Sunday, May 30, 2010

Weekly Observations - week ending May 29, 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 Jim Walton, President of CNN Worldwide.

- Rick Sanchez explains "Top Kill".

- CNN International's Isha Sesay profiled.

- A very pregnant Bottom Line.

- CNN remains the "news on demand" network.

- CNN apolgizes for N-word.

- Time Warner working to fix "weakness" in CNN ratings.

- An evening with Roland Martin.

- David Zurawik calls for CNN to stay the course.

- Soledad O'Brien discusses her latest documentary.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

CNN's Gracie Award Winners

CNN has won three awards at the 2010 Gracie Awards.

This year's ceremony, held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, continued the 35 year tradition of celebrating programming created for women, and by women. The awards also honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions in electronic media.

The awards won by CNN:
  • Outstanding Documentary: CNN Presents - Black in America 2
  • Outstanding Hard News Feature: Jessica Yellin - Political Women
  • Outstanding Talk Show - News: Larry King Live - Interview with Katherine Callaway Hall
HLN anchor Robin Meade also recorded a win with her program, HLN's only award this year:
  • Outstanding Anchor - News or News Magazine: Robin Meade in Morning Express with Robin Meade
A full list of winners can be viewed online here.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill Footage

The AP's David Bauder writes about news coverage of the underwater images (provided by BP) from the Gulf oil spill, and mentions CNN's attempts at snaring their own footage.
"...CNN was trying with little success to get its own pictures of the spill, said Nancy Lane, senior vice president of editorial for CNN U.S.

Undersea rovers rented by the news organization were prevented by the U.S. Coast Guard from getting close enough for a good view, she said. CNN was able to get close enough to see damage done to coral reefs by the oil, she said.

"Somebody needed to be the eyes and ears somewhat independent of the story to make a judgment about what is really going on there," Lane said. "We kept pressing for access and we keep pressing for access."


"While BP made one camera view of the leak widely available to the public, more extensive views have been limited to congressional offices, prompting CNN to take cameras to these offices to record the images off their computers, she said."

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CNN Multichoice African Journalist Awards This Saturday

Executives from CNN and Turner Broadcasting have arrived in Uganda, ahead of the 2010 CNN Multichoice African Journalist of the Year Awards. This year is the first time the awards - now in their 15th year - have been held in the East African country.

Recognizing and encouraging excellence in journalism throughout Africa, 975 entries from 40 African countries were received for this year's consideration.

The finalists, announced back in April, will be awarded at a special ceremony this Saturday.

You can learn more about the awards on a special section at


CNN's Coverage Of The Gulf Coast Oil Spill

CNN notes its coverage of the Gulf Coast oil spill.

CNN Press Release: CNN leads the pack with extensive coverage of the Gulf Coast Oil Spill, beginning with the initial explosion in April and continuing with coverage of the damage to wildlife, careers and tourism as a result of the oil spill.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Kiran Chetry,David Mattingly, Ed Lavandera, Reynolds Wolf,Rob Marciano and Chad Myers talking with the key stakeholders and breakdown the causes and the solutions and keeping them honest as they are presented to the public. special section on the Oil Spill.

Video timeline (most current first at time of this post):

May 27 - CNN's Kiran Chetry talks to a Louisiana shrimper who is feeling the consequences of the Gulf Coast oil spill.

May 27 - CNN's Rob Marciano gets a closer look at the how the Gulf Coast oil spill impacts sea life.

May 26 - According to a new report, inappropriate gifts and other abuses, occurred at the agency overseeing oil drilling.

May 26 - CNN's David Mattingly reports something's missing under the oil spill.

May 26 - Rep. Bart Stupak says BP was aware of warning signs in the Gulf Coast and that there could be dozens more unsafe rigs.

May 26 - James Carville and Mary Matalin tell CNN's John King that Pres. Obama needs to take more action to clean up the oil spill.

May 25 - The Department of Commerce declares a fisheries disaster in the Gulf Coast region. CNN's Rob Marciano reports.

May 25
- CNN's Ed Lavandera reports on the fight between BP and the EPA over which chemicals to use on the oil spill.

May 24 - CNN's Anderson Cooper talks with critics who discuss the effects the BP oil spill is having on wildlife.

May 24 - CNN's David Mattingly gets an exclusive look at the oil spill, using CNN's own ROV camera to go 50 feet underwater.

May 24
- Jean-Michele Cousteau talks with Rick Sanchez and Brooke Baldwin.

May 21 - Some of the largest fish in the Gulf Coast are now threatened by oil. CNN's Rob Marciano reports.

May 21 - CNN's Ed Lavandera reports on BP's effort to use other substances to disperse the oil gushing from their pipes.

May 20 - One month after the spill in the gulf, heavy oil has hit the marshy coast of Louisiana. CNN's David Mattingly reports.

May 19 - CNN's David Mattingly and his team tour the oil spill only to find that it's thicker than expected in the wetlands.

May 19 - Louisiana state officials say oil from the BP well has found its way ashore. CNN's David Mattingly reports.

May 19 - CNN's Anderson Cooper asks BP executive Bob Dudley tough questions about the Gulf Coast oil spill.

May 14 - CNN's John Roberts speaks with BP's COO on concerns that the Gulf Coast oil spill could be worse than expected.

May 14 - Fmr. Lt. Gen. Russel Honore Talks About the Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

May 13 - CNN's David Mattingly speaks with the National Guard about its efforts to seal off an
estuary from the oil spill.

May 13 - Dauphin Island, Alabama, wages a war against the oil spill at sea. CNN's Reynolds Wolf reports.

May 9 - CNN's David Mattingly reports that the first attempt to cap the oil leak has failed.

May 5 - CNN's John Roberts talks to a BP official about clean-up and containment efforts in the Gulf Coast oil spill.

April 29
- CNN's Reynolds Wolf explores a number of options being utilized to keep the Gulf oil spill from reaching land.

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CNN Releases Revenue Sources

Time Warner Thursday released a break down of financial figures from its news division, the first time the company has made such a move.

TV Newser has a wrap of what the numbers tell.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Toxic America

CNN Press Release: CNN debuts Toxic America on June 2nd and 3rd - Two-night Special includes Toxic Childhood which examines how Pollutants affect our Children

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta helms a two-night special investigation, the result of a year-long, stunning look into toxic chemicals, health and the environment. On Wednesday, June 2 at 8pm, ET/PT Toxic Towns USA presents one town’s fight for survival amidst 14 chemical plants.

On Thursday, June 3, Dr. Gupta takes his search for answers to an all-star roundtable of experts who say widespread exposure to toxic chemicals begins even before birth. The team dissects the latest science on how to minimize risks to pregnant women and children from potentially harmful chemicals found in the air, in homes, and in common household products. The one-hour live special TOXIC CHILDHOOD debuts at 8pm, ET/PT.

At the heart of TOXIC TOWNS USA are two “granny Erin Brockoviches” – women waging fierce battle against both industry and government with science and political action. Chemist-turned-environmental-activist Wilma Subra developed a “chemical fingerprint” test to trace toxic by-products from nearby factories. Life-long Mossville, La. resident Dorothy Felix tries to force local industry to take responsibility for the health issues of residents through state legislators and in town hall meetings with government regulators.

More than 8 in 10 Mossville residents report serious health problems including cancers, kidney disease, and other ailments. Residents of Mossville allege an “environmental crime” is taking place: that they are being taken advantage of by manufacturers – and ignored by government regulators – because they are mostly poor and African American.

Dr. Gupta finds evidence that reveals pollution from one plant was kept secret for years from the community, and he speaks with an industry whistleblower who describes extensive contamination of the plant’s facilities that left workers at risk, and environmental exposure to toxic chemicals for people living nearby.

Dr. Gupta challenges the manufacturers, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to explain the difference between current safety standards – which companies and regulators say are sufficient – and the health problems of residents in proximity to local plants.

“As a father and a doctor, I wanted to know: how safe are these chemicals that are all around us – even in the womb? Regulators and industry executives seem to take an ‘innocent until proven guilty’ approach to exposure, but I don’t think that is enough for most consumers. We want the best facts, the best science on safety for our families. That’s what I wanted to bring to our viewers,” says Dr. Gupta.

Digital users can submit iReports describing industrial or chemical pollution in their homes and communities. An interactive map will highlight state rankings for emissions of five common toxic chemicals – dioxin, mercury, lead, benzene, and vinyl chloride – reported by manufacturers to the Environmental Protection Agency at

Toxic Towns USA is a Sanjay Gupta, MD documentary produced by David S. Martin and Caleb Hellerman. Jeff Kepnes and Jim McGinnis produced Toxic Childhood. Roni Selig is the senior executive producer and director for the Health, Medical and Wellness unit at CNN.

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Can Larry King Still Compete?

Continuing the ever-growing list of articles about CNN's numbers during primetime, Brian Stelter examines CNN's struggles during the 9pm hour, and the network's apparent lack of a succession plan for Larry King.
"CNN executives will not say whether they will renew Mr. King’s contract when it ends next year. There is a growing feeling at the company that a succession plan should be put in place, but there is no evidence that CNN is actually preparing such a plan.

Mr. King was noticeably absent during a presentation for advertisers last month, which heavily featured CNN stars like Anderson Cooper and Soledad O’Brien, but only fleetingly included Mr. King in a video clip.

“Larry King Live” is the last trace of an earlier age of cable TV, one that had little interest in the opinions of its hosts.

“They have this iconic personality who is going to disappear in the not-too-distant future, and they don’t have any clue what they’re going to do,” one senior employee said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he did not have permission from the channel to speak publicly."

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Philips chooses CNN as media home for inaugural Livable Cities Award

CNN Press Release - Award goes live on CNN platforms May 25th as primary element of Philips’ new branding campaign

Royal Philips Electronics has chosen CNN International (EMEA) and its US sister network HLN (formerly Headline News) as its commercial media partners for its inaugural Livable Cities Award. This new global Award is designed to encourage the development of simple solutions to improve the health and well-being of people living in cities. The total prize fund, valued at €125,000, is available to individuals, community groups and businesses to help translate practical, achievable ideas that make cities better places in which to live. The campaign launches 25th May, and will be promoted in commercial time on CNN International and HLN through to early spring 2011, and will live online at

Philips is harnessing the expertise of Turner Commercial Productions (CNN Ad Sales’ dedicated commercial production unit) in creating innovative, bespoke campaign elements. The ambitious new global award forms part of Philips’ strategic campaign to drive engagement around a topic that reflects its brand values. The Award’s focus aligns with Philips’ brand messaging, which centres on the importance of creating meaningful innovations to improve people’s health and well-being. In addition the Award provides a framework for repeat brand interactions with a target audience of corporate influencers.
“This cross-platform solution has audience engagement at its heart and is designed to maximise Philips’ commitment to helping people in urban communities achieve healthy, fulfilled lives. By creating the Livable Cities Award with CNN Ad Sales, Philips is able to create a branded environment to invite ongoing dialogue with a targeted audience,” says
Max Raven, Senior VP Advertising Sales, CNN International.

The Livable Cities Award represents an ongoing forum for Philips to address global trends as highlighted by the WHO World Health Day project this year – ‘Urbanization and Health’, in a way that also complements their desire to promote their credentials as a leader in the health and well-being space.

The media agency is Carat International. The commercial partnership between CNN and Philips around the Award builds on Philips’ commercial association last month with CNN’s ‘Urban Planet’. The week long ‘Urban Planet’ programming focussed on the well-being of city dwellers, launching in line with World Health Day; and will enjoy a second burst of activity in November around the World Health Organisation’s Global Forum on Urbanization and Health in Kobe, Japan. Philips’ branding will appear May 22nd and 23rd on CNN around a repeat airing of the ‘Urban Planet’ special, the weekend before the launch of the Livable Cities Award.

About the Award promotion on CNN
The initiative will run at the intervals below over the next 12 months on CNN on in commercial time, targeting a corporate audience, and will be supported with a commercial online hub providing a bespoke destination for interested parties and inspired by the newly announced WHO campaign 1,000 Cities, 1,000 Lives:

• To coincide with 25th May launch, CNN International EMEA and HLN will air two 60” announcement films which will run over a four week period.
• From 27th September to 24th October, in the run up to the WHO Global Forum on Urbanization and Health in Japan in November, four 60” films will showcase the best of the entries to date reminding interested parties that they can enter via the dedicated online hub until October 28th.
• Over six weeks in early spring 2011, 30” films will feature each category shortlist and viewers/users will be encouraged to vote on-line and have their say in the final choice of who should win the first ever Livable Cities Award.
• A 60” film about the successful winner’s idea will run on air for two weeks.
• Philips will feature prominently as CNN’s commercial partner for World Health Day 2011 giving further opportunity to show the 60” winner’s film on air and online.
• The films will also be available to view on the Philips Livable Cities Award hub and this footage will be refreshed throughout the campaign encouraging repeat interaction with the site.

About the Livable Cities Award
• The awards are designed to reward the best ideas – from individuals or organisations - for encouraging cities and individuals to improve their health at a global and regional level.

The award categories are:

- Well-being Outdoors: initiatives that will help citizens feel safe in public spaces or help create city identity and foster a sense of belonging;
- Independent Living: initiatives that will help the growing number of elderly people living alone to feel secure and comfortable in a city, with with appropriate access to healthcare
- Healthy Lifestyle at Work and Home: initiatives that will support a healthy body and mind, whether through a person’s surroundings or via other essentials such as exercise, sleep and diet.

• An expert panel of judges is being enlisted to assess entries to The Livable Cities Award. They will be tasked with choosing the ideas that will best help improve the lives and health of urban dwellers across the globe.
• American urban studies theorist, Professor Richard Florida, Author of The Great Reset and Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and Professor of Business and Creativity at Rotman School of Management at the University ofToronto, will be using his extensive knowledge and expertise to chair the panel of judges.
• A short list of entrants, selected by the panel of judges, will be announced in February 2011. CNN’s audience will then vote on their choice of winner in each category and the successful entrant will receive a cash prize.
• The judges will then decide who, from the category winners, deserves the overall prize and the chance to realise their urban improvement projects or ideas.
• An overall award of €75,000 will be granted for the best idea submitted in any of the three categories, along with two additional awards of €25,000 for the best submissions in the two categories not covered by the overall award.


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Monday, May 24, 2010

CNN Pays Tribute to Coalition Casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq Wars with Launch of “Home and Away”

CNN Press Release - Continuing to develop innovative ways to present its audience with news and information, CNN is combining the unparalleled strengths of its on-air and online platforms to honor every Coalition Forces casualty in Afghanistan and Iraq. has launched “Home and Away,” an immersive interactive which allows users to learn about and pay tribute to more than 6,000 fallen troops from more than 20 countries. Simultaneously, CNN chief national correspondent John King begins a month-long tribute on his week-nightly 7 p.m. ET program, John King, USA, airing one of the fallen’s personal stories each night. On Memorial Day, a special edition of John King, USA, entitled “Home and Away,” will be dedicated entirely to this subject. Throughout these tributes, King will utilize the Magic Wall to go behind the statistics and provide human faces to the sacrifice.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Weekly Observations - week ending May 22, 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.

- CBS boss can't see CNN merger happening anytime soon.

- HLN's Bob and Keith walk the CNN Center maze.

- Should Katie Couric join CNN? Jon Friedman and Jeff Bercovici think so. (h/t: ICN)

- Video tour of CNN's new Atlanta studio.

- Nancy Grace receives honor from Atlanta YMCA.

- Q&A with CNN co-founder, Ted Turner.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

CNN International's New Image Spots

CNN International has this weekend unveiled new image spots featuring staff from the network's London offices.

The 30 second spots - most of which the footage was filmed in London at the start of this year - attempt to reinforce the network's global position, and shows various staff members describing CNN's global operations and the diverse backgrounds of the network's employees.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

CNN Digital's April Numbers

CNN Press Release: CNN Digital No. 1 News Destination in Total Minutes, Video and Mobile

In April, CNN Digital ranked No. 1 among ALL Current Events and Global News sites in several key metrics, beating properties such as MSNBC Digital, Yahoo! News and Fox News Digital.

No. 1 in Total Usage Minutes
: 825 million minutes, 292 million more than No. 2 MSNBC Digital and 325 million more than No. 3 Yahoo! News.

No. 1 in Video Streams: 115 million total streams, beating No. 2 MSNBC Digital by 1.7 million streams. CNN Digital was also No. 1 among all News & Information Sites. (Source: Nielsen VideoCensus, Apr-10)

No. 1 in Time Per Person: 22.6 minutes, the highest time spent among the top 20 News and Information sites.

No. 1 in Page Views:
1.2 billion page views, 13% ahead of No. 2 Wikipedia and 51% more than No. 3 Weather Channel. (Source: Nielsen Online Netview, Apr-10)

No. 1 on Mobile:
With 14.7 million unique visitors to its mobile site in March, CNN Digital beat the nearest competitor, Yahoo! News by 140%. This is the 39th consecutive month that CNN Digital has topped the news and current events category. (Source: Nielsen Mobile MediaView – March 2010. Note: April data not available at the time of this release)

No. 1 in Audience
among all TV News Sites: When compared to its cable news competition, CNN Digital topped them all in terms of unique audience. With 36.5 million unique visitors in April, CNN Digital’s audience was 21% larger than MSNBC Digital (30.1 million) and 148% larger than Fox News Digital (14.7 million).

In a month that brought important financial stories, like the precipitous drop in the stock market on May 6, the CNNMoney homepage generated 32 million page views during the week beginning May 2, 2010, the highest number of weekly page views this year. In addition, CNNMoney’s May 6th Market Report (Glitches Send Dow on Wild Ride) drove 1.3 million page views, making it the highest trafficked market report of the year. (Source:

CNN iReport’s growth in April was also notable, showing double-digit growth over the past 12-months in several categories:
  • Vetted Submissions for CNN (TV or .com): – 1,162, increasing 17% year-to-year (996 to 1,162) and reaching 24% higher than the 12-month average. To date, 26,000 iReports total have been vetted for CNN. (Source: Internal iReport data)
  • Page Views: 18.4 million, increasing 9% year-to-year (16.9 million to 18.4 million) and reaching 27% higher than the 12-month average (Source: Omniture)
  • Videos: 4.9 million served, up 21% vs. prior month, 8% vs. prior year and reaching 47% higher than the 12-month average. (Source: Omniture)
  • Average Daily Return Visits: Grew 11% month-to-month (607K to 672K) and reaching 61% higher than the 12-month average (Source: Omniture)

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Spitzer To CNN Speculation

Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has had informal talks with CNN, according to Brian Stelter in the The New York Times. (H/t: ICN)

Speculation has been swirling on media blogs that Spitzer would join CNN as a replacement anchor for Campbell Brown's soon to be empty chair, or, as The New York Times article mentions, a network contributor.
"Mr. Spitzer has held conversations — but so far only informal ones — about becoming a regular contributor to the cable news channel, according to two people who were briefed on the matter. But the people said he was not being courted for an anchor job, meaning he would not directly replace Ms. Brown at 8 p.m.

Rumors of Mr. Spitzer’s hiring set off widespread speculation inside CNN this week, and even made it into David Letterman’s monologue Tuesday night. His punch line: “That would be a switch — somebody paying him for an hour.”

Mr. Spitzer resigned the governorship in 2008 after it was revealed that he had solicited prostitutes."


CNN en Español Relaunch

CNN en Español will usher in a new era - including introducing new programming - from September, according to the Latin American Herald Tribune.

"CNN en Español is preparing to strengthen its programming in a new phase of operations in which it intends to continuing to establish international news guidelines as the network with the best news coverage.

That is the proposal of the new general manager and senior executive vice president, Cynthia Fernandez Hudson, who after two months at the helm of the Atlanta-based network is putting the finishing touches on getting new programming under way that will “go beyond the news and include analysis and debates that cover a broader news spectrum.”

“One must inform in a clear manner using the advantages that new technologies provide. Reporting in such a way that we attract the viewer such that each event that’s on the screen is done in a different and exclusive way,” Fernandez Hudson told Efe in a telephone conversation.

The new CNN en Español general manager has clearly in mind that the network needs to respond in different ways to the three audiences for whom its programming is geared: the United States, Mexico and Central and South America.

“We’re not talking about a single CNN en Español channel. The audience and the technology allow there to be a segmentation to make different versions. In this way, we will make complementary reports to attend to the news needs of those three audiences,” she added."

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CNN Debuts New Faith Blog

CNN Press Release: CNN Showcases Faith’s Role in News with Debut of “Belief Blog” today announced the launch of the Belief Blog, which explores the faith angles of the day's biggest stories – from breaking news to politics to entertainment to foreign affairs.

Aimed at covering a subject matter that will inform, inspire and delight the audience, the Belief Blog fosters a global conversation about the role of religion and faith in the news – and in users’ lives. Found online at, the blog is co-edited by award-winning religion blogger and author Dan Gilgoff and CNN producer Eric Marrapodi, who is pursuing a master’s degree in religious studies from Georgetown University.

“A topic as personal and global as faith is woven into the daily news cycle in so many compelling ways,” said Meredith Artley, vice president and managing editor of “'s Belief Blog will be newsy and conversational, hitting hard topics and also having some fun. We're looking forward to the smart thinking and discussions that our talented editors will bring to this important beat, along with our deep bench of guest bloggers, producers, correspondents and iReporters."

Uniquely leveraging CNN’s global newsgathering resources, the blog presents fresh looks and multiple perspectives at how faith drives the news, from the arrest of Baptist missionaries in Haiti to the debut of the first known Miss USA to be Muslim. Going beyond the news, each week the Belief Blog also will feature different influencers in the faith community, from Joel Osteen to Deepak Chopra. Additionally, Stephen Prothero, the New York Times bestselling author of Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know, and Doesn't, will be a regular contributor to the Belief Blog.

CNN also is inviting users to share their perspectives on faith by submitting photos and videos through iReport, the network’s user-generated online news community. The blog’s first iReport assignment asks users to share the often eye-catching, offbeat or controversial messages featured on signs in front of their hometown churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship. The “Church Signs” assignment can be found at

Twitter users also can keep up with the blog’s latest postings by following @CNNbelief.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Campbell Brown Leaving CNN

Mediaite is reporting that Campbell Brown will leave CNN, following the network's approval of her request to be released early from her contract.
"A source with knowledge of the situation tells Mediaite Brown made the request months ago – and before all the ‘how to fix CNN’ articles began rolling out. We hear she originally lobbied for the 7pmET opening, with the thinking the show would work better at an earlier hour (and without the Bill O’Reilly/Keith Olbermann competition). The plan was denied by CNN, she later asked for her release. (Separate rumors circulated around this time about what Brown’s status with CNN might be if her husband, Dan Senor, ran for Senate in New York – he didn’t.)

Brown’s ratings have been consistently better than the previous program in the timeslot, anchored byPaula Zahn, but have struggled when compared to the cable news competition. Since John Kingtook over the timeslot before, Brown’s ratings have fallen even further, although the program’slowest total viewer and demo averages came just before King took over."
UPDATE: CNN has released two statements. One is a note from Campbell Brown, and one is from CNN U.S. President, Jonathan Klein.

Campbell Brown statement:
"I knew on the day that I accepted my job at CNN that a ratings victory at 8pm was going to be a formidable challenge. As I have been told over and over, this is the toughesttimeslot in cable news. That is obviously due to the incredible talents of my 8pm competitors. I have also always marveled whenever a television anchor says that he or she pays no attention to ratings. I'm pretty sure the last time any anchor could honestly ignore ratings was well before I was born. Of course I pay attention to ratings. And simply put, the ratings for my program are not where I would like them to be. It is largely for this reason that I am stepping down as anchor of CNN's "Campbell Brown".

To be clear: this is my decision, and one that I have been thinking about for some time. As for why, I could have said, that I am stepping down to spend more time with my children (which I truly want to do). Or that I am leaving to pursue other opportunities (which I also truly want to do). But I have never had much tolerance for others' spin, so I can't imagine trying to stomach my own. The simple fact is that not enough people want to watch my program, and I owe it to myself and to CNN to get out of the way so that CNN can try something else.

CNN will have to figure out what that is. The 8pm hour in cable news world is currently driven by the indomitableBill O'Reilly, Nancy Grace and Keith Olbermann. Shedding my own journalistic skin to try to inhabit the kind of persona that might co-exist in that line up is simply impossible for me. It is not who I am or who I want to be; nor is it who CNN asked me to be at any point. This is the right decision for me and I hope it will be a great opportunity for CNN.

Since its launch three decades ago CNN has strived to be an independent, credible and enduring source of news. While the rest of the cable news world moved to opinion, CNN allowed me to stay true to my hard-news roots and supported me with a true commitment to old-school journalism. There is plenty of debate now about whether real journalism even has a place in primetime. I may be taking myself out of that debate on a nightly basis, but I am truly proud of the work we have done on this program and I do still believe that journalism has an essential place in primetime and at all times. I am also especially proud of the people who put this show on the air every night. They are an amazing, dedicated, loyal and caring team. To them, I will be forever grateful.

My plan right now is to help CNN through any transition, and then to enjoy, for the very first time, the nightly ritual of "Good Night Moon"andgoodnightkisses with my two little boys. I wish my CNN colleagues all the best. And as long as bedtime doesn't conflict with primetime, I will be watching and pulling for them."

Jonathan Klein statement:
“Today is about Campbell. We want to wish her well as she begins the next phase of her life. We respect her decision to leave. We will announce our programming plans in the coming weeks.”

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Weekly Observations - week ending May 15, 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.

- Dan Rather on the pros and cons of a CNN-CBS merger.

- The premiere of CNN International's 'CNN Go' has been pushed back by a week. It was originally due to debut on May 13.

- CNN contributor Erick Erickson profiled.

- HLN anchor returning home for benefit.

- Dr. Sanjay Gupta profiled.

- What happened to CNN's 'Planet In Peril'?

- Ashton Kutcher Vs. Rick Sanchez.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

CNN International News Café

CNN Press Release: CNN International News Café Pops Up in West End

Shoppers, workers and tourists will be able to choose from freshly made food and beverages while consuming their daily fix of news from CNN International using the latest news media and communication technologies. Multimedia news brands including newspapers and magazines will also be available and for hardcore news fans, and curious passers-by, there will be daytime and evening news seminars and events.

The CNN News Café will also serve as a live location for interviews and live broadcasts while punters can create and submit their own news stories via CNN's interactive user-generated iReport booth. This isn't CNN's first foray into the temporary restaurant business. CNN opened the much-buzzed about "CNN Grill" at the 2008 Democrat and Republican National Conventions in the US but this is the first time that the initiative has been coordinated outside the US.

Mark Haviland, CNN's Marketing Director says: "We are looking to take our product and ideas direct to our audience, and create a space where people can interact with us and each other around the world, through some of the most innovative communication technologies available. This experiential approach has been developed into an exciting brand sponsorship opportunity as well and as such, we are seeking an exclusive sponsor that will benefit from some highly novel brand activation on the ground.

"It's a fun project and we continue to work on developing the concept and location, with a view to rolling it out over the summer months. We also look forward to working closely with local retailers and be sure that we are supportive of the community around us," he adds.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ted Turner Weighs In On CNN Merger Talk

Ted Turner, CNN co-founder, stepped into CNN's 'The Situation Room' on Wednesday. During the lengthy chat with Wolf Blitzer, Turner was asked whether he thought CNN should merge with a broadcast outlet.

"I'm not privy to the financials these days, so I don't know, but I don't see that it would be too harmful", Turner said, while stressing that CNN should retain editorial control following any merger.

Watch video of Turner's comments below.

Also during the interview, Turner was asked to recall his favorite CNN memory. Video of his answer is below.

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AC360 Special Series - “Black Or White: Kids On Race”

CNN Press Release: Anderson Cooper 360° Takes a Close Look at Children, Parents and Race

CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360° teamed up with a renowned child development psychologist to measure children’s thoughts about race by recreating and updating the famous Doll Test of the 1940s. The original Doll Test explored how African -American children interpret race, discrimination and stigma. Sixty years later, AC 360° and a team of psychologists led by Professor Margaret Beale Spencer, designed and executed a pilot study to help us answer one major question: where are we today?

In the special series airing the week of May 17th and titled "Black or White: Kids on Race", CNN anchors Anderson Cooper and Soledad O’Brien will share with the viewers the children’s answers and the conclusions our researchers drew from their responses. Later we spoke to groups of parents for their thoughts and reactions. One conclusion our pilot study revealed surprised Spencer, who has been a leading researcher in this field for over 30 years, and that is that the research suggests that children set their opinions on race at a very early age and maintain those opinions. After watching this series, parents of all races, will see that children are not colorblind and that talking to them about race is crucial.

In the original Doll Test, Kenneth and Mamie Clark viewed the results as evidence that children had internalized racism caused by discrimination and segregation. The study was cited in the landmark Supreme Court Case of Brown versus Board of Education, which outlawed segregation in education. CNN aims to spark a national discussion about what has changed and what hasn’t more than half a century later.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Max Kellerman Joins CNN As Contributor

CNN Press Release: Kellerman to Appear Regularly On “American Morning” and other CNN Programming beginning Immediately.

HBO boxing analyst Max Kellerman will join CNN’s roster of contributors, it was announced today by Bart Feder, SVP of programming for CNN/U.S. Kellerman will provide his passionate perspective and insightful commentary on news related to sports and pop cultural issues for CNN’s American Morning program (weekdays 6a-9a ET), and other CNN programs.

“Max has a tremendous gift of commentary, he’s passionate and curious which makes him a perfect fit for CNN, said Feder. Inevitably there are stories from the sports world that hit the national spotlight and we are pleased to have someone of Max’s experience to call upon when the news warrants.” Said Kellerman, "I could not be more excited to join CNN and this extraordinary team."

Kellerman is one of the most respected and gifted analysts in sports. He is currently a commentator for HBO, where he provides ringside commentary for HBO ‘Pay Per View’ and World Championship Boxing and the HBO Boxing After Dark series. While at HBO he was a regular contributor on MSNBC. Kellerman worked previously at ESPN as one of the architects and original hosts of Around the Horn and contributed to the network’s boxing series Friday Night Fights. Kellerman was also a frequent contributor to SportsCenter and penned a weekly column at

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Sunday, May 09, 2010

Weekly Observations - week ending May 8, 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-CBS merger talks back on the table?

- Q&A with Soledad O'Brien.

- Veteran CNN producer joins Reuters.

- CNN's "new set syndrome".

- Anderson Cooper speaks at UNICEF's annual meeting.

- CNN at the White House Correspondent's Dinner. Part 1 Part 2

- First Lady enters the Twitterverse via from CNN's Ed Henry.

- CNN tops Vanity Fair "Most trustworthy" poll.

- CNN Uses Twitter As A Public Opinion Gauge For UK Elections.

- Dinner with Ali Velshi.


Saturday, May 08, 2010

Wolf Blitzer Marks 20 Years At CNN

In August, CNN's 'The Situation Room' marks its 5th anniversary on air. This weekend, Wolf Blitzer marks a bigger milestone -- 20 years at CNN.

Jeanne Moos looks back at Blitzer's CNN career to date.

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American Al-Qaeda: The Path To Terror, An Anderson Cooper 360º Series

CNN Press Release: Exclusive and Intimate Television Portrait of an All American Boy Plotting with Al-Qaeda to kill Americans American Al-Qaeda: The Path to Terror, An Anderson Cooper 360º Series.

A CNN special titled American Al -Qaeda will air the week of May 10th on Anderson Cooper 360°, and will bring viewers the chilling story of how a young American from Long Island, New York, became an al-Qaeda terrorist. The special is filled with exclusives details about the life of Bryant Neal Vinas, including interviews with his family, best friend, neighbor, and confidants. Before he was caught, Bryant Neal Vinas traveled to Pakistan, connected with Al-Qaeda leaders, participated in three Al-Qaeda training sessions, fired at U.S. troops and helped plot a terrorist plan aimed at the Long Island Rail Road system with the intention of killing American civilians.

CNN’s senior international correspondent Nic Robertson, along with CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank and CNN senior producer Ken Shiffman, spent almost a year uncovering how and why Bryant Neal Vinas went from a quiet teenager who grew up in suburbia to a jihadist. Our team has tracked Vinas’ story across three continents and will provide a definitive account of his transformation with the help of family, close friends and top counter-terrorism officials.

AC360° will also provide an exclusive interview with the man in Pakistan who counter terrorism officials suspect helped Vinas connect with jihadists. The Series will also include exclusive access to a letter Bryant wrote in prison and sent to his best friend. The series will also air on CNN International.

The American Al-Qaeda special investigation follows other in-depth reports featured on Anderson Cooper 360º including a look into the church of Scientology, the Secrets of the High Costs of Medicine, Childhood Obesity, and Homicide in Hollenbeck.

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Thursday, May 06, 2010


CNN Press Release - As the polls across the United Kingdom close at 5p ET today, tune in to CNN International or watch online at for in-depth reporting and analysis of the closest general election in nearly two decades. Viewers in the U.S. can also watch this special coverage live via CNN’s iPhone app.

Leading the coverage from CNN’s London bureau will be ‘Connect the World’ presenter Becky Anderson. She will be joined by veteran political reporter and commentator Robin Oakley as well as a team of CNN reporters spread across the capital.

Zain Verjee, Charles Hodson and Phil Black will be camped out at the three major party headquarters: Labour, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives. As the results start to filter in this evening and into early Friday, they will be on hand to bring the reactions from the heart of each of the parties' campaign hubs.

At the Palace of Westminster, Richard Quest will be joined by Max Foster, who will be stationed at No.10 Downing Street, and senior security correspondent Paula Newton, who will report from Westminster Bridge. Meanwhile, Sasha Herriman and Atika Shubert will be capturing the reaction of the general public and finding out what key issues influenced their vote.

And with the result of the 2010 general election still uncertain and the prospect of a hung parliament looming, could this uncertainty create more instability in the financial sector? CNN's business correspondent Jim Boulden will be gauging the reaction of city workers on Friday morning.

For the latest news and video highlights, visit CNN International's election site at and follow the network’s UK Election team on Twitter @UKelectionCNN.

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

CNNGo launches as new monthly show with its first edition from Shanghai

CNN Press Release - CNNGo is a new monthly show featuring a unique take on global destinations, bringing views from genuine insiders on what gives dynamic cities in Asia and beyond their distinctive buzz. Taking its lead from the digital, whether you’re a local, a business or leisure visitor, or even just a cultural voyeur, CNNGo delivers the best of each city by those who know it best.

In the first show from Shanghai, that means hearing from some of the city's most influential and knowledgeable local characters. Beyond the usual tourist hang-outs, wise-cracking Comedian Zhou Libo gives us a tour of one of Shanghai's coolest old teahouses that once served as his training ground. Up and coming photographer, Tang Ting, takes us to a former slaughterhouse turned art space while China's most widely-read blogger, Han Han, shares his thoughts on the city he calls home.

CNNGo also delves into the city's small but vibrant music scene and Shen Hongfei, the man with the power to make or break Shanghai's new restaurants, takes us out for dinner. One of the world's fastest-changing cities has never looked, or sounded, more intriguing. You can guarantee that as CNNGo heads across the region and around the world, you’ll learn more that is new than you ever thought possible about some of the world’s best known cities.



Thursday May 13 at 930am
Friday May 14 at 430am
Saturday May 15 at 9am, 330pm & 930pm
Sunday May 16 at 330pm
Monday May 17 at 330am

Central Europe Time

Thursday May 13 at 1030am
Friday May 14 at 530am
Saturday May 15 at 10am, 430pm & 1030pm
Sunday May 16 at 430pm
Monday May 17 at 430am


Thursday May 13 at 330pm
Friday May 14 at 1030am
Saturday May 15 at 3pm & 930pm
Sunday May 16 at 330am & 930pm
Monday May 17 at 930am

Hong Kong/Shanghai/Singapore

Thursday May 13 at 430pm
Friday May 14 at 1130am
Saturday May 15 at 4pm & 1030pm
Sunday May 16 at 430am & 1030pm
Monday May 17 at 1030am


Thursday May 13 at 530pm
Friday May 14 at 1230pm
Saturday May 15 at 5pm & 1130pm
Sunday May 16 at 530am & 1130pm
Monday May 17 at 1130am

CNN International is a 24-hour news channel which reacts to live events and breaking news. Therefore, program schedules are subject to change at short notice.

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Monday, May 03, 2010

CNN Launches Studio 7

Clocking in at 5000sq-ft with more than two miles of LED lighting, new Sony HD studio cameras, a 270-degree rotating anchor desk, three 103-inch HD plasma screens and and more than 50 HD monitors, CNN's Studio 7 launched today.

Kyra Phillips broke in the new set with CNN Newsroom - which also recieved a new high-def graphics package.

Kyra Phillips on air with 'CNN Newsroom' from the newly launched HD studio. Courtesy CNN PR.

Previously: Sneak peek of new studio from Rick Sanchez ... CNN's new HD studio

Watch a time lapse video as Studio 7 gets built.

UPDATE: Forum member nodefault has posted two videos showcasing the new look CNN Newsroom and Studio 7.


Sunday, May 02, 2010

Weekly Observations - week ending May 1, 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 and HLN numbers for April.

- CNN co-founder weighs in on CNN's April ratings.

- Former CNN sports anchor talks about cancer battle.

- CNN International anchor, Richard Quest, recently commenced a bi-monthly column for 'BusinessBrief' magazine.

- Christiane Amanpour's cameo in 'Iron Man 2'.

- Former CNN anchor-turned-freelance-reporter, Martin Savidge, is being courted by Al Jazeera English for a gig as the network's North American correspondent. He posts on his facebook page that discussions are continuing.

- CNN integrates

- CNN launches english mobile learning application on Windows Marketplace.

- The "bromance" of Ed Henry and Ali Velshi.

- CNN International's Hala Gorani visits the Executive Chef of the White House; part of an upcoming edition of the network's 'Talk Asia'.

- Have you checked out CNN's Youtube channels lately? CNN; HLN; CNN International

- Sharon Waxman, founder of, completes deal to become regular contributor on CNN's 'Reliable Sources'.