, all pipes failed. The preview windows for Pipe 1, 3 and 4 displayed the "Stay Tuned" slide. Pipe 2 was showing the correct stream (the 1-hour live weekend CNN Pipeline show) but was unaccessable to display on the main screen.

Everything returned at 1818gmt.

Berlusconi collapse

At 1250gmt today, Rosemary Church in Atlanta broke into Global Challenges, in progress, to bring us breaking news of the collapse of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Pictures were shown of Berlusconi gradually collapsing at a speech in Tuscany, which was being shown live on Italian news channel Sky TG24 - which is where the pictures came from.

Global Challenges then continued.

Larry King busts a move

I was watching a replay of Larry King on CNNI this morning at 1000gmt - the one with guests from the US show "Dancing With The Stars" (the same as "Strictly Come Dancing" in the UK) which I'm sure means very little to most viewers outside the US.

Nonetheless, there was an entertaining part where Larry King was dancing to Aretha Franklin's "Son of a Preacher Man". If you haven't see this, click here

Saturday, November 25, 2006

"My balls are on Wolf Blitzer's head!!"

I couldn't help but post this clip from the Daily Show slightly mocking CNN's iReport facility. Worth watching till the very end!

The Best Of Quest

I'm watching Quest right now on CNNI at 0700gmt Saturday. Firstly, what's rather odd is that Richard is hosting the show from the London set. It's a "best of" programme and looks fantastic already. If you haven't seen Questy's music video yet, or seen him strung upside down by the ankles and thrown against a wall by bald guys painted in blue, you won't want to miss this! Keep an eye out for rebroadcasts.

It seems to me like an "end of series" show - I wonder if Quest is continuing or not?

Hala in Beirut, Jim in Rio

* I noticed a report on CNN Pipeline Pipe 1 at 2125gmt on Friday from Hala Gorani, who was in Beirut. No doubt she is there to cover the aftermath of the assasination of Lebanese politician Pierre Gemayel. She covered the breaking news of his death from Atlanta on Thursday. She'll go on to Dubai into the early part of next week

* Also on travels is Jim Clancy, who will be fronting CNNI's Eye On Brazil all of next week, and will be contributing special reports and programming from Rio de Janeiro during Your World Today. Viewers in the USA should be able to catch some of this between 12pm and 1pm ET (1700-1800gmt) Monday to Friday on CNN/US.

* During Business International on CNNI this Friday night, I noticed the London set being used more. Becky Anderson moved away from the main anchor desk and conducted a three-way interview from the interview podium to the left of the desk (the same position used for International Correspondents) at 2225gmt. One guest was sitting across from her, and the other was on the plasma screen. This is the first time I've seen an anchor break free from the desk in London during a newscast.

* Speaking of International Correspondents, although I didn't get to watch it properly I did notice that the London set is already damaged! I couldn't help but notice, behind one of the guests, several black scrapes along the white of the set, and what looked like a chunk which had come away. Shoddy workmanship?!

* And a couple of cock-ups to end with. Before the 0030gmt Saturday airing of the Daily Show with John Stewart on CNNI, we had a "This has been an encore presentation of the Daily Show". It has? I didn't think it had started yet.

* Finally, at the end of the simulcast of Larry King Live just before 0300gmt on CNNI, Larry announced that coming up next John Roberts was standing in for Anderson Cooper on AC360º. Then, Anderson Cooper appeared with guests Whoopie Goldberg, Robin Williams and someone else whose name I can't remember. I think someone lied to Larry!

Friday, November 24, 2006 Anchor/Reporter Page Updates

Don Lemon's, Seth Doane's, David Mattingtly's , and Susan Roesgen's profiles have been updated with photos.

Susan Roesgen

David Mattingly

Don Lemon

Seth Doane


We now have a banner you can use to link to our site. Check out the banner below, and if you'd like to link to us, feel free! :)

Have a great weekend! :)

CNN Radio reports in the UK

Just having a conversation right now about CNN Radio, and it got me thinking - the CNN Radio feed (intended for affiliates) is available internationally, including here in the UK via the Astra satellite. I firstly wondered to myself why this was. I'm sure it's used extensively in the US for radio newscasts by affiliates, but not so much outside the States.

But then I remembered last night. At 6pm I was listening to the Classic Gold radio network, on the way to work, and heard a CNN report from Michael Ware in Baghdad. I'll be honest - it's the first time I've heard a CNN report on British radio for quite a while.

I've always thought CNN Radio should be pushed a bit more though. Keep the affiliate feed, but in this age of internet media surely now is the time to launch a public-aimed version of CNN Radio. With live newscasts and feature programmes. The new podcasts go some way to filling that void, but I'd be much more likely to listen to a radio station than download a non-live podcast.

Various introductory miscellanea

Thanks to Dustin for the fantastic design of this site!

Hopefully someone will find at least some of this interesting reading. The majority of my contributions will be pointing out the little details that most people won't notice, or probably care about! I'm a presentation enthusiast, and CNN - with its many studios, anchors, programmes and emphasis on live programming - is extremely interesting from that point of view.

I have access to the following CNN services: CNN International (Europe stream), CNN Pipeline, CNN Radio and CNN Turk.

So here, as a first post, is a good example of the kind of thing I'll be writing about in future.

* First of all, as most viewers to CNNI will know, London and Atlanta launched new sets last month, with Hong Kong still using their old set. No evidence of any new set in progress there, however I've noticed that the backdrop on the screens behind the anchors have stopped moving. I can't think of any reason why this is - it isn't a keyed background, as there is still movement in the background.

* Speaking of new sets, of course we no longer see the London or Atlanta newsrooms, right? Wrong. At 0030 gmt, Jim Boulden was speaking live from the London newsroom on the death of Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko. The newsroom was looking as dark as it always has, and not as impressive as it used to - mostly because it's hardly ever on camera any more. Still good to see it's still there though!

* For the first time I can remember, World Sport on the evening of 23 November 2006 came from both Atlanta and London. Mark McKay handed over to Justin Armesden and Pedro Pinto in London for coverage of this week's Champions League action.

* Finally, just a thought. Anyone who has seen the much awaited CNN Future Summit will have seen Richard Quest in that spacesuit. Although I personally like the guy, I do wonder how many people which they could just launch him into space, wave him off, and see how far he goes.

So there we are.. just a few observations as, after all, that's what this page is all about. If that interested you in the slightest - bookmark the page! If not, I'm sorry for wasting your time ;-)


Welcome to CNN Observations! :) We're here to let you know the little things we see on CNN and its networks as we watch. Stay tuned for more details! :)

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Dustin and Stephen