CNN Marks 20 Years Since Rodney King Beating With New Special
Don Lemon talks to Rodney King in a new special marking 20 years since his arrest and beating. Details and preview from CNN is below.
CNN Press Release:‘Race and Rage’ – CNN’s Don Lemon Talks with Rodney King 20 Years Later. Documentary debuts Friday, March 4, 8:00pm ET & PT
In the early morning hours of March 3, 1991, construction worker Rodney King and two companions were pulled over after a high-speed chase in Los Angeles. King’s friends were arrested without incident, but the violent confrontation between King and the officers on the scene made national headlines, and ignited racial tensions in the city – and the nation.
CNN anchor Don Lemon retraces the events of that morning, and the riots that divided Los Angeles and the nation in Race and Rage – The Beating of Rodney King, debuts Friday, March 4 at 8:00p.m. ET and PT on CNN/U.S. It replays on Saturday, March 5 at 8:00p.m. ET and PT.
King was tasered, kicked, and beaten by officers on the scene. He received more than 50 baton blows that crushed bones, shattered teeth, injured his kidneys, and fractured his skull.
Lemon asked him what thoughts he had during the beating, “Stay alive – I knew I had to survive this,” King tells him in an exclusive interview.
The altercation awakened George Holliday who grabbed his home video camera and filmed the incident. The video became a national sensation and the cornerstone of an excessive force trial against the Los Angeles Police Department.
King became a visual symbol of police brutality, but the officers were acquitted in the original trial. News of the acquittal ignited anger that erupted into riots in Los Angeles that lasted for days. Over 50 people were killed, businesses were looted and burned, and even cities as far away as Atlanta reported violence inspired by the news of the verdict.
Lemon and King revisit the scene of the beating together, retracing the events that altered his life, and the riots that followed. Lemon also speaks with Bobby Green, who famously rescued white truck driver Reginald Denny, who was assailed by a mob at a city intersection during the riots.
A digital feature deconstructs the timeline of the events of March 3, 1991, and includes a special report on King’s life today. The Holliday video became a powerful example of “citizen journalism” and is examined in the context of other watershed historical moments witnessed and captured by citizens across the country and around the world. These and video excerpts from the documentary will be reported on www.cnn.com.
Stan Wilson is the senior producer for Race and Rage. Jeffery Reid is executive producer of the documentary. Dionne Hill is producer and Marcus Hooper is Associate Producer. Scott Matthews is the executive producer for the CNN Productions unit.
Broadcasting & Cable's Ben Grossman sits down with Piers Morgan for one of his most comprehensive interviews since launching Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN. (H/t: ICN)
How’s the show going?
It’s been a roller-coaster ride. Some days you get a run of very serious news, or you’re doing big set pieces with celebs. It’s getting the balance right. We’ve made some experimental calls on guests. I would’ve put good money on the Kardashians rating well, and they didn’t. I think the CNN audience, particularly when there are big news stories going on like the Middle East, they don’t like if you interview people they think are pointless. I think all of us felt a little surprised that was the case.
What do you need to get better at?
Probably interrupting guests. Larry King said that, and I think he’s right. Other than that, the promos said I might be dangerous. What I meant is, I wanted to be unpredictable. What I don’t ever want to do is be boring. It’s a fine line between being challenging and going too far where you piss off your guests so much you don’t get any bookings, and you need to straddle it carefully. A lot of journalists sit back and say I should be harder. But it’s a long game.
Do you need a Jay Leno-Hugh Grant moment to get your ratings moving?
Yes. I need to get some big gets. But that's my background, I need to get some scoops. But everyone needs that. Unless you are Bill O'Reilly because you have built such a formidable persona that you don't need that. Letterman and Leno don't really need them. But I'm the new boy, we're trying.
Weekly Observations - week ending February 26, 2011
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 that we've covered that may need a second look.
- CNN International's Zain Verjee takes us on a quick journey behind the scenes of her show during a commercial break. Check out the facebook video here.
- CNN Washington DC-based Correspondent Carol Costello made a post to her CNN Facebook recently about the change from Parker Spitzer to In The Arena or The Arena as she calls it. She's filling in for Kyra Phillips (9-11 AM ET on CNN Domestic) while Phillips is on Maternity Leave.
- KTLA-TV's Adam Carolla received some buzz on various blogs this week after he shared his thoughts on Piers Morgan Tonight. Mediaite has the story and video.
- Larry King hits the road in April for his long-promised stand up comedy tour. Check out more details on "Larry King: Standing Up", as well as tour dates, here.
- CNN Senior Producer Hunter Waters lost his battle with cancer earlier this week. CNN Political Director Sam Feist posted the sad news on CNN.com earlier this week.
- Members of CNN's Washington team hit the town to celebrate Jessica Yellin's birthday this week. John King was among the partygoers, and he tells us that it really is Jessica Yellin in the picture he tweeted.
CNN announces “In the Arena” ensemble program at 8:00 pm
CNN Press Release - CNN executive vice president Ken Jautz announces “In the Arena” ensemble program at 8:00 pm. Below are statements from Jautz, Kathleen Parker and Eliot Spitzer.
NOTE FROM KEN TO STAFF:
I want to share with you some news today regarding our 8pm show. Kathleen Parker has decided to leave the program to focus on her writing, and we have decided to take the show in a new direction. We will be adopting an ensemble format with several newsmakers, guests and contributors joining Eliot Spitzer each night. The new program will be called, "In the Arena," beginning Monday. E.D. Hill and Will Cain will join the program as well others within and outside the CNN family.
We have been pleased with how the 8pm hour has become a centerpiece of substantive, policy-oriented conversation, and we are looking forward to building on that with this new format. Simply put, the new program will look beyond the headlines to analyze and discuss the most important stories of the day. The program will provide context and analysis through balanced and thoughtful discussions and interviews with a wide range of guests and newsmakers who cumulatively represent various points of view.
Kathleen will continue to appear on CNN occasionally to provide her insights and commentary. We thank Kathleen for her hard work and all that she has done to help us launch our new 8pm program. We respect her as a colleague and appreciate her perspective and contributions.
Statement from Kathleen Parker:
After bringing viewers a new 8pm show on CNN, I have decided to return to a schedule that will allow me to focus more on my syndicated newspaper column and other writings. While I am extremely proud of the show we created, and the subject matter and level of discourse Parker Spitzer promoted every night, it was a difficult decision to scale back my column a few months ago and, with the show going in a new direction, it is a good time to move on. I want to thank the viewers who have been so kind with their comments and support. I will continue to appear to contribute and analyze occasionally on CNN and look forward to continuing my relationship with CNN and the many talented individuals I have worked with here.
Statement from Eliot Spitzer:
I wish Kathleen all the best in continuing on with her spectacular career. It has been a joy working with her as a teammate, and I continue to be a huge fan of the wisdom that jumps from her written work and the wit, charm and insight she brings to all that she does.
Luis Carlos Velez joins CNN International as co-anchor of World Business Today
After serving as a anchor and Senior Producer for CNN en Español for more than five years, Luis Carlos Velez will be moving to New York to co-anchor the 8 PM ET version of World Business Today on CNN International with Colleen McEdwards from Atlanta and Pauline Chiou from Hong Kong. He starts on-air Tuesday, March 1. World Business Today provides an overview of late-breaking financial, economic, and business news from around the world.
Luis Carlos Velez becomes the first Hispanic to be anchoring news at CNN International, and the first to jump from CNN en Español to CNN International.
CNN Press Release:CNN launches app on Android’s Honeycomb tablet platform. iReport capture and upload available for the first time on a tablet; App includes live video, widgets
CNN today announced that its CNN App for Android’s Honeycomb tablet platform is available for free on Android Market™ in the U.S. The CNN App launches in conjunction with the commercial availability of the Android 3.0, Honeycomb platform on the Motorola Xoom tablet, and is the first time that CNN iReport, the network’s user-generated news community, is available in a tablet application.
“Wherever consumers are, we want to present them with CNN’s original, enterprise reporting, as well as the ability to interact with and participate in the news – and in an application that is complementary but unique to CNN’s other platforms,” said Louis Gump, vice president of Mobile at CNN. “The CNN App will expose tablet users to the best submissions from our hundreds of thousands of iReporters across the globe, as well as enable them to submit their own iReports and participate along with us.”
Maximizing the features of Android 3.0, Honeycomb, the CNN App for Android showcases a left-rail navigation in the Broadsheet view, allowing a user to swipe through the latest news stories in a grid-format featuring powerful imagery and headlines.
The CNN App also provides a direct gateway to CNN iReport, available for the first time on a tablet app. Users can browse user-generated content; register, sign in to their account or sign on as a guest to capture and instantly upload photos and videos (through the front and rear cameras). The App also showcases iReport’s latest “assignments,” which ask the community to weigh in on specific news stories that CNN is covering.
Users have the ability to toggle between U.S. and International news preferences, both of which serve live video of breaking news and select events as they happen, as well as hourly audio news updates from CNN Radio while in the U.S. view.
The App includes the ability for users to comment alongside content on the screen or share text stories and images from the App via email, Facebook and Twitter. Users can also flip through story headlines and images directly on their home screen by accessing the App’s layered image widget.
The CNN App for Android is available on Android Market. For more information about the CNN App for Android, go to www.cnn.com/android.
CNN Press Release:CNN Twitter Buzz: ‘Stunning’ World Cup data visualisation for Web and TV
CNN has won a prestigious award in the ‘Innovative News’ category of the UK’s Royal Television Society (RTS) Awards for its World Cup Twitter Buzz initiative. The winning entry, announced at the Awards ceremony in central London last night, highlighted how CNN teamed up with Twitter to create a tool to enable Web and TV viewers around the world to visualise social media activity during the 2010 World Cup.
The tool was created in-house, with collaboration between CNN's journalists, designers, technical, PR, marketing and sales teams in London and Atlanta. It featured as part of CNN’s World Cup coverage output across all its services including CNN.com, CNN International, CNN US, CNN en Español and CNN HLN.
Nick Wrenn, Vice President of CNN International Digital, says: "CNN competes in many different markets, none more competitive than that of the UK. It is an honour to be recognised by the RTS among our industry peers."
“It is very gratifying to win in the innovation category, which speaks so much to CNN’s commitment to harnessing technology in unique and distinct ways,” adds Tony Maddox, CNN International Managing Director.
About CNN Twitter Buzz
CNN’s Twitter Buzz mission was to put the fans from all over the world at the heart of its coverage and give them a unique live experience to complement the match action.
The more a player, team or topic was tweeted, the bigger their picture on the screen. Updating every few seconds, players would rise and fall with every goal or red card, along with referees and celebrity fans. On the first day of the tournament, the word Bees filled the page; a reference to the unique sound of the vuvuzelas.
During the tournament, Twitter Buzz curated more than 11 million World Cup-related tweets. At its peak, the interactive processed more than 13,000 tweets a minute when England played the US on 12th June.
By the tournament semi-finals, the Twitter Buzz page on CNN.com had been viewed more than 650,000 times, with users typically lingering for several minutes.
CNN has previously won the Innovation Award in 2002 when its satellite telephone technology ushered in a new era of in-the-field newsgathering.
CNN Press Release - CNN International has brought a new perspective on Germany with a unique mirror art installation project.
The installations announce CNN’s i-List special on Germany, running from February 21 – 25, 2011.
The “Mirror Lakes” toured through Germany, starting in Frankfurt, passing through Dresden and finally ending in Berlin. The installations drew curious crowds in major German cities and asked them to look at a new perspective of the environment around them. This concept was designed to bring to live the kind of coverage the viewers can expect during the week long special.
The up to 400 square-meter installations were composed of 2.500 polished stainless steel plates weighing 3,5 tons.
The project was conceived by the agency Heimat-Berlin.
The installation and its journey across Germany have been documented in a series of short online-films produced by Superschool in Berlin and Go!TV in Frankfurt:
More perspectives on Germany will be featured in two live shows from Germany from February 21st to 25th and in a half hour “i-List: Germany” special with the highlight of the week on CNN International. More information under: www.cnn.com/ilist
A Conversation With American Morning's Kiran Chetry
Mediaite's Tommy Christopher last week visited the set of CNN's 'American Morning' and spoke to the program's co-anchor, Kiran Chetry.
A few weeks ago, I discovered that CNN’s American Morning co-anchor Kiran Chetry has an unusually devoted fan base, who had a little panic attack when she took a couple of days off. Such intense loyalty deserves closer examination, so I visited the set of American Morning Friday morning, and later interviewed Kiran about her news-heavy morning show, journalism in general, and that John Roberts clip.
In addition to a nearly 30-minute interview, I got to watch the last half-hour of American Morning (which airs Mon-Fri, 6am-9am EDT), and also spoke with Kiran off-camera for quite awhile.
Click here to watch the Kiran Chetry interview across three videos.
David @McKenzieCNN Reveals Kenya's "Locked Up And Forgotten"
CNN International's next installment of 'World's Untold Stories' reveals a dark secret from Kenya. A situation that reportedly affects 3 million people. Hosted by David McKenzie, the special premieres this weekend at 1400 GMT, and also airs on the following dates:
March 12th Saturday at 2200 HKT March 13th Sunday at 0500 and 1700 HKT March 15th Tuesday at 1830 HKT March 16th Wednesday at 0130 HKT ** HKT = +8 GMT
A preview and press release from CNN follows below.
CNN Press Release: Across Kenya there is a terrible secret, a secret that affects more than three million men, women and children. People locked up in darkened rooms barely existing, despised and shunned by families and neighbours. In this edition of ‘World's Untold Stories: Locked Up And Forgotten' CNN takes viewers inside the terrifying world of the mentally ill in Kenya.
David McKenzie, CNN's award-winning Nairobi-based correspondent spent many months uncovering victims hidden away in darkened rooms, in small villages and makeshift accommodation. His documentary tells the story of a few of the millions of mentally ill Kenyans suffering in silence, ignored, forgotten and degraded.
People like Thomas Matoke, who for more than 30 years has spent his life in a makeshift cell, tied up to a steel bed frame with a piece of blue rope. He's surrounded by pools of his urine, his mattress soiled and ripped to shreds.
After a childhood illness, Matoke lost much of his high-level functioning, so his mother ties him up to prevent him from running away or hurting himself. Countless trips to doctors and hospitals haven't helped him, and poverty means there isn't much medical help his family can afford.
This is just one story that forms part of CNN's special investigation which found that families across Kenya are struggling to cope with their loved ones who are mentally ill, receiving little help from the state and facing massive stigma from society.
The Kenyan government spends less than one percent of its health budget on mental health, though their own figures show one-quarter of all patients going to hospitals or clinics complain of mental health issues.
Dr. Frank Njenga, President of the African Association of Psychiatrists and a leading expert in the field, believes the scale is "catastrophic."
"We as a people have perfected the system of hiding our friends, relatives and other loved ones who have intellectual disability away from sight," says Njenga. "Out of sight, out of mind, no funding, neglected completely."
In the making of this harrowing film McKenzie's team met families locking up their loved ones, torn apart by shame; children discarded by institutions and living in poverty; and suspected sexual abuse cases.
Weekly Observations - week ending February 19, 2011
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 that we've covered that may need a second look.
- CNÑ launched a revised version of their website this week. On this new site they've removed the individual show pages and the individual Spanish-language anchor/correspondent pages and added smaller descriptions of the shows to the main page of the site. English-language bios for CNÑ anchors/correspondents (including some who are no longer with the network) can be found on the main CNN.com Anchors and Reporters page.
- CNN International is big in North Korea - One North Korean official asks Wolf Blitzer: "What happened to Christiane? We don't see her on CNN anymore." Read more at Mediaite.
- After quite some time, CNN International Business Correspondent and World Business Today Co-Anchor Maggie Lake has a new bio picture. (what can we say? it's a slow news week...)
- Larry King said this week that CNN oversold Piers Morgan before his show launched. (h/t) TVNewser
- CNN International's Quest Means Business goes inside INTERPOL this week. Check out the promo here.
- Jim Clancy landed in Berlin on Thursday to prepare for iList Germany. Check in with him on Twitter and catch The Brief live on CNN International from Berlin on Monday at 1600 GMT/1700 CET/11:00 AM ET.
Wolf Blitzer's one-hour feature report on his visit to North Korea will air this weekend across CNN Domestic and CNN International. A press release, including a sneak peek at the program, is below.
CNN Press Release:CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Takes Viewers Inside Communist North Korea
CNN will air a one-hour program Six Days in North Korea: Situation Room Reporter's Notebook on Saturday, Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. CNN lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer entered North Korea as the world watched tensions mount between North and South Korea. Blitzer was the only broadcast journalist to join former Gov. Bill Richardson and his delegation.
This program will take viewers into the communist, totalitarian regime of North Korea with footage from the rarely-seen streets of Pyongyang and inside government meetings. In addition, Blitzer was able to visit Kim II-sung University and capture rare moments with North Koreans.
The special will also air on CNNI at 10 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 19.
Blitzer is CNN’s anchor of The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer which airs every weekday 5-7 p.m. and on Saturday evenings 6-7 p.m.
Update On Alberto Padilla's Exit From CNN En Español
Veronica Villafane from Media Moves, a blog focusing on Latinos in the media, says she spoke to Alberto Padilla over his recent exit from CNN En Español. According to the post, Padilla says he was axed by the network. (h/t: forum member peramirez)
Alberto tells me he wasn't surprised by the new management's decision to end his run at the network. "CNNE is going through some profound changes. I was questioning some of the changes that were being instituted," he says of the recent talent and show changes, as well as the new political tendencies of the recently revamped network.
"This new management is not one that tolerates any questions," he says. He also points out that viewers aren't pleased with CNNE's new look: "The changes are alienating the public who has been loyal to the network for so many years. They're looking for a new audience. But if you read the comments on the social network sites, the viewers are not pleased with what they see on the air." He refers to scathing reviews on Facebook and Twitter.
The blog also reveals Padilla's apparent replacement. Read the full posting at Media Moves here.
The New York Times' Eric Wilson writes about CNN Domestic's new special looking at New York Fashion Week. Hosted by correspondent Alina Cho, the 30 minute special will feature conversations with fashion designers and magazine editors.
“There is room for fashion in our coverage,” Ms. Cho said shortly after the Jason Wu show. “Our viewers crave hard news. They want the headlines about Egypt. But we shouldn’t discount the fact there are other topics we can cover, and I don’t think it makes me any less of a journalist to cover fashion.”
If all goes well with the special, called “Fashion Week: Backstage Pass,” Ms. Cho hopes the network will make it a recurring feature, but she is not under the illusion that CNN will fully revive the “Style” concept. Ms. Klensch covered something like 4,000 shows during her tenure, reporting from Milan and Paris in her trademark Sonia Rykiel jacket and glossy bob. Ms. Cho went to the Paris collections for the first time just last fall, on her own time, tagging along with her friend John Demsey, a group president for Estée Lauder. (Ms. Cho is not shy about pushing herself onto the social circuit, serving as a chairwoman, for example, of the New Yorkers for Children spring gala.)
"Fashion Week: Backstage Pass" airs 2:30p (eastern) this Saturday on CNN Domestic.
CNN and HLN will each air an Oscars special on February 27. Reality television identity, Camille Donatacci Grammer, has been tapped to join hosts AJ Hammer and Brooke Anderson. Details of CNN's and HLN's planned specials are below.
CNN Press Release:Grammer Joins Showbiz Tonight Hosts AJ Hammer and Brooke Anderson as Celebrity and Fashion Commentator.
Showbiz Tonight: Road to Gold Airs Sun, Feb 27, 7 p.m. ET on CNN and 11 p.m. ET on HLN
Television personality Camille Donatacci Grammer will join Showbiz Tonight as a fashion and celebrity commentator live from the Oscars on Sun, Feb 27, for the Red Carpet special, Showbiz Tonight: Road to Gold. Grammer, who stars on the TV show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, will provide her insider perspective on celebrity arrivals and fashion insights.
Grammer joins Showbiz Tonight hosts AJ Hammer and Brooke Anderson for the special, live at the Kodak Theater, 7-8 p.m. ET on CNN. Showbiz Tonight: Road to Gold returns at 11 p.m. ET on HLN and will be TV’s only entertainment news show live with the latest breaking news from the Academy Awards.
“We can’t wait to get Camille’s unabashed take on Hollywood’s biggest night,” said Dave Levine, Senior Executive Producer, CNN Entertainment and Showbiz Tonight. “She will be perfect for ‘Showbiz Tonight,’ TV’s most provocative entertainment news show.”
Also joining AJ, Brooke and Camille live at the Oscars will be acclaimed and outspoken actress Sheryl Lee Ralph and syndicated radio host Carlos Diaz with their colorful insights and candid views.
Online, CNN’s Oscar coverage will provide exceptional access to the most compelling moments from the 83rd Academy Awards at www.cnn.com/showbiz. CNN.com’s Entertainment section will feature all of the evening’s nominees and winners, photo galleries of the fashion ‘dos and don’ts’, an Oscar-themed quote board, as well as all of the excitement from the red carpet streamed live from 6 to 8 p.m. ET.
The “Show Trending Stories” tab on the Entertainment section will also present the most popular, user-driven Oscar stories according to related user activity in CNN.com’s comments, as well as on Facebook.
Users can check The Marquee Blog throughout the night or follow @CNNShowbiz for updates from the red carpet and the winners as they’re announced.
CNN en Español will launch a new morning program titled "Cafe CNN" in early March, according to Fox News Latino.
The three hour program will be produced in Atlanta and air from CNN en Español's Miami studios.
Since last year when Cynthia Hudson was named senior vice president and general manager of CNN en Español, the network has made a radical change in its programming, opened studios in Miami and strengthened its brand.
"The Miami studios, inaugurated three months ago, now air three shows a day, which has contributed to building the audience and sparking interest among new advertisers," Eduardo Suarez, the network's programming vice president, told Efe.
"Cafe CNN," to be produced in Atlanta, debuts March 7 in the 6:00-9:00 a.m. EST time slot and will review current events with news about health, art, culture, human interest and the weather, in a mix of news and entertainment.
"We couldn't be happier. This has been magnificent for the network, for our audience and for ourselves. The Miami office is the armed branch of CNN en Español in the city that serves as the link between Latin America and the United States. Coming through here are presidents, artists, all kinds of celebrities," Suarez said.
CNN Press Release: Live coverage in Berlin anchored by Jim Clancy features interviews, countrywide reports from Frederik Pleitgen and Diana Magnay plus iReports
From February 21 – 28, CNN shines the spotlight on Germany, as its monthly i-List series comes to Europe's largest economy for a week of special coverage. The focus on Germany comes as the country's booming economy and fiscal stability puts it centre stage in the European Union. Veteran anchor Jim Clancy presents the daily shows The Brief and Prism live from Berlin with daily reports from Germany-based correspondents Frederik Pleitgen and Diana Magnay who have travelled the country to showcase the nation's wide ranging influence in business, commerce and technology as well as culture and sport.
CNN’s in-depth look at the world’s second largest exporter will also examine Germany's leadership in green technology, what drives its automotive industry and – off the back of the Berlinale film festival – what is energizing its growing film industry.
“We will be looking at today’s Germany, its challenges at home, its leadership within Europe and its positioning on the world stage,” says Mike McCarthy, vice president of coverage and feature programming for CNN International. “We’ll be giving our viewers a flavour of modern Germany in all its many dimensions as CNN's programming continues to go beyond borders.“
CNN also goes underwater in the world’s most advanced non-nuclear submarine, takes you to the unveiling of recently restored antiquities destroyed during WWII and, in a nation of football fanatics, previews the women’s world cup.
As part of its extensive focus on Germany, CNN is asking viewers to submit their pictures and videos about Germany to the network’s user-generated content platform iReport at www.ireport.com/ilist. The best will be used on-air and online as part of the week-long programming.
The focus on Germany is complemented by a 3-city series of temporary installations comprising thousands of glistening mirror-disks designed to evoke new perceptions of the everyday. Centre-stage in major squares in Frankfurt, Dresden and Berlin, the ‘lake of mirrors’ installation created by CNN gives passers-by a multi-layered new perspective on their surroundings.
About Jim Clancy, Frederik Pleitgen, Diana Magnay
Anchor Jim Clancy (@ClancyCNN) brings the experience of three decades covering major news events around the globe, including the fall of the Berlin wall, the siege of Beirut and the Iraq wars. Clancy has extensive knowledge and interest in Germany having been based in Frankfurt as an international correspondent from 1985 to 1986. He currently anchors The Brief from Atlanta which airs weekdays at 17.00 CET.
Frederik Pleitgen (@flpleitgenCNN) and Diana Magnay (@dimagnayCNN) are CNN’s Berlin Bureau correspondents. As well as covering major news from Germany on a daily basis Frederik has also made his mark with reports from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Myanmar, the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, and most recently, the unrest in Egypt. Diana's standout reporting has been her coverage of the European debt crisis, in particular the riots in Greece, and the child abuse scandal surrounding the Catholic Church.
This latest installment of i-List continues its global journey which to date has included France, Georgia, Macedonia, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine and Nigeria, Bahrain and Oman in the Middle East and, in Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan.
Monday 21st February until Friday 25th February at 17:00 CET – Jim Clancy anchors his show The Brief live from Germany
Monday 21st February until Friday 25th February at 18:30 CET each evening – Jim Clancy anchors i-List live from Germany
The i-List week wraps with a half-hour special highlights programme Saturday 26th February 15:30 and 22:30 CET, Sunday 27th February 11:30 and 17:00 CET
CNN Press Release:Nominees to be Featured on CNN/U.S. and CNN International Week of March 7th. CNN.com Users to Select Community Choice Winner
CNN today announced that CNN iReport, the network’s user-generated news community, is launching the CNN iReport Awards to honor the best examples of participatory journalism in 2010 from CNN’s more than 740,000 iReporters globally. The final winners of the CNN iReport Awards will be announced on March 15.
“The collaborative relationship that we have with our iReporters is one of the unique strengths of CNN, and in many ways represents the future of storytelling,” said Meredith Artley, managing editor and vice president of CNN.com. “These awards are designed to celebrate those outstanding efforts.”
“iReport Awards are a great way for CNN to recognize some of the outstanding work in the iReport community,” said Lila King, participation director, CNN.com. “Every day, iReporters share their stories with CNN, and it is an honor to be able to showcase and recognize them for the impact they make on the news.”
The iReport Awards are divided into six categories: Breaking News, Original Reporting, Compelling Imagery (photos or video), Commentary, Personal Story, and Interview. From the more than 150,000 iReports received in 2010, a team of CNN journalists and producers selected five iReports as nominees in each category.
A panel of judges comprised of innovators and trailblazers in participatory storytelling will select a final winner in each category. The panel of judges for the CNN iReport Awards includes Errol Barnett, anchor and correspondent, CNN International; Rachel Campos Duffy, columnist, Parentdish.com; Ze Frank, CEO, Star.me; Dave Isay, founder, StoryCorps; Laura Brunow Miner, founder, Pictorymag.com; Shane Smith, president./co-founder VICE; Tim Shey, president/co-founder, Next News Network.
Of the 30 total nominees, online users also can show their support for the iReport they think best enhanced CNN’s storytelling in 2010 by voting for the Community Choice winner at www.CNNiReport.com/awards . Voting is open until noon ET on March 7.
Nominees will be featured the week of March 7 from 3-5pm ET, on CNN/U.S. during CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin. On CNN International, the nominees will be featured on iReport for CNN which airs Thursday, Febuary 17th at 11:30 p.m. ET and replays the following weekend.
- Business Insider's Katya Wachtel writes about being part of the first live audience with Piers Morgan Tonight. (via: Johnny $)
- CNN International is running two new image spots following coverage of Egypt's revolution. Version 1. Version 2.
- What an honor for one of our pictures to make it on CNN.com. Click here to see how one of our screen captures of CNN International's Jim Clancy has been used to promote his role in the upcoming iList: Germany.
CNN Press Release: On Friday February 11, 2011 CNN increased its presence in Egypt with the addition of Nic Robertson (@NicRobertsonCNN) who has returned to Cairo this morning and is joined by Fionnuala Sweeney, who has been reporting from Israel and then Abu Dhabi during the recent Egypt protests. There are six CNN teams on the ground in Egypt: Ben Wedeman (@benCNN), Frederik Pleitgen (@fpleitgenCNN), Ivan Watson (@IvanCNN), Arwa Damon (@arwaCNN), Nic Robertson (@NicRobertsonCNN) and Fionnuala Sweeney.
CNN and CNN International will simulcast through AC360 this evening.
More than 30 CNN staff are now newsgathering and reporting for all of CNN Worldwide's platforms and providing extensive live coverage across: CNN/U.S. and CNN International on television; CNN.com; CNN's free apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch; and CNNArabic.com, and CNN's Arabic language website based in Dubai which draws upon CNN's global resources of journalists and video production.
In addition to the reporting from Egypt, CNN has reporters covering this story from other key places in the region, including Mohammed Jamjoom in Yemen (@jamjoomcnn); Rima Maktabi in Lebanon and from Washington, D.C., senior White House correspondent Ed Henry (@edhenrycnn) and foreign affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty (@cnnjill).
Follow CNN's Twitter list of anchors, correspondents and staff covering Egypt from inside the country and around the world here: @cnni/Egypt.
CNN is also taking advantage of its large newsgathering hub in Abu Dhabi and the International Desk in Atlanta, which has numerous Arab speakers and specialists.
As the crackdown on media and communications continues, CNN is also covering the story through the lens of social media. Using CNN iReport and other platforms – much as the network did during the Iranian uprising in June ‘09 – CNN is showing this story in a different light.
CNN Press Release - CNN is gearing up for the election season with the addition of political contributors from across the ideological spectrum. Democratic strategist Cornell Belcher, conservative commentator Will Cain, and local Tea Party leader and radio talk show host Dana Loesch will appear across the network’s prime time programs, as well as other dayparts and platforms.
“CNN is increasingly the only network where political dialogue representing all points of views is actually helping Americans understand the political process,” said Cornell Belcher. “I’m honored to join and add my voice to the best political team on television.”
“I thrive on passionate, fun, and intellectually-challenging debates, and CNN seeks to be the home of those conversations,” said Will Cain. “So I’m excited to make CNN my home.”
“I’m excited to be working with CNN and am appreciative of their efforts to showcase diverse political thought on their airwaves, said Dana Loesch. “I look forward to the discussions.”
Cornell Belcher is president of “brilliant corners Research and Strategies,” a research and consulting firm in Washington that studies the role of values and culture in progressive politics to develop unconventional strategies for political and corporate clients. From 2005 to 2008, he served as pollster for the Democratic National Committee, including for then-Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, and helped to create the DNC’s 50 State Strategy. Previously, Belcher worked as a senior political adviser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and as special projects director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). Belcher has received numerous accolades, including recognition as Gold Award in the category of Government & Nonprofit Advertising by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) Annual David Ogilvy Awards and one of the pollsters of the year by the Association of Political and Public Affairs Professionals (APPC).
Will Cain is a licensed attorney, media entrepreneur, and host of “Off the Page” on National Review.com. Cain also produces the internet interview program “Cain and Table,” focusing on the intersection between politics and non-political topics, such as pop-culture and sports. Cain founded Quince Media, a Hispanic media company that produced websites, magazines and events across the country. Cain also owned Cain Communications, a community newspaper group in Texas that published print and online newspapers to the Dallas community. Cain earned the prestige of being named one of the “40 Most Influential People” in the Magazine Industry by Folio Magazine 2007 and one of the “20 Under 40″ by the Texas Press Association in 2005.
Dana Loesch is the co-founder of the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition and the host of her own daily radio talk show “The Dana Show – the Conservative Alternative” broadcast on FM New Talk 97.1 in St. Louis, MO, and WIBC 93.1 FM in Indianapolis, IN. In addition to hosting her show, Loesch is the editor-in-chief of Big Journalism. A former award-winning newspaper columnist, often focusing on the topic of motherhood, Loesch began blogging in 2001 and was named one of the top 16 most powerful mothers online by Neilsen.
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.
Soledad O'Brien Reports on Life of Civil Rights Photojournalist Revealed to Have Been FBI Informant
CNN Press Release - ‘Pictures Don’t Lie’ zooms in on controversial legacy of Ernest Withers – Sun., Feb. 20, 8:00pm ET & PT
Photographer Ernest Withers documented the struggles and the victories of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s through shocking and inspiring images that evoke the injustice and the rage of that history even today. Along the way, he himself became an icon.
When Withers photographed the grotesquely mutilated body of Emmett Till, slain for allegedly whistling at a white woman, the photos rocketed across the country and around the world in magazines and newsprint – notably in JET and LIFE magazines, and the Chicago Defender – forcing the nation to focus on that amplified vision of injustice. Withers himself was so moved that he vowed to attend each day of the trial and photograph those accused of the lynching.
After Withers died in 2007, documents secured through a Freedom of Information Act request, submitted by journalists the Memphis Commercial Appeal, revealed that in addition to taking photographs, Withers was also a paid informant for the FBI. Withers even had a code name, “ME 338-R,” a designation for “Memphis Racial Informant.” A paper trail has emerged suggesting Withers gave the FBI sensitive information on leaders of the movement, their meetings, and their activities – part of the FBI’s official, “Ghetto Informant Program.”
CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien tells the story of the secret life of Ernest Withers in Pictures Don’t Lie, debuting on CNN/U.S on Sunday, Feb. 20 at 8:00p.m. ET and PT; it replays Saturday, Feb. 26, at 8:00p.m. ET and PT.
King biographer David Garrow tells O’Brien, “There is no doubt whatsoever, the available documentary evidence, which includes both Mr. Withers’ name and his informant coding number – that matches up with dozens of FBI documents – nails it, 100 percent – case closed.”
Withers himself told no one of his contacts with the FBI, not even his family, and his now complicated legacy yields an array of reactions. Withers’ family members describe feeling “devastated” and considered cancelling plans to turn his former Memphis photography studio into a museum. Entertainer and activist Dick Gregory tells O’Brien, “This man...his danger was – he was all over the place,” referring to the physical danger that Withers may have presented to leaders in the Movement, specifically to Dr. King.
Former U.N. Ambassador and former Atlanta Mayor Dr. Andrew Young holds a different view, suggesting that even if Withers was an informant, his photographs were critical to the Movement’s success: “...it would not have been the Movement without the pictures...basically, he was the guy,” Young says.
O’Brien dissects the never-before-seen-on-television documents from the FBI with those who were there at the time of critical events. A digital feature describing the story of how the documents came to light will be reported on www.cnn.com/inamerica, along with a photo gallery of Withers’ iconic images and video excerpts of the documentary. An audio podcast of the documentary will be posted following the premiere airing of the documentary. CNN Student News is producing an Educator and Parent Guide for Pictures Don’t Lie, which will include discussion questions, and a learning activity. The guide will be available on www.CNNStudentNews.com.
The senior producer of Pictures Don’t Lie is Cameo George. Tina Matherson and David Matthews are associate producers; Erika Colin is production assistant. Geraldine Moriba is the executive producer for CNN’s In America unit.
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.
Weekly Observations - week ending February 5, 2011
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 that we've covered that may need a second look.
- New York Times television critic Alessandra Stanley praises CNN's Egypt coverage.
- The Hollywood Reporter speaks with Jim Walton, President of CNN Worldwide. In this interview, he talks about the year 2010 in review, and whether or not Rick Sanchez is coming back to his network.
- All Things CNN notes the news of John King and Dana Bash expecting a child later this year was overshadowed by Egypt news coverage. Congratulations to the couple from CNN Observations.
- Nic Robertson's wife wrote a blog recently for the Piers Morgan Tonight page. Here she talks about being the wife of a CNN Senior International Correspondent.
- Parisa Khosravi, CNN's Senior Vice-President of International Newsgathering, recently spoke with Variety about the work her correspondents are doing on the ground in Egypt despite violence they face there.
- Anderson Cooper speaks with Matea Gold from the Los Angeles Times: "To me, the story today is not me being attacked, it’s the melee that continues."
- Variety talks with newly appointed Managing Editor of CNN Worldwide, Mark Whitaker. (via ICN).
CNN Press Release: As CNN expanded coverage of the crisis in Egypt last Friday, global video usage on CNN.com increased dramatically.
* For the seven days ending Thursday, February 3, total global video views on CNN.com increased by more than 61% over the prior 4-week average.
* On Wednesday alone usage spiked 97% over the prior 4-Wednesday average to 6.3 million video views.
Live video also increased dramatically on CNN.com since the violence and protests erupted in Egypt.
* With an average of more than 320,000 daily video starts since last Friday, total global live video usage on CNN.com increased by 500% over the prior 4-week, same-day average.
* On Wednesday, February 2, live video usage spiked to 600,000 live views, a 540% gain over the prior 4-week average.
CNN iReport: For the seven days ending Thursday, February 3, total submissions to iReport on CNN.com increased to more than 4,000, a 62% increase versus the prior 4-week average. Submissions related to the crisis in Egypt accounted for 24% of the total for the week. Page views on iReport also increased to 2.5 million for the seven days ending Feb. 3, a 26% increase over usual levels.
CNN Mobile: News consumers also turned to CNN on their mobile devices to watch up-to-the minute video coverage of the events in Egypt as they unfolded.
CNN.com video usage on the iPad:
* Average daily video views on CNN.com accessed through the iPad increased by 47% over the prior 4-week average.
* On Wednesday, video usage on CNN.com on the iPad increased by 110% over normal levels.
Video usage on the CNN App for iPhone and iPod touch:
(Note: CNN iPhone app video views are domestic only as international video data currently not available.)
* Since last Friday, average daily video views on the CNN iPhone app increased 85%.
* In particular, video usage on the CNN iPhone app increased 120% over the prior 4-week average on Saturday.
CNN Mobile Video Usage:
(Note: CNN Mobile Web video views are domestic only as international video data currently not available.)
* Average daily video views on the CNN Mobile web site increased 47% over the prior 4-week average.
* On Wednesday, February 2, video traffic on the CNN Mobile website spiked 85% over the prior 4-Wednesday average, while on Thursday, February 3, video usage spiked by 93%.
Source: CNN Internal Server Log data as facilitated by Business Objects
CNN Press Release - Today, Google held a press event at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters to preview Honeycomb 3.0 and how developers are using the platform. CNN was one of three brands selected to join Google on stage to give a sneak peek of CNN's latest mobile application: the CNN App on Android.
The app is scheduled to launch in Android Market soon in conjunction with the Android tablet's commercial launch.
Some highlights of the CNN App on Android Tablet are as follows:
Available for the Honeycomb platform, 3.0 SDK at launch
iReport capture and upload functionality is available first on Android tablets
Live and on-demand video, plus CNN Radio updates
Available for free on Android Market
During the event, CNN vice president of mobile Louis Gump and CNN.com participation director Lila King demonstrated a select few of the application's features, including:
Broadsheet: This main screen makes a broad range of stories easily accessible to the user by presenting up to 350 of the latest news stories in a grid-format that features powerful imagery and headlines. Users can dive more deeply into a topic by selecting from the navigation fragment or by swiping left and right. Further, the customized action bar offers direct access to iReport, Live Video and CNN Radio updates.
Live Video: Taking advantage of Honeycomb’s HTTP live streaming capabilities, CNN is delivering raw domestic and international live feeds for major stories and in breaking news scenarios
iReport: This is the first time that iReport has been available on a tablet. The CNN App for Android lets users browse user-generated content; register, sign-in to their account or sign on as a guest to capture and instantly upload user-generated photos and videos (through the front and rear cameras). Users can also browse iReport’s latest “assignments,” asking the community to weigh in on various news stories. Honeycomb's status bar pops up in the notifications tray, which lets a user know that their story has been uploaded. It continues to upload even when the app is closed.
CNN Press Release:CNN PRIMETIME GROWS COMPARED TO 4TH QUARTER AVERAGE; SURPASSES MSNBC DURING DAYTIME. Piers Morgan Tonight Off to a Strong Start; Parker Spitzer Gaining Ground Post Olbermann. 105 Million People Viewed CNN in January; 15 Million More than Fox News. CNN.com Traffic Spikes in January 2011.
In January, CNN”s M-F primetime grew compared to the network’s 4th quarter average, increasing 10% among total viewers (697k vs. 631k) and 10% in the key demographic adults 25-54 (204k vs. 186k).
Launch-to-date (January 17-28) Piers Morgan Tonight at 9p is off to a strong start, averaging 978k total viewers and 279k in the demographic adults 25-54. This represents a 50% increase compared to CNN’s 9p 4th quarter average among total viewers (654k) and 65% more in adults 25-54 (169k). PMT topped MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow show since launch among younger 18-49 viewers (217k vs. 198k).
Since Keith Olbermann left MSNBC, Parker Spitzer has gained ground, increasing +54% in the key demo 25-54 (163k vs. 106k), while MSNBC’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell dropped -21% vs. the prior week (232k vs. 292k) – omitting Tuesday’s State of the Union coverage.
In January, CNN topped MSNBC during the daytime (9am-5pm) in both total viewers and the key demo 25-54. In head-to-head comparisons with MSNBC’s daytime non-opinion programming, CNN had a 40% advantage among total viewers (456k vs. 325k) and a 64% lead among adults 25-54 (123k vs. 75k). MSNBC placed fourth every hour during the daytime in the demo 25-54, except at 4pm where they placed third behind CNN Newsroom.
Also in January, State of the Union with Candy Crowley at noon had its best month ever among total viewers (717k). CNN’s Sunday show line up topped MSNBC in both total viewers and in the demo from 10a–2p (Fareed Zakaria GPS, Reliable Sources and State of the Union with Candy Crowley).
CNN reached a cumulative audience of 105 million viewers in January, FNC lagged behind with 90 million, and MSNBC averaged had 87 million.
(Of note: Data comparisons to a year ago (January 2010) were not used due to last’s years highly elevated news cycle resulting from the Haiti earthquake and its aftermath.)
In January, CNN.com was up globally 10% year over year:
Breaking News: The shootings in Arizona and the protests in Egypt drove traffic to CNN.com in January.
Arizona: CNN’s global coverage of the shootings in Arizona yielded 44 million page views on the day of the shootings (Saturday, January 8, 2011), a 48% gain over typical Saturday traffic. CNN.com also registered more than 2.7 million video starts, a 63% jump from typical Saturday video usage.
Egypt: In the first 3 days of the protests in Egypt, CNN.com globally generated 121 million page views, an increase of 11% over the prior 4-week average, and 11 million video starts, a 78% increase over the prior 4-week average.
Blogs: With 116 million page views in the U.S. in January, the CNN Blog network was up year over year by 164%.
Rounding out the top five were This Just In, The Political Ticker, The Marquee Blog, The Chart and Nancy Grace.
In the first week of Piers Morgan Tonight, the show’s blog generated 1.2 million page views, placing it among the top 5 blogs for the week.
(Source: Omniture SiteCatalyst. Prior 4-week averages include weekends of 1/22, 1/15, 12/18 and 12/11)
CNN Mobile is No. 1 in Mobile in News and Current Events for 4 years or 48 consecutive months.
With 14.5 million monthly unique visitors in the U.S. in December 2010, CNN Digital on mobile beat the nearest competitor, Fox News Digital, by 33%. (Source: Nielsen Mobile MediaView – Dec. 2010 – latest data available) (Source: Nielsen Mobile Mediaview, December 2010)
In January, CNN continued to make strides in social media
iReport: iReport increased its registered users base to 738,929 through the end of January. During the month of January, CNN’s iReport received 329 submissions related to the Arizona shootings with 21 vetted for use on CNN. iReporters also submitted nearly 586 iReports in January related to the protests in Egypt, with 53 vetted for use on CNN.
Facebook: CNN leads all news sites in Facebook fans with more than 1.7 million fans. In January, CNN added 100,000 more fans.
Twitter: Key CNN and HLN Twitter accounts* reached 11 million followers in January with @cnnbrk as CNN’s largest account with 3.7 million followers, with over a million more followers than second place’s @NYTimes
YouTube: The CNN YouTube Channel had over 1.6 million video starts in January, up 79% vs. the prior 4-week average
CNN Press Release:Morning Express with Robin Meade Continues to Surpass Morning Joe in 2011. HLN Grows Among 25-54 Viewers in Prime. Viewers Respond to Nancy Grace and America’s Missing.
HLN’s Morning Express with Robin Meade continues its success from 2010, its highest year on record, into 2011 with another monthly win among 25-54 viewers over MSNBC’s Morning Joe. January marks the 22nd month that HLN has beaten MSNBC in the morning daypart. This month, Morning Express topped Morning Joe by 39% among 25-54 viewers (178k vs. 128k). Additionally, Morning Express increased 5% among total viewers (322k vs. 308k) and increased 7% among 25-54 viewers (178k vs. 166k) compared to prior year.
In the Daytime daypart (9a-5p) HLN also continues its winning streak against MSNBC with a gap of 27% in January (95k vs. 75k).
Nancy Grace at 8p and Nancy Grace America’s Missing at 9p have both resonated with viewers with increases in both total viewers and 25-54 viewers compared prior quarter. At 8p, Nancy Grace increased by double digits in the past two weeks in both total viewers and the demo, up 14% among total viewers (720k vs. 633k) and up 16% among 25-54 demo viewers (221k vs. 191k).
Viewers have strongly reacted to Nancy Grace America’s Missing, a ten-week program dedicated to telling the stories of missing Americans at 9p. Compared to last quarter, America’s Missing increased 4% among total viewers (437k vs. 420k) and increased 23% among 25-54 demo viewers (147k vs. 120k).
In the past two weeks, HLN Primetime (8-11p) has increased viewership among total viewers and 25-54 audiences by 7% and 5%, respectively, versus prior quarter (P2+: 490k vs. 459k) (25-54: 154k vs.147k).
Year over year, video starts for HLN’s The Joy Behar Show have doubled on CNN.com and video starts for Nancy Grace have increased more than 50%. (Source: Omniture 1/10 & 1/11)
KATIE NELSON THOMSON JOINS "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT" AS A SENIOR BROADCAST PRODUCER
CNN Press Release - Katie Nelson Thomson has been named a senior broadcast producer of CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, effective immediately.
Thomson joins CNN from ABC News where she spent 15 years working primarily with legendary journalist Barbara Walters, delivering and producing award-winning interviews for 20/20 and The Barbara Walters Specials. She has produced interviews with the last four presidents, celebrities, and top newsmakers of the day including Barbara Walters' interview with Monica Lewinsky which was seen by more than 70 million viewers and was the highest-rated news event ever broadcast by a single network.
"I'm thrilled Katie Thomson is joining the Piers Morgan Tonight team. She brings unmatched experience and leadership in the booking and producing of big-name interviews and she will be instrumental in helping lead a talented team of bookers and producers," said Jonathan Wald, executive producer of Piers Morgan Tonight.
Thomson has produced exclusive profiles of Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton, Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Angelina Jolie, Elizabeth Taylor, Martha Stewart (before and after her conviction), the parents of JonBenet Ramsey, Colin Powell and Queen Noor of Jordan after King Hussein's death. Thomson has also produced interviews with every American president since Jimmy Carter and many world leaders, such as Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Benjamin Netanyahu, King Abdullah and Queen Rania.
While at 20/20, Thomson was part of Barbara Walters’ Peabody-Award winning interviews with Christopher Reeve after the accident that left him paralyzed, candidate profiles during the presidential elections, the funeral of Princess Diana, and Patrick Swayze's last interview. Thomson also worked on ABC’s Emmy award-winning coverage of the September 11th terrorist attacks including the first interviews with Rudolph Giuliani, Russian President Vladimir Putin and President George W. Bush after the tragedy.
Before joining ABC, Thomson was a Producer for CNN's Larry King Live, where she produced exclusive interviews with world leaders including Slobodan Milosevic, Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher; and an unprecedented joint interview with Yitzhak Shamir, Yasser Arafat and King Hussein. She also produced the Al Gore / Ross Perot NAFTA Debate which set a cable ratings record.
Prior to CNN, Thomson was a London-based producer for the BBC, working on several current affairs programs and acting as a studio producer for the British general elections. Thomson graduated with honors from Vanderbilt University and started her career as a researcher and writer for the public affairs talk shows The McLaughlin Group and John McLaughlin’s One on One in Washington, DC.
She currently resides in New York City with her daughter.