Monday, November 29, 2010

Dr. Drew Pinsky Joins HLN Prime Time Lineup

CNN Press Release - Dr. Drew Pinsky, the renowned doctor who has helped audiences across a spectrum of tv and radio programs for more than two decades, will be joining HLN’s prime time programming block. Announced today by Scot Safon, executive vice president in charge of HLN, the new program will launch in Spring 2011 and will be an opportunity for audiences to hear Dr. Drew’s insights on a broad range of subjects every night.

Dr. Drew, a practicing physician who is also board certified in internal and addiction medicine, specializes in topics that are core concerns for viewers throughout the United States — creating healthy relationships, coping with addiction, and finding constructive ways to navigate common struggles facing parents and their children alike. The HLN program will give Dr. Drew a new, nightly platform to provide relevant observations and perspectives on the news stories and newsmakers HLN covers throughout the day.

“Dr. Drew informs and inspires audiences on subjects that matter most to them and their families, and he is an ideal fit for the HLN network,” said Safon. “Whether the topics are in the news or simply in the daily lives of our audience, Dr. Drew will shed light, provide crucial information and give viewers something to talk—and think–about.”

“I am thrilled to join HLN and I have no doubt that the natural fit I feel at the network will provide the opportunity to explore the stories behind the story and really explain the choices that people make,” said Pinsky.

Dr. Drew Pinsky is a practicing physician with a private practice and is on staff at Huntington Memorial Hospital. He is also Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Keck USC School of Medicine.

One of the most listened to doctors in America, Dr. Drew has been taking calls from listeners since 1984 as host of the radio show LOVELINE, which is nationally syndicated by Westwood One.

Dr. Drew and Vh1 teamed up for the first reality TV series to depict the process of overcoming addiction. Now in its fourth season, CELEBRITY REHAB with DR. DREW was critically acclaimed by the addiction community for pulling back the veil of secrecy about what goes on in rehabilitation programs. SOBER HOUSE chronicles the sober living process and SEX REHAB with DR. DREW looked at the struggles and treatment of those dealing with serious sex addictions.

Dr. Drew is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism is Seducing America (Harper-Collins) and Cracked: Putting Broken Lives Together Again (Harper-Collins). Dr. Drew co-authored with Dr. Mark Young the first academic study on celebrities and narcissism. The study was published in the Journal of Research in Personality (Elsevier) and received worldwide press coverage.

After receiving his undergraduate degree from Amherst College and his M.D. from the University of Southern California, School of Medicine, Dr. Drew continued with USC for his residency. He then became chief resident at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena. Dr. Drew is a member of the American College of Physicians, the American Medical Association, the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the California Medical Association and the American Society of Internal Medicine.
Dr. Drew lives with his wife and their teenage triplets in Pasadena.

HLN is a CNN Worldwide network offered in more than 90 million households in the U.S. 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 U.S.; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Eunice Yoon Becomes CNN Beijing Correspondent

CNN International is beefing up its Beijing bureau with an additional correspondent. Eunice Yoon, who was previously based at the network's Hong Kong bureau as Asia Business Editor, will report from the Chinese capital alongside Stan Grant and Jaime Florcruz. CNN's press release follows...

CNN Press Release:
Eunice Yoon is to be based in Beijing as a correspondent for CNN Worldwide, it was announced today by Parisa Khosravi, senior vice president of international newsgathering.

Yoon, formerly the network's Asia Business Editor based in Hong Kong, has extensive experience working in China and across Asia. The award-winning reporter will work alongside Senior International Correspondent Stan Grant and Bureau chief Jaime Florcruz.

"Eunice's reporting in the aftermath of events including the Sichuan earthquake and Typhoon Parma has demonstrated her tenacity and courage in getting to the heart of the most challenging assignments," said Khosravi. "We are pleased to have her based in Beijing, a position where her extensive business reporting experience will also prove invaluable."

Prior to taking up her position in Beijing, Yoon's focus has been on business news coverage across the Asia Pacific region, offering live analysis and commentary. She has also reported on assignment in locations across Asia on major news events. She travelled to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea to report on what life is like living in one of the most heavily guarded places on earth, whilst from the world of politics she has interviewed political leaders including former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Yoon has anchored and reported for several news organizations, including CNBC, Voice of America, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and YTN of South Korea. Yoon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors in political science from Brown University in Rhode Island and graduated magna cum laude.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Public Donations Open For Top 10 CNN Heroes On Facebook

CNN Press Release: “Donate Now” Tab on the CNN Heroes Facebook Page Allows People to Contribute to CNN Heroes’ Charities

In advance of the global broadcast premiere of 2010’s CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute on Thanksgiving, November 25, at 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT, CNN and Facebook have teamed to enable people around the world to donate to this year’s Top 10 CNN Heroes and their causes.

“For the first time ever, CNN’s global audience and people on Facebook are able to directly support the CNN Heroes who are making huge differences all over the world,” said Kay Madati, vice president of audience experience for CNN Worldwide. “It is our sincere hope that extending our tribute through Facebook is both fitting and meaningful for the Top 10 Heroes, as well as those who are impacted by their tireless work each and every day.”

From now through the end of the year, Facebook users can support the work of the individuals named among the Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2010 by clicking the “Donate Now” tab on the CNN Heroes Facebook page. People on Facebook also can access the CNN Heroes donation module on the CNN and AC360 Pages. After making a donation, they can watch an exclusive thank-you video from the host of CNN Heroes, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, as well as share information about the initiative and their donation with friends on Facebook.

This aspect of CNN Heroes kicked off during the event’s taping in the “Social Suite,” where celebrity attendees gathered to share their passion for social good via social media. Hosted by Blue Ribbon Panelist Holly Robinson Peete, the Social Suite featured presenters and performers LL Cool J, Common and Sugarland, and highlighted social media updates from other celebrities in attendance including Demi Moore, John Legend and Jessica Alba.

These online donations are powered by Facebook’s virtual currency, Facebook Credits, and Facebook is waiving its processing fees as part of the program. CNN Heroes is among the first large-scale charity efforts involving Facebook Credits, an easy and convenient way for people to buy virtual and digital goods in more than 200 popular games and applications on Facebook. The Facebook Credits application used to manage the donation process was co-developed with Facebook’s partner Livestream, a technology company that specializes in live video for the web, mobile devices, and connected TVs.

The CNN Heroes gala is the only show of its kind - bringing out Hollywood's brightest stars to honor everyday people changing the world. Now in its fourth year, CNN Heroes is a multiplatform campaign that shines a spotlight on individuals who go to extraordinary lengths to serve others; in 2010, the campaign received over 10,000 submissions from more than 100 countries. The Top 10 CNN Heroes were selected by an esteemed Blue Ribbon Panel, which included Muhammad Ali, Sir Richard Branson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, and Ricky Martin among other humanitarians.

More information, including video of the Top 10 CNN Heroes, links to their organizations, and highlights from previous CNN Heroes programming can be found at and


Monday, November 22, 2010

More Recruiting For 'Piers Morgan Tonight'

According to the Guardian newspaper, Conor Hanna, the Deputy Editor at the UK's Daily Mail newspaper, is the latest staff addition to Piers Morgan's CNN program. (h/t: Inside Cable News)
"Hanna is joining CNN in what is termed as "a senior TV executive position". In reality - as Monkey revealed a couple of weeks ago - he'll be working for Morgan, who is due to take over the channel's interview spot from Larry King."
Piers Morgan Tonight is due to debut on CNN in January 2011.

Labels: ,

CNN's Inside Look At The Taliban

CNN is set to premiere a brand new documentary that promises to go "behind enemy lines" to look at the Taliban with never-before-seen footage.

CNN Press Release: CNN’s ‘Taliban’ Exposes Lives and Motives of Fighters. Documentary Debuts Saturday, Dec. 11 at 8:00pm ET & PT on CNN/U.S.

CNN's Taliban takes you behind enemy lines, and face-to-face with the men our troops are fighting. The Taliban are a violent enemy that have killed hundreds of American troops in Afghanistan since 2001. Despite a nearly ten-year war with the Taliban, most Americans know little about how they fight and live – until now.

In Taliban, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper debriefs Norwegian journalist Paul Refsdal about his unprecedented filming behind enemy lines in Afghanistan. No Western journalist has ever spent as much time with the Taliban, with as unrestricted access, as Refsdal.

CNN’s Taliban reveals the enemy at war – preparing weapons, planning attacks, and interacting with their families and fellow fighters. Refsdal risked his life to capture these never-before-seen images, and ended up being kidnapped. His harrowing escape is also documented in the film.

Cooper presses Refsdal about why he put his life in jeopardy to film the Taliban. Refsdal said, “The problem has been with the – the people [journalists] who meet the Taliban, they stay for one hour, and they ask the Taliban to...go around arranging some kind of training...And you have one commander with his face see the real Taliban, you have to stay for a while...”

The one-hour documentary, Taliban, debuts Saturday, Dec. 11 at 8:00p.m. ET and PT on CNN. It will air on CNN International in late December.

A multimedia report including historical timelines of the Taliban and the country of Afghanistan, video excerpts from the documentary, and an interview with journalist and 'Guerilla Reporter' author Paul Refsdal can be found at after Wednesday, Dec. 8.

Taliban was produced and filmed in Afghanistan by Paul Refsdal, produced for CNN by Jennifer Hyde and Ken Shiffman, and edited by Cliff Hackel. Bud Bultman is managing editor for this production. Scott Matthews is the director of CNN’s Special Investigations and Documentaries unit.

Labels: , ,

CNN en Español Unveils New Look

SCNN en Español unveiled their new on-air graphics early today, as well as a newly refreshed studio. The lower thirds, gizmo and bug are similar to those from CNN Domestic and CNN International, with tweaks. These caps below come from forum member peramirez.

In addition to a new studio and graphics package, CNN en Español will see a number of programming changes. Forum member peramirez breaks down some the program changes outlined in this report from El Nuevo Herald.

New shows:

Archivo CNN with Camilo Egaña. (Archive show)
Cala with Ismael Cala from Miami, at 9pm ET. (Interview show)
Choque de opiniones with Juan Carlos López, from Washington. (Debate show)
CNN Investiga with Luis Carlos Vélez and Fernando del Rincón. (Investigative reporting show) Desafíos with José Levy. (Middle Eastern current affairs show)
NotiMujer with Glenda Umaña from Atlanta and Mercedes Soler from Miami, at 12pm ET. (Women affairs show)
Showbiz with Juan Carlos Arciniegas from Los Angeles and Mariela Encarnación from Miami. (Showbiz daily program)

Shows that continue (apparently) unchanged:

Al Día with Carlos Montero, every weekday morning. (Newscast)
Deportes CNN with Diego Bustos. (Sports)
Escenario weekly program from Hollywood (Entertainment)
Clix with Guillermo Arduino. (Tech show)
Agenda Ejecutiva (Traveling monthly show about business around the world)

Shows with new anchors:

Directo USA with Juan Carlos López, from Washington. (US newscast)
Encuentro with Claudia Palacios, at 5pm ET. (Latin American newscast)
Mirador Mundial with Camilo Egaña, weekend nights. (Newscast)
Nuestro Mundo with Patricia Janiot. (Afternoon newscast)
Panorama Mundial with Patricia Janiot and Fernando del Rincón. (Main newscast)

Below is a compilation of new CNN en Español on air promotions and bumpers.

In other developments, long-time CNN en Español anchor Daniel Viotto is leaving the network. He presented his last edition of "Encuentro" on Friday. Viotto will remain with CNN en Español in an off-air role until his contract expires in January. Viotto had been with CNN en Español for 14 years.

Daniel Viotto's final sign-off, along with a short highlight reel of his years at the network, is available in the video below for our Spanish speaking readers.

Labels: ,

Sunday, November 21, 2010

CNN Names CNN Hero Of The Year

CNN Press Release: In a star-studded ceremony Saturday night at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Anuradha Koirala was named the 2010 CNN HERO OF THE YEAR, after nearly two million votes were cast at

Actress Demi Moore introduced Anuradha Koirala (pronounced anoo-RA-da core-A-la) as one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes; host Anderson Cooper announced Koirala as the CNN HERO OF THE YEAR at the end of the evening, after a powerful performance by Grammy Award-winning band Sugarland. Each Top 10 CNN Hero received $25,000, and Koirala’s organization, Maiti Nepal, will receive an additional $100,000.

Anuradha Koirala is fighting to prevent the trafficking and sexual exploitation of Nepal's women and girls. Her group, Maiti Nepal,has facilities throughout Nepal and India, with its main campus in Kathmandu. Roughly translated, Maiti means "Mother's Home." By raiding brothels, patrolling the India-Nepal border and providing safe shelter and support services, Koirala and Maiti Nepal have helped rescue and rehabilitate more than 12,000 Nepali women and girls since 1993.

Koirala was voted CNN HERO OF THE YEAR from among the Top 10 CNN HEROES, who were all honored at Saturday's event. Celebrity presenters included Halle Berry, Kid Rock, Renee Zellweger, Jessica Alba, Marisa Tomei, Gerard Butler, Kiefer Sutherland, Aaron Eckhart, and LL COOL J. Bon Jovi, Sugarland and John Legend featuring Common & Melanie Fiona each performed.

CNN HEROES: AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE, hosted by Cooper, will air globally on CNN on Thanksgiving, November 25, at 8pmET/5pm PT. The CNN HEROES gala is the only show of its kind - bringing out Hollywood's brightest starsto honor everyday people changing the world.

Now in its fourth year, CNN Heroes is a multiplatform campaign that shines a spotlight on individuals who go to extraordinary lengths to serve others; in 2010, the campaign received over 10,000 submissions from more than 100 countries. The Top 10 CNN Heroes were selected by an esteemed Blue Ribbon Panel, which included, Muhammad Ali, Sir Richard Branson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, and Ricky Martin among other humanitarians.

More information, including video of the Top 10 CNN Heroes, links to their organizations, and highlights from previous CNN HEROES programming can be found at


Friday, November 19, 2010

Larry King As Grand Marshal For 2010 Hollywood Christmas Parade reports that Larry King will act as Grand Marshal for the 2010 Hollywood Christmas parade on November 28.

Larry King said, "I am honored to have been selected as this year's Grand Marshal of the Hollywood Christmas Parade, particularly since Hollywood has been so good to me professionally. I have been in the broadcasting business for 53 years. For the last 25 years I have had the great privilege of hosting my own television show, Larry King Live. For the last 12 years my show has been broadcast from CNN, only a block away from where the Hollywood Christmas Parade originates on Hollywood Boulevard. I, and my wife Shawn, and two boys, Chance and Cannon, look forward to greeting everyone in the streets of Hollywood on November 28th as we make our way around the parade route to wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous holiday season."


John King Reviews The Decade

Inside Cable News has details of a new special, hosted by John King, that looks back at the big news stories from the past 10 years.
CNN and TIME will collaborate to produce a one-hour television show, TIMEFrames: A John King Special, hosted by CNN chief national correspondent and anchor John King. The special, which features an interview with TIME’s managing editor Richard Stengel, will draw heavily on TIME’s forthcoming TimeFrames issue. The magazine, on sale Friday, Nov. 26, will analyze how the world has changed over the first decade of the twenty-first century. The CNN special and single-topic issue of TIME will both showcase the decade’s world-changing events and key personalities and examine how our understanding of those stories has changed with the passage of time.

Airtimes and more details on ICN.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

CNN International's Augmented Reality


CNN is redefining the news experience for its viewers debuting a unique technology-driven global marketing campaign. To launch CNN's new weekday evening primetime line up in Asia Pacific, led by News Stream airing at 9pm Hong Kong time, the campaign uses Augmented Reality technology to animate CNN anchor Kristie Lu Stout.

Using image recognition and 3D graphics, the News Stream host appears on the computer screen once the application is downloaded from and activated by a webcam. Users can then share their experience through Facebook and Twitter.

The Augmented Reality experience also serves to introduce CNN's global audience to its new Asia primetime evening line up from 9pm to midnight Hong Kong time, while connecting them further to the CNN brand.

In Asia Pacific the digital campaign further extends to an extensive print and on-ground experience across Hong Kong, Singapore and India. Starting November 17 in Hong Kong, the network brings its news studio to the city's streets in branded CNN Augmented Reality Vans to allow consumers the opportunity to experience the technology first hand.

The new campaign launches as the global news network continues its month of dedicated Asia coverage, encompassing special programming weeks from Malaysia, South Korea, Japan and Indonesia.

About CNN's weekday evening primetime line up (all Hong Kong time)

21:00 News Stream is an hour-long show hosted by award-winning anchor Kristie Lu Stout that uses smart, cutting-edge technology to better relate news stories and forge relationships with viewers.

22:00 World Business Today, anchored from the world's three most influential financial hubs with Andrew Stevens in Hong Kong, Charles Hodson in London and Maggie Lake in New York, the program follows the opening of the New York Stock Exchange and provides an hour of insightful business news and analysis.

23:00 International Desk with Isha Sesay brings viewers into the heart of CNN as news stories develop and break.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, November 15, 2010


CNN Press Release - Steve Krakauer, senior editor of has been named digital producer of CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight,” set to debut in January 2011 it was announced today by the show’s executive producer Jonathan Wald.

“Steve has been a leading voice in the digital world, reporting on cable news, politics and pop culture. He’ll be a great addition to the CNN team and will be instrumental in driving “Piers Morgan Tonight” beyond its one hour of television and into a more active online experience,” said Wald.

Most recently, Krakauer was senior editor of, the media news, opinion and rankings website where he covered media and television, conducting interviews with industry leaders, launching multimedia web shows and breaking news. He helped launch the site in July 2009, which is now ranked in Technorati's Top 10 blogs. He was previously an editor at, and was part of the NBC page program. Krakauer has appeared as a guest on NBC, Fox News and MSNBC. He was named a "rising star" by the New York Times in April 2010. He graduated from Syracuse University's Newhouse School in 2006.

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.

Labels: ,

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Candy Crowley Bush Special

Airing tonight on CNN, Candy Crowley's prime time special - an interview with former President George W. Bush, and his brother Jeb Bush.

CNN Press Release: President George W. Bush will sit down with CNN anchor and chief political correspondent Candy Crowley in one of the few interviews he has granted since leaving the White House. Bush: Two Years Later: A Special Edition of State of the Union with Candy Crowley will air during a one-hour prime time special on Sunday, Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET .

In December 2008, Crowley conducted one of President Bush’s last interviews before he left the White House. She will check in with the former president two years later on the struggling U.S. economy, the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and his new book, “Decision Points.” Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will join his brother in the second half of the interview to discuss their father, their upbringing and the current political landscape.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley airs Sundays at 9 a.m. and noon ET. This Sunday, Nov. 14, correspondent Joe Johns will act as substitute anchor during the regularly scheduled program while Crowley is on assignment in Miami for the prime time special. Tom Bettag serves as the program’s senior executive producer.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, November 13, 2010

International Desk Expanded (And Cut)

CNN International today launched a new weekend edition of 'International Desk'. Anchored by Jonathan Mann, the 30 minute version of the program airs twice on Saturday and Sunday in the same time slot the weekend programs airs (1500 GMT & 1800 GMT).

Meanwhile, some viewers have expressed concern and outrage over CNN International's decision to reduce the main weekday European prime time version of 'International Desk' to 30 minutes (from 60 minutes).

Some example comments from the International Desk and Hala Gorani threads on the forum:

"Hala's IDESK is one of the best programs during the European primetime lineup. Cutting it down is the worst decision they've made so far." - Axl0706

"I can't believe this is happening! Don't they realised that the I-Desk is one the most popular shows ever?" - jualexandria

IDESK has probably the best flow of any CNNI show, with the best coverage of news. And the whole 1 hour never drags down as it is so fast-paced. With this news, this show will be no different than some of the weekend WR or W1, which to me, is not a good thing." - Junk Junk.

I can say one thing about tghis decesion: Boooooooooooooooooooooo!" -hound815

They are going to regret this one. Hala's one of the most popular anchors on CNNI. I'd probably still watch, but DEFINITELY not as often, if it wasn't for her." - Cee

Fans have also been taking to the program's facebook page to vent their anger at the move, and a protest page has also been started on the social networking site. The 'Linking to Hala Gorani' blog also calls on viewers of the show to express their disappointment via CNN's feedback page.

The move to shave 30 minutes off the 1800 GMT weekday edition is apparently a result of 'Prism' being extended to 60 minutes from this Monday. The taped feature program that normally aired following that show moves to 1830 GMT. The 1500 GMT edition of 'International Desk' will still run for 60 minutes.

** Edit to clarify: the weekday European prime time version is reduced to 30 minutes from 60 minutes.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

CNN: The Choice Is Clear

CNN Domestic unveiled a new promotional spot tonight. Sam Feist, CNN's Political Director tweets:
"Bold new #CNN promo. Starts running at 8pm ET tonight. Take a look"


Paula Hancocks Appointed To CNN's Seoul Bureau

CNN has appointed Paula Hancocks to the network's Seoul bureau. Formerly based in Jerusalem, Hancocks has most recently been on assignment in Indonesia covering relief efforts after an earthquake and tsunami hit the country on October 25.

CNN has not had a fulltime correspondent based in Seoul since late last year, after former bureau chief and correspondent Sohn Jie-Ae left the network in September 2009.

CNN Press Release:
Award-winning journalist Paula Hancocks is to be based in Seoul for CNN Worldwide, it was announced today by Parisa Khosravi, Senior Vice President of International Newsgathering.

In this new role Hancocks will focus on covering stories from the Korean Peninsula and the surrounding region. The new position allows her to build further on her reputation as a tenacious and talented reporter after more than a decade working at CNN.

“Paula is a highly accomplished journalist with a first class track record of delivering on stories of global significance”, Khosravi said. “We are delighted that she is taking on this key posting as South Korea continues to play a hugely important role across the international news agenda”, she added.

Prior to taking up her position in Seoul, Hancocks was the network’s international correspondent based in Jerusalem. She reported on stories including the construction of new settlements in the West Bank, border clashes between Israel and Lebanon and the confrontation aboard an aid ship bound for Gaza.

Previously she served as a correspondent at CNN's London bureau, reporting on a wide range of stories including the London bombings and terror trials as well as prominent stories and breaking news across Europe. She also covered the Israeli-Palestinian troubles on several occasions throughout her career at CNN, reported on the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict, for which the team won the Ed Murrow award; the Pakistan earthquake; the ongoing troubles in Iraq; and the Asian tsunami, for which the CNN team won a DuPont-Columbia Award.

Hancocks joined CNN in 2001 as a production assistant. Prior to joining CNN, Hancocks studied for a postgraduate degree in broadcast journalism at the University of Wales, Cardiff. She also graduated with a BA in French and Italian from the University of Durham. Hancocks grew up in Monmouth, South Wales.

Labels: ,

Monday, November 08, 2010

BREAKING: Abbie Boudreau Leaves CNN

First on CNN Observations - A CNN spokesperson confirmed to us that Special Investigations Unit Correspondent Abbie Boudreau is no longer with the network. More to come...

Labels: , ,

Friday, November 05, 2010

First Look At 'News Stream'

News Stream with Kristie Lu Stout premieres Monday on CNN International and today we got a sneak preview of what to expect - courtesy of Back|Story.

Regular viewers of CNN International will note the outer wall of the Hong Kong control room has been decorated with the map motif that also features in the network's studios. We also learn from the preview that Hong Kong is also in line to get a bigger touchscreen.

Also today, Kristie Lu Stout posted the following introduction to News Stream on her facebook page.

A year ago, my producer and I threw out a question. “If Steve Jobs produced a news show, what would it look like?”

Bizarre? Yes. Highly unlikely? Of course.

But that simple question got me and my producer, Ravi Hiranand, fired up about how the smart use of technology can give our viewers a better understanding of the world.

Answering that question eventually led us to News Stream – our new show on CNN International where news and technology meet.

We believe technology is more than gadgets and apps. It’s an approach. When used correctly, it can enhance our view of today’s most pressing issues. Don't worry, we're not making a technology show. News Stream will be a thorough account of all the day's main news stories and we'll still be relying on the reporting of CNN's brilliant roster of correspondents around the globe.

But News Stream will be different.

On News Stream, we'll be using visualization tools to give stories context. For example, with Google Earth we can take a model of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Dubai, and see how it sizes up in other world skylines in New York City or Hong Kong. With this piece of software, you immediately get a better sense of just how massive the structure is.

We also use visualization apps that CNN has developed in-house. Our digital media producer, John Sanders, created a 3-D word cloud application that can visually depict the word content of a text in multiple dimensions. When we placed Barack Obama’s 2009 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech into the word cloud, we could clearly see the word “war” was used more than “peace”.

Other visualization tools include physical props like airplane models to show us how competing Boeing and Airbus aircraft compare when placed side by side. We’re also not shy about using decidedly low-tech materials like LEGO or even cardboard and a bit of duct tape! As long as a prop serves a purpose and helps tell the story in compelling ways, we'll put it on air.

Using technology as an approach also means keeping our eye on social media to see what stories matter to people around the globe. But we don’t limit ourselves to what’s trending on Twitter and Facebook, we’ll also keep an eye on the leading social sites in China, Indonesia, Brazil and elsewhere.

And finally, we keep tabs on all things geek on News Stream. We test the latest gadgets, showcase innovative uses of technology, and check in with the titans of tech. Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, and Marissa Mayer, the gatekeeper of Google, are just two of the many high-profile newsmakers we’ve already profiled on the show.

So if you’re a news hound, a global nomad, or a tech junkie (or all three like me), I have a hunch you’ll want to tune in.

And if you see an app or piece of hardware that would enhance my presentation or better convey the drama of a story, please send tips my way ( We're out to produce the smartest news show we can, but we can't do it without you.

Catch News Stream, Monday through Friday 9pm Hong Kong time, 1pm London, 9am New York.

And finally, be sure to check out some rehearsal pictures from the official News Stream facebook page.

UPDATE: has just published a video from Kristie Lu Stout. It also features a rather cool jib shot of the News Stream set.

Labels: , ,

Lights Out On 'Connect The World'

Exactly what it says on the tin, folks...

Labels: , ,

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Soledad O'Brien's "The Next Big Story"

Soledad O'Brien's memoir - "The Next Big Story" - went on sale Tuesday. has published an excerpt from book.

The story begins in 2006, just after she has obtained exclusive access to Martin Luther King Jr.'s papers and has reported on them for CNN's America Morning.

On this American Morning, I have an exclusive look at a man at least half the world admires. I feel like what he is saying speaks to me. I am energized, a new member of the quarter million people who joined him on the mall, and a new recipient of the grace he handed out in Selma.

Then, out of nowhere, The Reverend Jesse Jackson calls with an invitation to meet and talk and it brings my reverie to a halt. We greet warmly and sit. A young, clean-cut security guy hovers near by. He stays close enough to be summoned for a quick question but not close enough to overhear. I notice the china is clinking, like real good china. I have four small kids so I never hear that particular sound. The restaurant is on the first floor of a famous hotel and the place is nice. The Reverend Jackson begins talking in his strong Southern accent. His voice is very low. He says "call me Jesse but that's something I feel like I cannot do." I am confident he doesn't remember the first time we met. It was my job in 1989 to escort him through his live shots at WBZ TV around Boston Nelson Mandela's historic visit to the U.S. I was his "babysitter," the one making sure no other media plucked him away. He was our contributor. He whispers something. He is speaking so low I can barely hear him. I strain to get closer.

Even though I am not sure what he is saying, I can tell he is angry. Today he is angry because CNN doesn't have enough black anchors. It is political season. There are billboards up sporting Paula Zahn and Anderson Cooper. He asks after the black reporters. Why are they not up there? I share his concern and make a mental note to take it back to my bosses. But then he begins to rage that there are no black anchors on the network at all. Does he mean covering the campaign, I wonder to myself? The man has been a guest on my show. He knows me, even if he doesn't recall how we met. I brought him on at MSNBC, then again at Weekend Today. I interrupt to remind him I'm the anchor of American Morning. He knows that. He looks me in the eye and reaches his fingers over to tap a spot of skin on my right had. He shakes his head. "You don't count," he says. I wasn't sure what that meant. I don't count -- what? I'm not black? I'm not black enough? Or my show doesn't count?

I was both angry and embarrassed, which rarely happens at the same time for me. Jesse Jackson managed to make me ashamed of my skin color which even white people had never been able to do. Not the kids in the hallways at Smithtown or the guys who wouldn't date me in high school. I remember the marchers behind me at the trial about the black youth/kid who beat the Latino baby. The folks that chanted "biracial whore for the white man's media," even they didn't even make feel this way. I would just laugh. Biracial, sure, whore, not exactly, white man's media, totally! Whatever. But Reverend Jesse Jackson says, "I don't count?"

I am immediately upset and annoyed and the even more annoyed that I am upset and pissed off. If Reverend Jesse Jackson didn't think I was black enough, then what was I? My parents had so banged racial identity into my head that the thoughts of racial doubt never crossed my mind. I'd suffered an Afro through the heat of elementary school. I'd certainly never felt white. I thought my version of black was as valid as anybody else's. I was a product of my parents (black woman, white man) my town (mostly white), multiracial to be sure, but not black? I felt like the foundation I'd built my life on was being denied, as if someone was telling me my parents aren't my parents. "You know those people you've been calling mom and dad -- they aren't really your parents. What?" The arbiter of blackness had weighed in. I had been measured and found wanting.

It knocked me off my equilibrium for a bit, the first time that had happened to me since that guy in a bar back on the West Coast pinched my butt during my first live shot.

After two weeks of stewing, I sat upright one day and made a decision. This man is wrong. I am a product of my own life. That's one of the wonders of America, you have the right to define yourself regardless of what little box someone wants to shove you in. He is certainly right that CNN doesn't have enough people of color on the air, even the bosses say that and spend their time trying to fix it. But "you don't count"? Screw that. Of course I count. Who is he to say that? My experience is not universal -- no one's is -- but it is legitimate. I get to be whom I am outside and in. But I was embarrassed that I didn't call him back and ask what he meant. I (like my mother) like a good fight. So I should have called him up and said, "What the heck does that mean"? But I didn't. I slunk away. Annoyed. And more annoyed that I never forgot his words. I look at other mixed race people now and wonder. Did their parents slam their identity into their head as mine did? Or do they get to drift around in some amorphous category. Jesse Jackson caught me off balance.

It wasn't until recently that I called him and reminded him of what he'd said to me that day. I had done 4 documentaries on race in between the two conversations. He was totally surprised and barely remembered the details. He had not known I was black! He said he honestly did not know, that when he said I didn't count he was alluding to the fact that he thought I was a dark-skinned someone else. That is how precise the game of race is played in our country, that we are so easily reduced to our skin tone. That even someone as prominent in African American society as Rev. Jackson has a box to check for black and one for white. No one gets to be in between. I thanked him for his candor.

But that day I couldn't say a word to Rev. Jackson. I run into the man all the time. We are invited to the same events. We kiss at functions but still I say nothing. I see how deeply people respect him. Al Sharpton tells me Jackson taught him civil disobedience. Roland Martin credits him with paving the way for Obama. Jackson sat at lunch with me telling me how he hates always being asked to talk only about black issues, hates to be tagged as only the black expert, never the guy negotiating peace or brokering deals with Wall Street. He lashes out at people who define him by the color of his skin. It matters that they don't see inside him. It mattered to me that he didn't see outside me.

You can read the second part of the excerpt on here.


Maggie Lake's Morning Surprise

CNN International's Maggie Lake had her view of New York City briefly interrupted on Tuesday's edition of 'World Business Today'. As this video from the program's facebook page shows, the business anchor was mid-sentence when...

Labels: , ,

HLN's Robin Meade Set For Grand Ole Opry Debut

HLN anchor Robin Meade will make her Grand Ole Opry debut this Saturday in Nashville. The Morning Express host will perform with famed pianist Jim Brickman.

In an interview with Walt Belcher, Meade talks about an album she's working on, and whether there are plans to pursue a fulltime music career.
"It's going to be a lot of work but my album will have 13 songs with a country tinge, including six that I co-wrote, two cover songs and rest will be originals by other people," she says.

Meade says she began to appreciate country music in 1992 after meeting Shaw at an event Meade was hosting for the GAC (Great American Country) cable network. She says she also met Brickman through Shaw.

"I don't intend to leave news," Meade says. "I see no reason why people can't express both sides of their talents."

Labels: ,

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Inside CNN's Election Night

TV Newser went behind the scenes at CNN on election night and spoke to CNN political director Sam Feist. Video of their chat is below.

Austin Carr from also visited CNN's Election Center and has a write-up and photos here. (h/t: ICN)

Inside Cable News blogs about CNN's much hyped "Election Matrix", and an unresolved technical issue he spotted as early as last week.
"I’m not going to wait any longer to give CNN’s Election Matrix a colossal thumbs down. I’m not giving it a thumbs down because it isn’t an interesting idea or because the information is not being presented in an interesting way. No, I’m giving it a thumbs down because the system used to generate it has more bugs than a bait store and it clearly is not ready for use."

On TV, CNN's election night coverage came second (behind Fox News). The numbers below are from TV by the numbers.

8-11p ET (P2+)
MSNBC - 1,945,000
CNN - 2,423,000
FNC - 6,957,000

8-11p ET (25-54)
MSNBC - 669,000
CNN - 1,030,000
FNC - 2,431,000

Meanwhile, continued its dominance and recorded its highest traffic day of the year to date.

CNN Press Release: Domestic Election Day 2010 Performance Summary (Source: Omniture)

* With nearly 80 million page views on Election Day, experienced the highest traffic day of the year, and was up 61% over the prior 4-week average.
* attracted 11.2 million unique visitors to the site, up 26% over the prior 4-week average and up 10% over the 2006 Midterm Elections day with more than
* Live video plays on the site were also up dramatically over the prior 4-week average with nearly a quarter million views, a 400% plus gain.
* CNN’s Politics Section was up nearly 100% over the prior 4-week average with more than 25 million page views.
* CNN’s politics blog (The Political Ticker) was up 62% over the prior 4-week average with more than 2 million views

CNN Mobile Domestic Election Day 2010 Performance Summary (Source: Bango)

* CNN Mobile proved valuable to millions of consumers seeking politics information on Election Day 2010, with more than 2.2 million unique visitors, a 30% increase over the prior 4-week average.
* Mobile web page views on Tuesday were also up 42% over the 4-week average with 7.3 million

Labels: , ,

Worldwide Orphans Foundation Honors Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper was given the Honorary Orphan Ranger award at the Worldwide Orphans Foundation (WWO) annual benefit gala in New York on Monday.

Cooper was recognized for his reporting on the orphan crisis that hit Haiti after a devastating earthquake rocked the Caribbean country in January this year.

"WWO is proud to honor Anderson Cooper for shining the spotlight for the world on the devastating impact of Haiti’s earthquake on orphaned and vulnerable children,” said Dr. Jane Aronson, founder and CEO of WWO. “I first met Anderson Cooper in Haiti following the earthquake and was impressed then and continue to be impressed now, with the depth of knowledge and thought he brings to every issue he covers.”

Related: WWO Foundation press release from October, 2010.


Jane Velez-Mitchell's 'Every Parent's Nightmare' HLN Special


Victims’ rights advocate, author and anchor Jane Velez-Mitchell will host a powerful two-part special Every Parent’s Nightmare- An Issues Investigation on Thursday, November 4 and Friday, November 5 at 7p (ET). Jane speaks with anguished parents of abducted and murdered children whose stories she has covered on her HLN show Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell.

For the first time, Jane brings together parents Ed Smart, Erin Runnion, Mark Lunsford, Ahmad Rivazfar and Diena Thompson, members of the Surviving Parents Coalition. These surviving parents strongly believe that by telling their stories, they can save children’s’ lives and live out theirs without anger and revenge. As these parents shared their emotional stories, Jane helps identify solutions to keep kids in every community safe.

In September, The Surviving Parents Coalition completed a cross-country bike journey called “The Ride for Their Lives” to raise money for the Adam Walsh Act to create a national sex offender registry and to raise awareness on how we can protect children from predators.

The discussion with these parents touched and deeply moved Jane and her producers as each one remembered the moment they were told their children were missing or never coming home. Watch as they describe turning their grief into action here.

Issues with Jane Velez Mitchell airs daily on HLN at 7 p.m. (ET).

Labels: ,

CNN / HLN October Numbers

CNN Press Release: CNN reached more than 100.1 million viewers in October, while FNC had 85.5 million, HLN had 85.2 million and MSNBC trailed with 83.7 million viewers. This represents CNN’s best cumulative advantage over FNC since July 2009 and the network’s best showing over MSNBC since April 2010.

For the month of October, CNN’s AC 360 at 10pm grew +9% compared to a year ago (October 2009), while FNC’s On the Record is down -6% and MSNBC’S Last Word/Friday docs are up +11% among adults 25-54.

During the month, CNN, FNC, and MSNBC saw similar declines at 8:00 pm vs. a year ago with FNC’s O’Reilly Factor dropping -11%, CNN’s Parker Spitzer off -10% and MSNBC’s Countdown down -8% in the key demo adults 25-54.

In October, CNN topped MSNBC during the daytime (9am-5pm) in both total viewers and the key demo 25-54 and in total day (6am-6am) among total viewers. In head-to-head comparisons with MSNBC’s daytime non-opinion programming – CNN had a 18% advantage among total viewers (492k vs. 280k) and a 63% lead among adults 25-54 (132k vs. 81k). MSNBC placed fourth every hour during the daytime in the demo 25-54, except at 3pm and 4pm where they placed third behind CNN Newsroom. While all cable news networks were down during the daytime versus year-ago, declines were more pronounced on FNC and MSNBC, with FNC down -10%, MSNBC dropping -12%, and CNN off the least at -6%. In total day among total viewers, CNN had 410k vs. MSNBC’s 409k.

At 5pm, CNN’s Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer topped MSNBC’s Hardball in both total viewers (603k vs. 578k) and in the key demo (150k vs. 142k) during the month.

CNN’s Black In America: Almighty Debt, reported by CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien, had a cumulative reach of 13.8 million total viewers and 5.8 million in the key demo adults 25-54 during the month of October.


In October, Morning Express with Robin Meade continues to dominate MSNBC’s Morning Joe among 25-54 viewers, with an advantage of 34% (175k vs. 131k). This is the 19th consecutive month that Morning Express with Robin Meade has topped Morning Joe among 25-54 viewers.

In daytime, 9a-5p (M-F) HLN has a 14% advantage over MSNBC among 25-54 viewers for the month of October (92k vs. 81k). This is the 13th consecutive month that HLN has beaten MSNBC among 25-54 viewers from 9a to 5p (M-F).


In September (most recent data), CNN Digital held its No. 1 position in total minutes, mobile and other key metrics, beating sites such as MSNBC Digital, Yahoo! News and Fox News Digital. (See below for detailed data and charts)


CNN Digital held its No. 1 position among ALL Global News and Current Event sites in several key metrics, beating sites such as MSNBC Digital, Yahoo! News and Fox News Digital.

* No. 1 in Total Usage Minutes: 658 million minutes, 140 million more than No. 2 Yahoo! News and 152 million more than No. 3 MSNBC Digital.

* No. 1 in Page Views: 982 million page views, 50% ahead of No. 2 Yahoo! News and 60% more than No. 3 MSNBC Digital. (Source: Nielsen Online Netview, Sept. 2010).

No. 1 in Audience among all TV News Sites: When compared to its TV News competition, CNN Digital topped them all in terms of unique audience. With 31.2 million unique visitors in September, CNN Digital’s audience was 9% larger than MSNBC Digital (28.6 million); 127% larger than Fox News Digital (13.8 million); 130% larger than ABC News Digital (13.5 million) and 245% larger than CBS News Digital (9 million). (Source: Nielsen Online Netview, Sept. 2010)


CNN Digital is No. 1 in Mobile in News and Current Events for the 45th consecutive month.

With 13.7 million unique visitors to its mobile site in August, CNN Digital beat the nearest competitor, Fox News Digital, by 50%. (Source: Nielsen Mobile MediaView – August 2010)

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

CNN Digital's September Figures

CNN Press Release: In September, CNN Digital held its No. 1 position in total minutes, mobile and other key metrics, beating sites such as MSNBC Digital, Yahoo! News and Fox News Digital. (See below for detailed data and charts)

In particular and in anticipation of the Midterm Elections, redesigned and The Political Ticker to provide online users the latest information from the Best Political Team. On the first full day of the redesign, Sept. 28, CNNPolitics received 2.7 million page views, 70% above last year’s daily average. The Political Ticker received 1.6 million page views, an increase of 200% since last year. (Source: Omniture SiteCatalyst, October 2009 – September 2010; release date: September 28, 2010).

On average, publishes more than 200 stories a month, and The Political Ticker – the No. 1 political blog according to Nielsen - generates more than 650 posts per month, the highest among the CNN Blog Network. (Source: 13-month average ending September 2010, Omniture SiteCatalyst)

CNN’s Blog Network continues to drive traffic to the site in September, generating 96.5 million page views. CNN’s blog on the culture of food, Eatocracy, received 1.6 million page views the week of Sept. 26, it’s third highest week since it launched in June. During the week, Eatocracy and CNN Newsroom featured a week-long series dedicated to healthy eating, and on Sept. 28th, Eatocracy had their highest traffic day to date with 612 thousand page views.

CNN Digital held its No. 1 position among ALL Global News and Current Event sites in several key metrics, beating sites such as MSNBC Digital, Yahoo! News and Fox News Digital.
  • No. 1 in Total Usage Minutes: 658 million minutes, 140 million more than No. 2 Yahoo! News and 152 million more than No. 3 MSNBC Digital.
  • No. 1 in Page Views: 982 million page views, 50% ahead of No. 2 Yahoo! News and 60% more than No. 3 MSNBC Digital. (Source: Nielsen Online Netview, Sept. 2010).

No. 1 in Audience among all TV News Sites: When compared to its TVNews competition, CNN Digital topped them all in terms of unique audience. With 31.2 million unique visitors in September, CNN Digital’s audience was 9% larger than MSNBC Digital (28.6 million); 127% larger than Fox News Digital (13.8 million); 130% larger than ABC News Digital (13.5 million) and 245% larger than CBS News Digital (9 million). (Source: Nielsen Online Netview, Sept. 2010)

CNN Digital is No. 1 in Mobile in News and Current Events for the 45th consecutive month.
With 13.7 million unique visitors to its mobile site in August, CNN Digital beat the nearest competitor, Fox News Digital, by 50%. (Source: Nielsen Mobile MediaView – August 2010)


Monday, November 01, 2010


CNN Press Release - CNN 's redesigned Arabic-language website reinforces CNN’s on-going commitment to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as well as bringing CNN news to Arab-speaking communities across the globe. It follows a year after the opening of CNN Abu Dhabi in November 2009, which made CNN the first Western news organization to have a permanent broadcast and production hub in the region.

The investment is the most substantial in the website’s history and means that will now be aligned with the look and feel of the brand’s award-winning and sites, at the same time as introducing a significantly enhanced content offering.

The refreshed website is a direct response to extensive audience feedback on what they looked for from CNN. It puts ease of navigation, regional stories, exclusive interviews and content, and more video and enhanced interactivity at the heart of the re-design, and has invested in additional stringers to deliver the increased local content.

“This is a fundamental re-imagining of as part of our ongoing engagement with the Arabic speaking world,” says Rani Raad, senior vice president and managing director of CNN International Ad Sales and Business Development and General Manager of “The investment is a statement of the scope of our ambitions in this important part of the world.” editor Caroline Faraj adds, “ is your home for not just breaking news, but also human interest stories, expanded regional sports and business coverage and an aggregator for the best from the Arab blogosphere. We’ve put video content front and center to enrich the user experience, and we have made it easy for users to interact with the content and put their imprint on the site with their commentary and recommendations.”

About the new features
Connecting with the blogosphere and Facebook forums in the Arab world
Expanding on current activity with influential bloggers and Facebook forums in the Arab world, there are two dedicated segments for key social media influencers in the region to post their latest thoughts and ideas, and at the same time add their URL so users can easily access their pages. The site’s team will provide their weekly roundup of the most important and interesting Arab blogs and Facebook forums and invites users to recommend their own favorites.

Bringing the latest regional business, sports and entertainment news
CNN’s reporting takes on a more localized perspective to provide a daily roundup of the stories making the headlines across both Arab and international media. There are daily reports from the MENA markets as well as weekly roundup of financial news. Moving beyond the news headlines, it also throws the spotlight on the big sports names from the region with regular segments on Arab athletes and brings the latest news from the world of entertainment with recommended movies of the week. Each week a feature story tackles the hot topics from the region and users are encouraged to post their comments online.

Keeping users up-to-date on CNN’s local programming
Users can stay up to date on CNN’s most popular programming from the region, including Inside the Middle East, Inside Africa, Marketplace Middle East, and Marketplace Africa via locally edited programming pages.

Launched in 2002, is produced in Dubai. Follow on Twitter @cnnarabic and Facebook

Labels: , , ,

Jonathan Wald Named Executive Producer of CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight

CNN Press Release - Jonathan Wald, former executive producer of NBC's Today and Nightly News, and former senior vice president of CNBC, has been named executive producer of CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight debuting in January 2011, it was announced today by CNN executive vice president Ken Jautz. Wald's appointment is effective immediately.

“Jonathan has spent more than 20 years as a top producer in broadcast and cable television news and has the unique ability to produce television that is smart and provocative,” said Jautz. “We are thrilled that he’ll be joining the CNN family.”

Most recently Wald has been an advisor to AOL on cross-platform programming initiatives. From 2006-2009, Wald served as senior vice president of CNBC, responsible for all business news programming. During a period of unprecedented financial and economic crisis, CNBC expanded business coverage into primetime and weekends, resulting in the highest ratings and revenue in the network’s history. Wald was also responsible for multimedia development and the use of business news on as well as marketing and promotion of that content on all platforms.

Said Wald, “CNN is an important news organization and a powerful worldwide brand. I am so excited to join this team. I can’t wait to get started and to collaborate with Piers on redefining the long-form interview program in primetime.”

Wald, a three-time Emmy Award winner, was the executive producer ofToday where he led the program’s distinguished coverage during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the contested 2000 presidential election, and the first live morning show performance by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Prior to Today, he was the executive producer of NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw where he was responsible for all aspects of the top-rated flagship broadcast.

“Jonathan is tough, funny, smart as hell, incredibly experienced, and wants to win,” said Morgan.

He began his career as a desk assistant at NBC News in 1983 while a freshman at Columbia University, then moved to WBZ-TV (Boston) where he produced every major broadcast including the 11 o'clock news. He returned to New York as a field producer for NBC's Brian Williams in 1993. Wald received a B.A. from Columbia and since 2001, serves on the adjunct faculty at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. He is married, and lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

Labels: , , , ,