Wednesday, March 31, 2010

John King's Comments about Christiane Amanpour's move to ABC

as told to Mediaite via CNN Publicity - “You know she’s also a fellow University of Rhode Island graduate and I didn’t know that when I went to the University of Rhode Island. But, I met Christiane when I worked at the Associated Press and she worked for CNN back in the very first Persian Gulf War, we were both over in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for several, many months during the war back then. She is a friend, as well as a colleague, soon to be a former colleague. I wish her the best.

You know, there are a lot of questions. Christiane does not have a lot of experience covering American politics and so how does she fit in on ABC on Sunday morning? I’ll leave that to them to figure out. It is an interesting pick, it is an unorthodox choice, I think that’s just self-evident, that’s not any special analysis from John King. I’ll watch how it plays out with everyone else.

She is friend, a dear friend, I wish her the best and I have no bad feelings towards ABC. I just think it’s an Interesting choice for them, they really decided to go in a new direction. We’ll see how it plays out. And I would tell everybody out there, put her on your DVR and watch Candy Crowley on State of the Union.”

Read the full interview here.

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CNN Press Release - CNN

First Quarter 2010

For the first quarter 2010, CNN outperformed MSNBC in both total day (M-Su/6a-6a) and nearly doubled MSNBC during the day (M-F/9a-5p) among total viewers and the key demographic adults 25-54. During the quarter -- in total day, CNN averaged 507k total viewers, a 27% advantage over MSNBC’s 398k, and posted 150k in the demo 25-54, 9% more than MSNBC’s 137k. During non-opinion programming (M-F 9a until 5p) in head-to-head comparisons, CNN attracted 578k total viewers and 139k among adults 25-54, easily topping MSNBC’s 305k and 74k respectively. MSNBC placed 4th or 5th each hour of the day during the first quarter among adults 25-54.

Compared to the prior quarter (Q4 2009), CNN grew its audience across several key dayparts, including total day, dayside (M-F 9a-5p) and M-F and M-Su primetime. In total day, CNN is up 6% in total viewers and increased 11% in the demo adults 25-54; during dayside, CNN rose 3% and 5% respectively; in weekday primetime (M-F) the network is essentially even in total viewers and increased 6% in adults 25-54; and during M-Su primetime the network was up 3% in total viewers and grew 8% in 25-54.

First quarter program highlights:

CNN’s AC 360 outperformed MSNBC’s Countdown at 10p among total viewers (728k vs. 598k) and adults 25-54 (227k vs. 197k)

CNN’s American Morning outperformed 4th place Morning Joe in adults 25-54 (133k vs. 108k)

CNN’s Rick’s List topped MSNBC Live at 3p among total viewers (596k vs. 306k) and adults 25-54 (132k vs, 72k) and Dylan Radigan at 4p among total viewers (624k vs. 322k) and adults 25-54 (128k vs. 76k)

CNN’s Situation Room bested Hardball at 5p among total viewers (661k vs. 525k) and adults 25-54 (149k vs. 96k), The Ed Show at 6p among total viewers (618k vs. 547k) and adults 25-54 (156k vs. 116k) and Hardball at 7p among total viewers and adults 25-54 (157k vs. 151k)

March 2010

In March, CNN also outperformed MSNBC in total day among total viewers (460k vs. 400k). During the day (9a-5p), CNN had a 63% advantage over MSNBC in total viewers (501k vs. 308k) and a 57% lead in the demo 25-54 (119k vs. 76k) in head-to-head non opinion programming.

CNN – the only non partisan cable news network in primetime – grew its M-F primetime audience more than the other cable news nets compared to last month (February 2010/M-F). In M-F primetime among total viewers, CNN was up 11%, while FNC and MSNBC increased only 4% and 9% respectively, and in the demo 25-54, CNN increased 11%, more than FNC’s 5% increase, while MSNBC was up only 1%. And in M-Su primetime, CNN was up 23% in total viewers and increased 21% in the key demo.

Specifically in March, compared to last month (Feb. 2010) – Anderson Cooper (10p) grew an impressive 28% in total viewers and was up 17% in adults 25-54. Larry King (9p) was up 1% in total viewers and 9% in 25-54 and Campbell Brown (8p) rose 7% in total viewers and increased 3% in the key demo adults 25-54.


First Quarter 2010

HLN continued its streak of ratings growth by posting its best quarter in network history for both Morning Express with Robin Meade and The Joy Behar Show. The flagship morning show scored 187k viewers in A25-54 for its best performance in the demo in the network’s history. This represents 26% growth over Q1 of 2009 in A25-54 – the most growth over year-ago of any cable news morning program. The Joy Behar Show, which launched in September 2009, scored the best quarter ever among total viewers at 9 pm in network history (634k), and also posted the most year-to-year growth of any primetime program in cable news among total viewers (26%).


On an average monthly basis for Q1 2010, CNN again topped the competition with a reach of 104 million, ahead of FNC (94 million), MSNBC (90.2 million) and HLN (88.3 million).

In March, CNN remained ahead of all cable news competition in reach with 93.2 million viewers, followed by FNC (87.5 million), HLN (80.8 million) and MSNBC (78.7 million).


In February, CNN Digital was ranked No. 1 among ALL News and Information sites in several key metrics, beating MSNBC Digital in video and traffic during their Olympic coverage.

· No. 1 in Video Streams: 152 million total streams, beating No. 2 MSNBC Digital by 8% or about 12 million streams and No. 3 Yahoo! News by approximately 154% or 92 million streams. (Source: Nielsen VideoCensus, Feb-10)
· No. 1 in Total Usage Minutes: 957 million minutes, 30 million more than No. 2 Wikipedia and 127 million more than No. 3 MSNBC Digital.
· No. 1 in Share: with 8%, 1 point ahead of No. 3 MSNBC Digital
· No. 1 in Time Per Person: 21.7 minutes, the highest time spent among the top 20 News and Information sites, 3.3 minutes more than No. 2 MSNBC Digital and 6 minutes more than No. 3 Weather Channel.
· No. 1 in Page Views: 1.5 billion page views, ahead of No. 2 MSNBC Digital by 25% or 343 million and beating No. 3 Yahoo! News by 123% or 849 million. (Source: Nielsen Online Netview, Feb-10)
CNN Digital was also No. 1 in Mobile, with 14.2 million unique visitors in January, a 15% increase month over month in the news and current events category. CNN Digital on mobile beat the nearest competitor, Yahoo! News by 187%. This is the 37th consecutive month that CNN Digital has topped the news and current events category. (Source: Nielsen Mobile MediaView – Jan. 2010)

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Octavia Nasr Featured in Alumni Magazine

CNN Senior Editor of Mideast Affairs Octavia Nasr is featured on the cover of LAU Magazine and Alumni Bulletin, a publication of Lebanese American University.

The feature called "Lebanese Journalists Around The World", showcases journalists of Lebanese descent from various networks around the world.

Nasr celebrated her twenty-year anniversary with CNN last year. She joined CNN from the Lebanese Broadcasting Company, where she reported from the front lines of the war during the country's most dangerous times for journalists. After joining CNN she served as an editor on the international assignment desk coordinating coverage of the first Gulf War. Since then she hosted World Report and World News from 1993 to 2003 before moving into her current position.

A graduate of Lebanese American University, she holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Communication Arts.


Rima Maktabi joins CNN

CNN Press Release - CNN International today announces Rima Maktabi as the new host of its popular ‘Inside the Middle East’ programme and a key addition to CNN’s roster of anchor/correspondents covering the Middle East.

The appointment of Lebanon-born Maktabi, one of the Middle East's most dynamic and well known prime time presenting talents, signals CNN's deepening commitment to the region and continued investment in its Abu Dhabi production hub.

The hiring of Maktabi - a prime time news anchor on Arabic news channel Al Arabiya who brings with her a wealth of experience in the region - follows the recent launch of CNN Abu Dhabi, the debut of the nightly primetime show ‘Prism’, and the decision to fully localise the production staffs of the high profile ' Inside the Middle East ' and ’CNN Marketplace Middle East' shows.

The expanded CNN output is further bolstered by an extensive regional newsgathering infrastructure which today includes bureaux in Baghdad, Beirut, Cairo, Islamabad, Jerusalem and Kabul.

In a unique collaboration with Al Arabiya - for a two month period Maktabi will continue to present her Arabic prime time news show while filming throughout the region for CNN's ' Inside the Middle East ' .

Maktabi’s first appearance on CNN will be on the April 5th edition of ' Inside the Middle East ', ahead of joining CNN full time in June.

"CNN is delighted to announce the addition of Rima Maktabi to its line-up of Middle East based on-air talent as host of 'Inside the Middle East '. She is a strong talent with an impressive track record and we're pleased that this flexible partnership with Al Arabiya will allow our international viewers to get to know Rima much better as she becomes an integral part of our reporting from the region," said Tony Maddox, EVP and Managing Director, CNN International.

"CNN's appointment of Rima Maktabi is yet another acknowledgement by a highly-reputed global Newsmaker of the professional standards of Al Arabiya," said Abdul Rahman Alrashed, General Manager of Dubai-based Al Arabiya News Channel. "The fact that Rima Maktabi will first appear simultaneously on both CNN and Al Arabiya also gives this joint arrangement a greater corporate meaning and provides various audiences with tremendous added-value and synergies," Alrashed concluded.

In addition to hosting 'Inside the Middle East ‘, Rima also joins CNN's regionally based Stan Grant, Paula Hancocks and Ben Wedeman as a roving anchor/correspondent, reporting as and where the network's newsgathering needs require.

About Rima Maktabi
Rima Maktabi joined Al-Arabiya as a prime time news anchor and producer in 2005. Since then, she has covered notable regional stories such as the Iranian and Lebanese elections, the Palestinian Camp War in Nahr el Bared, the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict and the Arab summits in Doha and KSA. Rima has also covered international stories such as the World Economic Forum in Davos and The US Presidential Elections for Al-Arabiya. Her journalism credentials also include time as a reporter for Annahar newspaper and news and entertainment reporting/presenting roles at Future TV. She holds an MA in International Affairs and a BA in Communication Arts from the Lebanese American University of Beirut.

About 'Inside the Middle East'
'Inside The Middle East ' is CNN International’s flagship feature show for the region. Long one of the network’s most high profile and well received shows, it refreshed its concept last autumn with new interactive elements, a greater online presence, new titles, graphics and music.

Segments introduced into the new format include Your IME Diary a round-up of the region’s festival season including cultural, sports and business events, on TV and online, populated by viewer clips, stills and comments from key events around the world; My Middle East which takes viewers on a unique journey into the heart and soul of one of the region’s greatest cities through the eyes of regional icons from the world of film, music, fashion, business and politics to reveal the hidden treasures within their chosen city; and The Campus Forum engages university students from across the region to discuss the issues affecting today’s youth.

For further information:

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Monday, March 29, 2010

CNN Recognized At National Headliner Awards

All Things CNN notes CNN's recent honors at the 2010 National Headliner Awards; where the network scooped a one, two, three placing in the Investigative Reporting category.

CNN's winning entries:

Feature or Human Interest Story (Broadcast Radio Division)
Third Place: CNN (Radio)
Young, Black and Unemployed
Dan Szematowicz, Lisa Desjardins

Continuing Coverage of a Major News Event
First Place: CNN
Anderson Cooper 360: Inside the Battle Zone: Afghanistan
Anderson Cooper, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, David Doss

Documentary or Series of Reports
Second Place: CNN
World's Untold Stories: Killing Fields: Long Road to Justice
Dan Rivers, Kocha Orlan, Mike McCarthy and Sheri England

Investigative Reporting
First Place: CNN
Your Government at Work: Post Office Mansion
Abbie Boudreau, Scott Zamost and Jessi Joseph

Second Place: CNN
Anderson Cooper 360: Texas Highway Robbery?
Gary Tuchman, Katherine Wojtecki, Kevin Myers, Derek Davis and Alana Duglas

Third Place: CNN
American Morning: Gulfstream Air Investigation
Allan Chernoff, Laura Dolan, Janelle Rodriguez, James Kraft

Business and Consumer Reporting
First Place: CNN
The Border
Drew Griffin, Kathleen Johnston, Scott Matthews, Todd Schwarzschild, Marcus Hooper

Second Place: CNN
How the Wheels Came Off: The Rise and Fall of the American Auto Industry
Michael Kane, Ali Velshi and Christine Romans

Health/Science Reporting
First Place: CNN
The Wheelchair
Drew Griffin, Kathleen Johnston, Scott Matthews, Todd Schwarzschild, Marcus Hooper

Third Place: CNN
Another Day Cheating Death
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Roni Selig, Tim Langmaid, Caleb Hellerman, David Martin

A full list of all the award winners is here.

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CNN International Calls For "Super Fans"

Tapping into CNN’s iReport community, the network is inviting passionate football fans around the world to submit videos outlining why they should be considered a ‘Super Fan’.
CNN Press Release: CNN International Recruits Global Army of Football Fanatics with call for ‘Super Fans’

With less than three months until the 2010 World Cup kicks off in South Africa, CNN International is signing up a global army of football fanatics to become ‘Super Fans’.

Whether they are planning to cheer from the stadiums across South Africa, their local sports bars and pubs or are armchair pundits watching from their homes, all they need to do is have a passionate opinion about football and record a short video which needs to be submitted to

We want to hear about the impact of the World Cup in every competing country and the selected ‘Super Fans’ will appear on air on CNN International and online at over the coming weeks and
months as the world counts down to 11th June.

Please visit for an overview of CNN’s coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup including the latest football headlines; interviews with top players and coaches; a panoramic view inside Soccer City Stadium; a guide to all of South Africa’s World Cup venues; updates from the host country; and quizzes to test World Cup knowledge.

Also, follow CNN’s World Cup team on Twitter at to receive updates on teams and footballers plus information about CNN’s on-air and online coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekly Observations - week ending March 27, 2010

This is our weekly round-up of the tidbits that didn't make it to a post of their own, but are worth noting, along with news items we may have missed during the week.

If you have any of your own observations from any of the CNN Worldwide networks during the week, send us a message via the tip box bottom right.

- CNN Correspondent deported from Myanmar.

- John King interview.

- CNN "a network without a strong identity" with Amanpour gone.

- TVNewser clarifies Cooper talk show rumor.

- Erica Hill, former CNN anchor and correspondent, gives birth.

- Is CNN too casual?

Weekly Observations Poll
John King USA premiered on television this week, and we'd like to know your thoughts.


Saturday, March 27, 2010 Takes Over NYSE

Friday was day at the New York Stock Exchange as members of the CNN financial web team rang the closing bell.


Anderson Cooper Scientology Investigation

CNN Press Release: CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 Series Explores the Church of Scientology's Leadership.

In a special series beginning Monday, March 29th, CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360° takes a close and revealing look at the leadership of the worldwide church of Scientology. The week-long series, Scientology: A History of Violence, will examine allegations that Scientology leader David Miscavige has for years beaten, kicked and choked top members of the church. These are allegations the church aggressively denies, saying violence from inside came from those making the claim.

Anderson Cooper will speak with former, high ranking members from the Church's inner circle, who says the David Miscavige not only carried out, but encouraged the culture of violence at the highest levels of the church management. Cooper will also speak with members who claim extreme hardships, and some say intimidation, the church imposes on anyone who decides to leave and speak out.

Scientology: A History of Violence will air at 10pm ET on CNN and will also air on CNN International. Anderson Cooper 360° airs weeknights on CNN at 10pm ET.

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Weekly Observations - week ending March 20, 2010

This is our weekly round-up of the tidbits that didn't make it to a post of their own, but are worth noting, along with news items we may have missed during the week.

If you have any of your own observations from any of the CNN Worldwide networks during the week, send us a message via the tip box bottom right.

- Breaking: Longtime CNN photojournalist and friend to many at CNN, Margaret Moth, passed away today. View remembrance tweets from Michael Holmes, Octavia Nasr, Hala Gorani and Don Riddell.

- Gerri Willis, CNN's former personal finance editor, lands at Fox Business Network.

- CNN unveils brand licensing initiative.

- Marketplace Africa debuts on CNN International.

- CNN's strategy to compete online.

- CNN receives two awards from The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

- redesigns market data.

- Wolf Blitzer receives top University honor.

- CNN International ending analogue transmission on ASTRA in Europe.

Weekly Observations Poll
On Friday of this week, John King USA debuted online - as their final rehearsal was aired on Live. You can watch the first portion of the show below. How do you rate this first show? The television premiere, Monday night at 7:00 PM ET on CNN Domestic.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Christiane Amanpour Leaving CNN

After more than twenty-five years at CNN, eighteen of those as an International Correspondent, Christiane Amanpour is leaving CNN at the end of April to head to a post as host of This Week on ABC beginning in August.

Amanpour joined CNN in 1983 as an entry-level assistant on the CNN international assignment desk at the network's World Headquarters in Atlanta, GA. She worked from there to become a correspondent in the New York bureau before becoming an International Correspondent in 1990. Her weekday interview program, Amanpour, on CNN International premiered in September 2009.

In 2007, Amanpour earned the title of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for her "“highly distinguished, innovative contribution” to journalism.

Since joining CNN, Amanpour has earned an inaugural Television Academy Honor, nine News and Documentary Emmys, four George Foster Peabody Awards, two George Polk Awards, three duPont-Columbia Awards, the Courage in Journalism Award, an Edward R. Murrow award and other major journalism awards as well as honorary degrees from The American University of Paris, Georgetown University, New York University, Smith College, Emory University and the University of Michigan.

In a statement released today, Amanpour said “I’m thrilled to be joining the incredible team at ABC News. Being asked to anchor “This Week” and the superb tradition started by David Brinkley, is a tremendous and rare honor and I look forward to discussing the great domestic and international issues of the day, I leave CNN with the UTMOST respect, love and admiration for the company and everyone who works here. This has been my family and shared endeavor for the past 27 years and I am forever grateful and proud of all that we have accomplished.”

Amanpour graduated summa cum laude from the University of Rhode Island with a bachelor of arts in journalism.

Look for CNN International to announce a new prime time schedule in the next few weeks.

Below, you will find a statement from CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton:
"I have some news for you about Christiane Amanpour. ABC News will announce today that she is joining that organization to headline one of its programs. You may have seen media speculation concerning this move; out of respect for Christiane, we have reserved comment until now, when we all agree that the time is right to share her plans.

Over the years, Christiane and I have talked about her professional goals and personal interests, and more recently about the excitement of a new opportunity at this point in her career. While I don’t presume to speak for her, as her colleague and friend for more than 25 years I know that this decision has not been an easy one. Since 1990 when Christiane became a CNN international correspondent, she has covered the defining news events of our time. Her work burnished our news brand and gave it authority. In turn, the CNN imprimatur opened doors for her around the world and provided a global platform for the intelligent, courageous, principled reporting that is her signature. CNN and Christiane helped make each other great.

She will depart her CNN International show at the end of April. We’ll announce changes to the CNNI programming schedule in the coming weeks; today is about honoring our friend. For her hard work these many years on behalf of CNN; for going where the story was, wherever in the world that might be; for her passion, character and generosity; and most of all, for her extraordinary journalism, Christiane has our gratitude, respect and sincere best wishes."
Statement from Wolf Blitzer, anchor The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer (via Twitter):
I want to wish Christiane Amanpour all the best as she gets ready to leave CNN for ABC News. She'll host "This Week."
Don Riddell, anchor World Report (via Twitter):
Good luck in the new gig Christiane!
Update (03/19): Christiane's letter to her CNN friends and colleagues:
To My Family at CNN,

I am stunned and humbled by all your words and thoughts and good wishes. I have been bobbing on a tide of poignancy, enveloped in the amazing outpouring of love and affection from my friends and family at the place I call home. For nearly 27 years it has not just been a privilege but an unparalleled pleasure...a great, rollicking, earth-shaking, world-shaping be part of CNN, which is not just a company but an institution that has changed the very way we live.

From the beginning the excitement was overwhelming as Ted Turner strode around declaring "I WAS CABLE BEFORE CABLE WAS COOL." And then boldly exhorted the establishment arrayed against him to "Lead Follow or get out of the way". He led, we followed and the rest had to get out of the way! From being shut out of the first White House stake-outs 30 years ago to the barely met payrolls, CNN and all of us, the army of true believers, did what no-one ever imagined one organization could do, pioneering, transformative, indispensable to this day.

From the very first day I walked into the newsroom at Techwood, September 1983, I have been proud to climb the ladder CNN put in front of me, every hard-won step of the way. Not just proud, but thrilled to bits. I feel truly fortunate to belong to the most supportive, amazing, dedicated and inspiring people from the leadership to my colleagues in every corner of the company. I never get tired of recalling the heart-stopping events we have all covered and brought to the world, from the Wall coming down, to the first Gulf War. To Bosnia where I became myself as a reporter, where I learned how to use my voice, where I learned what it means to have someone's back and for them to have yours; where we risked our lives...and sometimes our sanity...forged the closest of bonds and never never wavered from the mission: to report the truth, no matter how difficult and dangerous; to be the eyes and ears of our viewers in the United States and around the world, to tell people's stories and be a constructive and positive force in society, a force that tries to make a difference.

That's what CNN is, that is what I am so proud to have been part of, proud to have helped shape. And happy to have had so much fun all along the way.

That's the mission I have been trying to continue with my phenomenal team at our eponymously named program here. So why am I leaving? In my heart I am not. This has been the most difficult of decisions. I am simply taking the next challenging and difficult but exciting step. I believe more than anything that knowledge and familiarity with important international news and events abroad are fundamental to Americans today. This rare chance to take international news to a broader base here in the United States is one that I felt I could not turn down. I will take everything I have learned, and loved, here at CNN and put it into action!

And the network I love will have you, your hard work, your heart, your vision and your faith. Keep doing CNN's important work, without which the world would most definitely be a poorer place. Never forget who you are. Never forget what CNN is. Never forget how we all together changed the world.

From the bottom of my heart I thank you all, and I say only "au revoir," not goodbye


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Former Wimbledon Champion Pat Cash Revealed as Host of ‘Open Court’, CNN’s New Monthly Tennis Program

CNN Press Release - Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash will host CNN’s newest feature program, ‘Open Court’ from April, it was revealed during the first show of the series today. The tennis great - and one of the most colorful players the game has seen - will front the show each month as well as taking viewers behind the scenes of major tournaments, finding out what makes the top players tick as well as unveiling the future stars of the sport.

The launch episode features current world number two men’s player Novak Djokovic in his native Serbia. Djokovic talks candidly about what it is like to live out of a suitcase year-round, the importance of family and what it was like growing up in a war-torn country. In a revealing interview, Djokovic talks about how tennis became part of his life at a very young age and how his family made sacrifices so that he could play.

‘Open Court’ is a monthly magazine show, taking viewers beyond the baseline in search of the most compelling stories in the sport. The show goes behind-the-scenes with some of the biggest names in the global game, learning as much about life off the court as on it.

In the coming months, ‘Open Court’ will complement these highly personal interviews with on the ground guides to major tournaments, and a quirky look at the latest developments in tennis technique and gadgets.

Tennis fans can visit the tennis section of at for more tennis news, interviews, videos and blogs.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

CNN International Serves Up New Tennis Show

As we noted a couple of weeks back, CNN International is launching a new monthly tennis show on Thursday. Today, CNN released full details on the show.

CNN Press Release:
CNN International serves up new monthly tennis programme 'Open Court'

CNN welcomes its first ever dedicated tennis programme this week with the launch of ‘Open Court’, a monthly magazine feature show taking viewers beyond the baseline in search of the most compelling personal stories in the sport.

The show goes behind-the-scenes with some of the biggest names the global game, learning as much about life off the court as on it.

"'Open Court' aims to showcase the personalities that shape or have shaped, one of the world’s most universal sports”, says Mike McCarthy, vice president of coverage and feature programming. "This most accessible of sports is populated by some of the most intriguing individuals, all with hugely diverse personal stories behind their journey to fame and success on the court. It is these stories that we feel will take this show from being a regular sports show into something much richer.”

‘Open Court’ chronicles the players’ journeys from childhood to their first steps into the world of tennis through to their dominance on the world circuit.

In the coming months, ‘Open Court’ will complement these highly personal interviews with on the ground guides to major tournaments, and a quirky look at the latest developments in tennis technique and gadgets.

The show is to be anchored by an internationally renowned tennis champion – and one of the most colourful characters to have played the game. The anchor will be announced during the first programme.

About the first programme:

The launch episode sees current world number two men's player Novak Djokovic take centre court in the Open Court's signature interview when the show team travels to Serbia for a rare meeting with the 22-year-old. Djokovic talks candidly about what it is like to live out of a suitcase year-round, the importance of family and what it was like growing up in a war-torn country. In a revealing interview, Djokovic talks about how tennis became part of his life at a very young age and how his family made sacrifices so that he could play.

The ‘Open Court’ team also walks through a lesson in ‘Tennis 101’ with former US Open finalist Greg Rusedski before he explains how tennis got its start in the 13th century, where people played in monasteries and courtyards before the game transformed into the high-stakes global phenomenon that it is today.

Finally, the ‘Open Court‘ team travels to California to meet professional racquet stringers and hear their accounts of the tournament, circuit stringing racquets for some of the world’s top players, and we and learn why it is so important to the game. The ‘Open Court’ team ends its inaugural journey at a small village in Austria, home of Head's research and design team for a behind-the-scenes look at racquet design.

Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, currently ranked world number four in the WTA rankings, joins the ‘Open Court’ team online, providing video diaries and blogs at, with regular insights into a pro's experience on the tour.

Tennis fans can visit the tennis section of at for more tennis news, interviews, videos and blogs.

Airing Times:
Thursday 18th March 1230 GMT; 1730 GMT
Saturday 20th March 0730 GMT, 2000 GMT
Sunday 21st March 0300 GMT, 0730 GMT, 1500 GMT

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Erick Erickson Joins CNN’s Roster of Political Contributors

CNN Press Release - Erickson to Appear Regularly on John King, USA, beginning March 22

Prominent conservative commentator and editor Erick Erickson will join CNN as a political contributor, it was announced today by Sam Feist, CNN political director and vice president of Washington-based programming. Erickson will appear weeknights on John King, USA, which launches Monday, March 22, as well as provide perspective and commentary to other programs across the network.

“I grew up in Dubai and then in rural Louisiana as an obsessive news junkie. CNN was the only place to go for nonstop news,” said Erickson. “Joining CNN is like coming home and being in Atlanta makes the decision right for me and my family.”
“Erick’s a perfect fit for John King, USA, because not only is he an agenda-setter whose words are closely watched in Washington but as a person who still lives in small-town America, Erick is in touch with the very people John hopes to reach,” said Feist. “With Erick’s exceptional knowledge of politics as well as his role as a conservative opinion leader, he will add an important voice to CNN’s ideologically diverse group of political contributors.”

Erick Erickson currently serves as editor-in-chief of, a property of Eagle Publishing, Inc. Under his leadership, has become the preeminent right of center community online. Prior to leading, Erickson practiced law for six years and managed a number of political campaigns, and he currently serves as a member of the Macon, Georgia city council. He studied political science and history earning a bachelor’s degree at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. Erickson also earned his juris doctorate from Mercer’s Walter F. George School of Law.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

CNN’s New HD Studio Features Versatile Sets, Magic Wall & LED Lighting

CNN Press Release - Atlanta Studio Completes Conversion of CNN/US Programming to HD

CNN this week will unveil the next generation of news studio with the network’s latest high definition set in Atlanta, where rehearsals start today and live broadcasts begin in late spring. The new studio marks the conversion of all four of CNN’s domestic production centers to HD, joining New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

The studio includes a 270-degree rotating anchor desk, multiple set locations, weather center, more than 50 HD monitors, including three 103-inch HD plasmas, HD projectors, a touch-screen and perceptive pixel “magic” walls.

The studio also features more than 2 miles of LED lighting on the floors and in the walls to enable production staff to change graphics depending on the show or news environments. Buried in the wall, floors and ceilings is a further 45 miles of copper and fiber optic cabling for the 5,000 square foot studio.

“We built the Atlanta studio to be flexible by offering different broadcasting angles and set locations,” said Matthew Holcombe, vice president of Network Support for CNN Broadcasting Engineering and Systems Technology. “The studio and its infrastructure represent an evolution based on the best technology available.”

CNN Newsroom, Rick’s List, CNN Saturday Morning, CNN Sunday Morning and Sanjay Gupta, MD will join the line-up of CNN domestic programming already available in high-definition, completing CNN’s conversion to HD in the US. CNN HD stands as a separate high-definition signal offering a programming line-up identical to the CNN/US channel broadcast in the standard-definition format.

CNN HD is part of a continued rollout of high-definition offerings and innovations. CNN Worldwide’s high-definition plans go beyond upgrades of studios and production centers and include a significant investment in equipment in the field to ensure that its journalists can gather news in high definition. For example, crews are already equipped with a combination of HD cameras, laptop editors, trucks and fly-aways and the CNN Election Express, the network’s mobile HD production unit. HLN primetime programming is currently transitioning to HD and will be completed by summer. The entire network will be converted to HD by fall.

CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Weekly Observations - week ending March 13, 2010

This is our weekly round-up of the tidbits that didn't make it to a post of their own, but are worth noting, along with news items we may have missed during the week.

If you have any of your own observations from any of the CNN Worldwide networks during the week, send us a message via the tip box bottom right.

- launches new breaking news blog.

- Reese Schonfeld's latest CNN observations.

- Q&A with John King, USA EP.

- There's something in the water at CNN Hong Kong... Anchors Pauline Chiou and Manisha Tank both confirmed this week that they're pregnant. Congratulations!

- AC360 team members recognized for Haiti coverage.

- CNN International to launch new weekly African business show.

- Report: CNN developing a new morning show pilot.

- FLO TV expands CNN Mobile coverage.

- Jon Klein: Social networks could be CNN's biggest threat.

- What was that, Joy?

- Following last week's Weekly Observations note of CNN International's new tennis show, a launch date and promo has been released by CNNI.

Weekly Observations Poll
Earlier this week International Desk launched new music and graphics. We'd like to know what you think.


Tuesday, March 09, 2010

International Desk Revamp

CNN International's weekday news show, 'International Desk', received a fresh new look on Monday. Along with enhanced graphics - which builds on the previous set with added elements - the show also got a new theme. A video and some stills from the program are below.

Title card:

In-show title projection and gizmo:

"Live" hit transition:

"Developing Story" bump:

Commercial playoff window:

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Sunday, March 07, 2010

Bye-Bye Betty!

Today on CNN Sunday, Betty Nguyen's colleagues said their farewells to Betty Nguyen as she leaves for CBS starting March 11th. Long time co-anchor TJ Holmes called to send his best wishes while on his honeymoon on the island of St. Lucia.

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Weekly Observations - week ending March 6, 2010

This is our weekly round-up of the tidbits that didn't make it to a post of their own, but are worth noting, along with news items we may have missed during the week.

If you have any of your own observations from any of the CNN Worldwide networks during the week, send us a message via the tip box bottom right.

- Q&A with Jon Klein, President of CNN Domestic.

- CNN International's 'International Desk' is set to receive a makeover with new graphics and music on Monday, according to a tweet from anchor Hala Gorani.

- Q&A with former CNN anchor, Leon Harris.

- FishbowlDC talks with CNN's Dana Bash after her unsuccessful attempt to interview Republican Senator Jim Bunning.

- CNN International is set to unveil a new show dedicated to all things tennis, according to a tweet from sport anchor Pedro Pinto.

- Report: Anderson Cooper in talks with CBS; CNN says not true!

- Could CNN and Campbell Brown face a possible conflict of interest?

- Targeted web ads helped bring down Lou Dobbs at CNN?

Weekly Observations Poll
Earlier this week we reported on a story was running about Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour heading to ABC News to host This Week. We'd like to know what you think.


Friday, March 05, 2010 Gears Up For Oscar Night

CNN Press Release: Gives Users Unparalleled Access to Red Carpet Coverage & Style on Oscar Night

Taking full advantage of the visually bold, breakthrough design introduced less than five months ago, will provide unprecedented coverage of the Academy Awards on March 7. Available at, the site’s entertainment section will showcase all things Oscar: from the excitement on the red carpet to the notorious fashion ‘dos and don’ts’ to the evening’s nominees and statue winners.

Centering its online coverage on providing exceptional access to the most compelling moments from Oscar night, for the first time, will stream live video directly on the homepage and on the front page of the Entertainment section. From 6 to 8pm ET, users who go to will be able to see live coverage from the red carpet, getting a first look at what the biggest stars are wearing as they arrive.’s coverage of the 82nd annual Academy Awards also places emphasis on input from and engagement with its audience. An innovative fashion interactive, located at will enable users to rank the best and worst dressed from the show via “drag and drop” functionality, as well as share their votes with friends on Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks. CNN iReport, the network's user-generated news community, also is asking iReporters to share their pick for who should win the Oscar for Best Picture at

Users can also find the latest Oscar news on CNN’s Marquee Blog at and follow minute-by-minute updates from the red carpet via @CNNShowbiz, CNN’s Twitter account for the latest entertainment industry news and information.

Finally, the CNN Challenge, an interactive online news trivia quiz, will allow users to test their knowledge by featuring special Oscar-themed questions. Online at, users can test their knowledge of historical Oscar trivia, as well as answer current questions such as ‘What film is tied with “Avatar” for the most nominations, with nine?’


Amanpour To ABC?

This should be sending some sort of shiver down the spines of the higher-ups at CNN today.

Since the launch of her daily show (seen as a 60 minute compilation show every Sunday on CNN Domestic) in September last year, CNN International has been pushing their Chief International Correspondent as the main face of the network. Along with a strong promotional push online, you'll be hard pressed to watch 30 minutes of CNN International without seeing some sort of promotion for Amanpour.

If Amanpour were to bail out of CNN, it would be a major blow to the network. It would probably be felt most at CNN International - where executives spent well over 18 months researching and implementing a new European prime time schedule with Amanpour front and center.

In a recent profile in The New York Times' "Domains" feature, Amanpour addressed her future plans:
"I feel that I am on the cusp of something new in my life. I just don’t know what it is right now."
Whether or not hosting ABC's "This Week" turns out to be the next step for Amanpour remains to be seen. She is still yet to make any comment on the story, as is CNN.

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John King, USA

CNN has posted a video of John King talking about his new prime time show, set to debut on March 22 at 7pm eastern.

The video also teases an online preview of the show that will take place on March 19.

UPDATE: CNN's Press Release: John King, USA to Launch Monday, March 22. Sneak Preview to Stream Friday, March 19 on

As John King announced on Twitter this morning, John King, USA will become the 7 p.m. destination for hard-hitting, provocative, relevant news and political conversation, beginning Monday, March 22. After spending 2009 traveling the country, John will continue to reach outside the beltway with special segments with contributors, the magic wall, as well as viewer interaction and news-making guests.

The program will take a fresh look at politics in and out of Washington while delving into issues of the day that matter to average Americans. On Friday, March 19, the final dress rehearsal will stream live online at noon on and

So, get ready to visit John King, USA every night at 7 p.m. for your fix of politics. You can check out a video clip about the show at – and follow John on twitter @JohnKingCNN.

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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Betty Nguyen Leaving CNN

CNN anchor Betty Nguyen is leaving the network after almost 6 years. Nguyen is heading to CBS as a full-time correspondent, and anchor of the CBS Morning News.

TV Newser has the full details, including the announcement from CBS.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010


CNN Press Release - Morning Express with Robin Meade Posts Best Month Ever



CNN Digital No. 1 in Current Events & Global News with 40.6 Million Unique Users


Celebrating the fifth anniversary of its revamp to opinion-based programming in primetime, HLN (formerly Headline News) continues to score impressive ratings across the board. Comparing the year prior to the February 2005 launch of Nancy Grace and Showbiz Tonight (2004) to its most recently completed year (2009), the network has tripled its primetime audience (M-F/8-11 pm) in total viewers (659k vs. 211k/+212%), and nearly tripled its audience among 25-54 (250k vs. 84k/+198%). 2009 marked HLN’s third consecutive year of growth in total day and prime and its best year on record.

In February, Morning Express with Robin Meade scored its best ratings in history in both the demo 25-54 (206k) and total viewers (342k) ranking second in the morning and outperforming MSNBC’s Morning Joe by 94%. Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell at 7 pm placed second among adults 25-54 for the second consecutive month (151k), while Hardball (7 pm) slipped to 4th place (141k). At 9 pm, The Joy Behar Show was the only program to show growth among total viewers, increasing 13% versus year-ago.


On Saturday, February 27, the day of the 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile:

• CNN was the #1 cable news network in total day among both total viewers (1.453 million) and adults 25-54 (550k). FNC followed with 1.366m/422k and MSNBC had 571k/242k respectively.

• CNN was the #1 cable news network in primetime on Saturday among adults 25-54 with 315k, FNC had 308k and MSNBC posted 245k.

For the month of February, excluding MSNBC’s Olympic coverage, CNN topped MSNBC in during the daytime (M-F/9 am until 5pm) and in total day (6 am–6 am) in both total viewers and in the key demo adults 25-54. In head-to-head comparisons with MSNBC’s daytime non-opinion news programming, CNN averaged 554k vs. 286k in total viewers (+94% advantage) and 125k vs. 63k in adults 25-54 (+98%) -- with MSNBC placing either fourth or fifth throughout the day. At 5 pm and at 6 pm both Hardball and The Ed Show placed third behind FNC and CNN’s Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer and at 7 pm, Hardball was fourth, trailing behind FNC, HLN and CNN among adults 25-54.

In the morning (6-9 am), HLN and CNN’s American Morning outperformed MSNBC’s Morning Joe among adults 25-54 with HLN averaging 206k, CNN posting 122k, and Morning Joe trailing with 106k. In primetime, CNN is the only cable news network that provides non-partisan programming representing all points of view.

In February, CNN reached 100.9 million viewers, FNC had 91 million, HLN posted 85.5 million and MSNBC (excluding Olympics) had 80 million.

CNN Digital

Chile Earthquake Coverage:

• On Feb. 27, the day of the earthquake in Chile, had 9.9 million unique visitors, a 62% increase over the benchmark 4-week average for Saturdays (Omniture SiteCatalyst, 2/27/10)

• On Feb. 27 and 28, following the earthquake in Chile, there were 382 iReports submitted on the topic. Of those, 52 were vetted for use on CNN. (Source: iReport internal server log data.

In January (most recent digital data), CNN Digital was ranked the No. 1 current events and global news site on the web with 40.6 million unique users.

• No. 1 in Global Video Streams: 135.5 million total streams, beating No. 2 MSNBC Digital by 6 million streams. CNN Digital saw a 35% increase in January ’10 vs. December ’09.

• No. 1 in Unique Audience: 40.6 million unique users, 631,000 ahead of No. 2 Yahoo! News. January 2010 was the third highest number of unique users in CNN Digital’s history.

• No. 1 in Total Usage Minutes: 980 million minutes, 44% more than MSNBC Digital’s usage.

• No. 1 in Time Per Person: 24.1 minutes, the highest time spent among the top 20 News and Information sites, 3.4 minutes more than No. 2 Fox News Digital.

• No. 1 in Share: 13%, beating No. 2 MSNBC Digital by 4 points.

• No. 1 in Page Views: 1.5 billion page views, ahead of No. 2 MSNBC Digital by 83% (680 million).

• No. 1 in Mobile: 12.3 million unique visitors in December in the global news and current events category, beating the nearest competitor, Yahoo! News by 116%. (Source: Nielsen Mobile MediaView - Dec. 2009) This is the 36th consecutive month that CNN Digital has topped the global news and current events category.


CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

CNN Enters World Of Formula One™

CNN Press Release: Lotus Racing and CNN International have today announced a partnership deal that sees the newest Formula One™ team entering into a long-term agreement with the world’s leading news network. CNN’s world-famous logo will feature on the T127 race cars, the drivers’ overalls and on all team clothing.

The deal will be managed by CNN’s commercial ‘Partner Solutions Group’, which is led by Rani R. Raad, senior vice president of CNN International Advertising Sales.

“The combination of two such iconic and aspirational global brands fits perfectly with CNN’s worldwide reach and brand positioning,” said Raad. “This unique partnership with Lotus Racing takes CNN into a new era of marketing and promotions and puts us in front of a worldwide audience of millions.”

A delighted Lotus Racing Team Principal Tony Fernandes commented: “We are very proud to welcome CNN into the Lotus Racing family. It is a sign of the positive impact we have already made in the global business market that such a prestigious brand, familiar to millions around the world as the definitive source of news and current affairs, has made the decision to partner with us. The whole team and I are looking forward to working with CNN in the months and years to come on some very exciting campaigns.”

About Lotus Racing

Lotus Racing joins the 2010 Formula One™ World Championship as one of the new teams granted an entry in 2009. The team has been through an accelerated growth curve from being granted its entry on September 12th 2009 to launching its T127 race car just five months later on February 12th 2010, and beginning testing in mid February in Jerez, Spain. With Tony Fernandes as its inspirational Team Principal, the team has a visionary leader, working closely with his Deputy Team Principals SM Nasarudin and Kamarudin Meranun to guide Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne, drivers Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen and the ever growing team on the path to long-term success.

The Formula One™ World Championship is a truly global phenomenon, just like CNN. The 19 race schedule takes the teams to all corners of the world and Lotus Racing, with a classic British name, owned by a Malaysian businessman, with drivers from Italy and Finland epitomises the international pedigree of the championship.

The season starts in Bahrain, March 14, and continues on March 28, Australia; April 4, Malaysia; April 18, China; May 9, Spain; May 16, Monaco; May 30, Turkey; June 13, Canada; June 27, Europe (Valencia); July 11 Great Britain; July 25, Germany; August 1, Hungary; August 29, Belgium; September 12, Italy; September 26, Singapore; October 10, Japan; October 24, Korea; November 7, Brazil; November 14, Abu Dhabi.


Monday, March 01, 2010


CNN Press Release - Award-winning Spanish-language television executive and journalist Cynthia Hudson has been named senior vice president and general manager of CNN en Español and Hispanic strategy for CNN/U.S., it was announced today by Tony Maddox, executive vice president and managing director of CNN International. Hudson will relocate from Miami to CNN's global headquarters in Atlanta, and report to Maddox.

In her new position, Hudson will oversee newsgathering, editorial content, programming, production, operations and personnel, of CNN en Español, CNN en Español RADIO and the recently launched, a joint venture Web site produced in conjunction with Grupo Editorial Expansión.

"Cynthia brings to CNN en Espanol a wealth of creative and strategic experience in both television and new media," said Maddox. "Her appointment underscores CNN's commitment to the Latin American marketplace, where CNN en Español consistently ranks as the region's leading pan-regional news network, and positions us to best serve the growing Hispanic market in the U.S.

Hudson comes from Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS), where she served aschief creative officer and executive vice president for SBS and managing director of Mega TV. Hudson was responsible for SBS' expansion, directly overseeing flagship TV station Mega TV, as well as the companies' internet site and other new media development. In addition, Hudson supervised the strategic expansion of SBS content across multiple media platforms and development of branded entertainment synergies among all SBS properties. Mega TV saw tremendous growth under her watch and garnered the network 27 EMMY awards in just four years since its launch.

From 1997 to 2005, Hudson served as senior vice president and editorial director of Cosmopolitan Television (a Hearst Entertainment and Syndication Group division), heading up the creation and development of the Cosmopolitan TV Networks, including Canal Cosmopolitan Iberia and Canal Cosmopolitan Latin America as well as the foundation for Cosmo TV Canada. There she led the research, development and creation of Cosmo TV, overseeing design of original programs, on-air packaging, promotions and program acquisitions, as well as the creation and production of original formats and the overall business strategy for the networks.

Prior to Cosmopolitan TV, Hudson was senior vice president of programming and creative services for United International Holding's joint venture channel service, United Family Communications (UFC), now MGM Networks Latin America. While at UFC she created Casa Club TV, the first pan-regional Home channel for Latin America (today MGM).

Hudson was the vice president of programming and production for the Telemundo Network from 1992-94. During her tenure the network's programming line-up was redesigned, achieving its highest ratings to date and developing its first in-house telenovela production unit with successes such as "Tres Destinos," a prime-time scripted drama series that debuted in 1994.

From 1984 to 1992, Hudson held various production and executive positions with the Univision Network, including Executive Producer of the first daytime U.S. Hispanic magazine show, "TV Mujer" ("TV Woman"), which garnered Univision its first Emmy Award for ongoing series production. Hudson started her professional career in news for Univision affiliate WLTV 23, where she held various positions from reporting to production and management. She holds a Masters in Communications from the University of Miami, and is fluent in English and Spanish.

CNN en Español, CNN's independently produced 24-hour network in Spanish, is currently available in 23 million cable and DTH households throughout Latin America, and more than 4 million households across the United States. The network provides continuous news coverage of major world events, live breaking coverage supported by in-depth analysis, worldwide business and financial news, global weather updates, sports and feature programming on such topics as health, technology and entertainment.

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