Thursday, June 30, 2011

First Look At 'Battle For Blair Mountain: Working In America'

CNN Domestic will premiere the latest installment from the 'In America' series in August. Details, including a sneak peek of the program, below.

CNN Press Note: CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien reports on a battle that is dividing communities in West Virginia and beyond. On one side are coal miners, their families, and the mining industry who are collectively supportive of mountain top removal – a destructive, yet highly-effective form of strip mining. On the other side of this debate is a mix of interests: community activists, environmentalists, and the EPA feel mountaintop removal threatens the environment; and still others feel the practice threatens future coal mining. All sides feel their arguments support a way of life that has existed for generations. With nearly 50 percent of America’s relatively inexpensive electrical power still coming from coal, it’s a battle whose outcome affects everyone.

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Ted Rowlands Moves To Chicago For CNN

TV Newser reports on CNN's latest internal move.
Veteran CNN correspondent Ted Rowlands is on the move. Rowlands, who got his start with CNN in the San Francisco bureau in 2004, before moving to Los Angeles, has been named Chicago correspondent for the network.
Rowlands was previously a general assignment reporter based in Los Angeles for CNN Domestic.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

CNN Q2, 2011 Numbers

CNN is noting its Q2, 2011 numbers. Details from CNN below.


AC 360 is Up +43%, Piers Morgan Tonight Grew +16% and In the Arena Increased +21% Q2 vs. a Year ago


In June, CNN’s Sister Network HLN Tops MSNBC in Total Day, Primetime and Every Hour thru 11 pm, Outperforms FNC at 2p, 3p & 4P

Other than HLN, CNN is the Only Network to Grow in M-F Primetime in Total Viewers in June; FNC Down More than any other Cable News Net in M-F Prime Total Viewers

Second Quarter 2011:

For the second quarter 2011, CNN’s M-F primetime (8-11p) and total day (6a-6a) ratings grew more than MSNBC and FNC in both total viewers and in the key demo 25-54 vs. the second quarter a year ago. In addition, CNN topped MSNBC in both total day and dayside among total viewers and the key demo during the second quarter 2011.


In M-F prime, CNN was up +16% in total viewers (725k vs. 625k) and +29% in the key demo (235k vs. 182k) compared to Q210, while MSNBC’s growth was less, increasing only 3% among total viewers (924k vs. 894k) and 13% in the demo 25-54 (277k vs. 245k). Fox News continued to lose viewers vs. the same quarter a year ago, declining -6% in M-F prime total viewers (2.151m vs. 2.293m) and down -14% in the demo 25-54 (506k vs. 585k).

Total Day and Dayside:

In total day, CNN increased +13% in total viewers (494k vs. 439k) and grew +21% in the key demo 25-54 (173k vs. 143k) compared to last year; MSNBC increased 11% in total viewers (442k vs. 397k) and only 15% in the demo (157k vs. 136k); and FNC was off -1% in total day/total viewers and down -6% in total day/demo 25-54 vs. the second quarter last year.

Also in total day, CNN topped MSNBC in both total viewers and the demo 25-54 this quarter, with CNN averaging 494k in total viewers, a 12% advantage over MSNBC’s 442k, and in the demo 25-54, CNN posted 173k, a 10% lead over MSNBC’s 157k during the second quarter 2011.

During dayside programming (9a– 5p) CNN Newsroom easily outperformed MSNBC each hour, with MSNBC placing either 3rd or 4th throughout the day during the second quarter. For the quarter, among dayside total viewers, CNN averaged 554k, 56% more than MSNBC’s 356k and posted 169k among adults 25-54, a 59% advantage over MSNBC’s 106k. Fox News was down -2% in total viewers and was off -14% during its dayside programming.

Second Quarter 2011 Program Highlights:

CNN’s AC 360 outperformed MSNBC’s The Ed Show/Docs at 10p in both total viewers (843k vs. 805k) and the demo (304k vs. 260k) with AC 360 growing +43% in the demo while MSNBC increased +27% and FNC was down -17% compared to a year ago.

CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight increased +16% in the demo 25-54 (207k vs. 178k) vs. the second quarter a year ago. Since launching on January 17, Piers Morgan Tonight is up 15% in total viewers and 38% in the demo versus the same period last year.

CNN’s 8 pm program In the Arena was the only show to grow (among CNN, MSNBC and FNC) in both total viewers and the demo compared to the second quarter a year ago. During the quarter, ITA increased +14% in total viewers (545k vs. 477k) and was up +21% in the demo (168k vs. 139k), while MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell decreased -12% in total viewers (946k vs. 1.071m) and was down -5% in the key demo (253k vs. 267k) compared to last quarter. The O’Reilly Factor lost -4% of its total viewer audience and -12% in the demo 25-54. HLN’s Nancy Grace was up +19% in total viewers and +9% in the demo for quarter.

John King, USA also grew the most this quarter compared to MSNBC and FNC – posting double-digit growth - up +20% in total viewers (540k vs. 450k) and +32% in the demo (188k vs. 142k). MSNBC was up only 7% in total viewers and 10% in the demo while FNC was up 3% and down -3% respectively.

The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer topped MSNBC in the demo at 6 pm (187k vs. 154k) and grew among total viewers by +15% (605k vs. 526k) and +19% (187k vs. 157k) in the demo vs. the second quarter 2010. At 5 pm, the Sit Room also topped MSNBC in the demo (192k vs. 169k) and increased +15% in total viewers and +19% in the demo vs. a year ago.

Cumulative Audience:

CNN reached a cumulative Q2 2011 average monthly audience of 100.4 million, Fox News followed with 83.2 million and MSNBC trailed with 80.3 million.

June 2011:

In June, fueled by coverage of the Casey Anthony trial, CNN’s sister network HLN topped MSNBC in M-F primetime, total day and every hour of dayside in both total viewers and in the key demo 25-54 (except 9a in 2+). In addition, HLN was #1 outperforming FNC at 3p and 4p in both total viewers and the demo and at 2p in the demo 25-54. (HLN’s complete June ratings release will be released separately.)

Other than HLN -- CNN was the only network to show M-F primetime growth in June among total viewers –– increasing +5% (690k vs. 660k), MSNBC was down -5% (831k vs. 872k) and FNC off -16% (2.026m vs. 2.414m). HLN increased a staggering +84% in M-F prime time total viewers in June.

At 10 pm, AC 360 topped MSNBC The Ed Show in both total viewers (753k vs. 725k) and the demo (259k vs. 244k), with MSNBC slipping to 4th place. At 8 pm, In the Arena was even among total viewers compared to a year ago (458k vs. 457k) and was off only -7% in the demo, while FNC and MSNBC had much more significant ratings losses. FNC’s O’Reilly Factor was down -12% in total viewers and -22% in the demo and MSNBC’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell lost -23% of its total viewer audience (843k vs. 1.092m) and -19% in the demo (226k vs. 280k) compared to Countdown with Keith Olbermann a year ago.

In head-to-head comparisons with MSNBC’s daytime non-opinion programming CNN Newsroom averaged 423k vs. MSNBC’s 310k (+36%) and in the demo 25-54, CNN held a 39% advantage (129k vs. 93k).

On Sunday, June 26, CNN’s special documentary “Nepal’s Stolen Children” which is part of CNN’s Freedom Project, a global initiative to end human trafficking averaged 271k in the demo 25-54, outperforming MSNBC’s 245k and FNC’s 189k at 8 pm.

CNN reached a cumulative June 2011 audience of 90.6 million, FNC followed with 77.4 million, HLN had 76.2 million, topping MSNBC’s 75.1 million.

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HLN Q2, 2011 Numbers

HLN is noting its numbers for Q2, 2011. Details from HLN below.


HLN Tops MSNBC in Total Day and Prime, Outperforms FNC at 2p, 3p & 4p in June

Prime and Dayside Programming Posting Best Month Ever; Experiencing Triple and Double Digit Gains vs. Prior Year

JUNE 28, 2011—HLN increased a substantial +86% in P2+ (982k vs. 529k) and +79% in P25-54 (292k vs. 163k) in M-Su prime and +98% in P2+ (601k vs. 303k) and +48% in P25-54 (192k vs. 130k) in total day vs. June 2010, posting its best month ever in both dayparts among total viewers. In addition, HLN topped MSNBC in M-Su prime and total day in P2+ and P25-54, and was #1 in cable news outperforming FNC at 3p and 4p in both demos and at 2p in P25-54.

HLN programming highlights include:

Nancy Grace (8p) grew +85% in P2+ (1.5M vs. 815k) and +87% in P25-54 (452k vs. 242k), marking its best month ever in total viewers and its best since Feb 09 in P25-54, ranking #2 among cable news for the month in both demos at 8p. In addition, Nancy Grace dramatically closed the gap with The O’Reilly Factor in both demos, besting the FNC show by +24% in P18-34, and was the third most watched cable news program in the demo in June.

HLN’s newest hit, Dr. Drew (9p) increased +90% in P2+ (1.2M vs. 622k) and +120% in P25-54 (339k vs. 154k), ranking #2 in both demos at 9p across cable news.

The Joy Behar Show (10p) up +73% in P2+ (862k vs. 497k) and +48% in P25-54 (273k vs. 184k), posting the show’s best month ever and ranking #2 in both demos at 10p across cable news.

Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell (7p) grew +110% in P2+ (991k vs. 471k) and +87% in P25-54 (312k vs. 167k), experiencing its best month ever and ranking #2 in both demos at 7p across cable news.

HLN News at 2p, 3p and 4p ranked #1 in P25-54 among cable news networks, posting triple and double-digit gains: +85% (191k), +254% (322k) and +278% (355k), also ranking #1 at 3p and 4p in P2+: +382% (1.3M) and +456% (1.3M).

Launched on May 2, HLN Special Report, hosted by Vinnie Politan, (5p) posted triple digits gains, up +379% in P2+ (1.1M vs. 229k) and +209% in P25-54 (309k vs. 100k).

Prime News with Vinnie Politan (6p) also posted triple-digit gains, up +242% in P2+ (919k vs. 269k) and up +136% P25-54 (288k vs. 122k), posting its best month ever and ranking #2 in both demos for the hour among cable news.

In Q211, HLN’s M-Su prime increased +12% in P2+ (549k vs. 490k) and +8% in P25-54 (170k vs. 158k), and total day +23% in P2+ (357k vs. 290k) and flat in the demo (128k).

Driven by the Casey Anthony trial, HLN digital properties have also experienced significant gains, including:


· Nancy Grace’s Facebook fan page has more than 634,000 fans, 37,000 of which joined in June. Since the Casey Anthony trial began the fan page has experienced:

* More than 49,000 new fans
* 378,000 total likes and comments
* Daily average of 11,000 likes and comments, double the daily average from April 2011

Source: Facebook insights


As of June 28, key HLN accounts covering news of the Casey Anthony trial had more than 226,000 followers, including (below are follower counts and % increase over April):

* @HLNTV had 30,000 followers up 81%
* @NancyGraceHLN had 58,900 followers up 229%
* @VinniePolitan had 85,000 followers up 355%
* @TeamNancyHLN had 17,800 followers since it launched on May 10th, the account is up 225% since the trial began
* @Ryansmithtv had more than 6,800 followers up 640%

Source: Twitter & Twittercounter
(all data based on June 11 vs. June 10 unless otherwise noted)

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Yellin named chief White House correspondent

CNN Press Release - Jessica Yellin will join CNN’s White House unit, it was announced today by Sam Feist, Washington bureau chief and senior vice president. Yellin begins her new assignment as chief White House correspondent immediately.

“Jessica Yellin has emerged as one of the leading political reporters in Washington, ” said Feist. “Jessica’s assertiveness along with her clever insight made her one of the top reporters of the 2008 campaign and has already set her apart in her reporting on the 2012 campaign. We’re thrilled Jessica will now bring her outstanding political journalism to our White House coverage.”

“This is a dream assignment,” said Yellin. “I’m honored CNN is putting its faith in me and humbled by the responsibility of covering the White House during these challenging times—and as we head into an election. I look forward to providing our viewers an honest assessment of the policies and the politics that affect our lives everyday.”

Since January 2009, Yellin has served as national political correspondent, covering important stories on politics, policy and culture for various CNN programs, including The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer and John King, USA. In that role based in Washington, D.C., Yellin traveled the country, reporting on breaking political news, as well as political trends and happenings that impact Americans outside the nation’s capital. Yellin joined CNN as a Capitol Hill correspondent in August 2007.

As a member of the Peabody Award-winning Best Political Team on Television, Yellin’s reporting was prominent throughout the network’s 2008 and 2010 ‘America Votes’ election coverage. During the 2008 campaign, she traveled throughout the battleground states to cover key races and conduct interviews with the candidates. Yellin has also covered significant policy debates, including the push to reform the financial regulatory system. In 2010, she won a Gracie Award for her reporting on the intersection of women and politics.

Prior to CNN, Yellin was a White House correspondent for ABC News. She began with ABC in July 2003 and reported on politics and culture for such programs as World News, Good Morning America and Nightline. She has interviewed Presidents Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush. She has also reported from around the globe, including Russia, China, Europe, Latin America and Mongolia.

Prior to joining ABC News, Yellin was an overnight anchor and correspondent for MSNBC. She covered the 2000 recount in Florida as a general assignment reporter at WTVT-TV in Tampa. She began her broadcast career in 1998 as a general assignment reporter for Orlando's 24-hour cable news channel, Central Florida News 13. In 1999, she was named morning anchor.

Yellin’s work has been published in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Details and Entertainment Weekly. She was also a Los Angeles-based reporter for George Magazine.

Yellin graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard University.

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

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weekly Observations - week ending June 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.

- Robin Meade's album Brand New Day hit Target stores and iTunes this week.

- CNN is one of only a handful of networks to have journalists in Syria. Arwa Damon, Hala Gorani and producer Jomana Karadsheh have been allowed to enter the country and report (with restrictions) on the unrest currently gripping parts of Syria. You can follow CNN's reporting on the situation in Syria here.

- HLN's Dr. Drew sees ratings boost, courtesy of Casey Anthony trial.

- CNN turns to psychics to predict economic future.

- Don Lemon Q&A.

- Kiran Chetry and Erin Burnett have been named amongst The Washington Times' "30 hottest political women of 2011".

- Kenyan Fatuma Noor named CNN Multichoice African Journalist 2011.

- Larry King gets new agents.


Liz Neisloss to Singapore

CNN's Senior VP of International Newsgathering Parisa Khosravi announced this week that longtime CNN reporter/producer Liz Neisloss is joining CNN's Singapore bureau:
As part of our continued commitment to Content Ownership Strategy, Liz Neisloss is now based in Singapore and will be reporting for us from the region.

As many of you know, Liz is a long-time CNNer, having produced for Richard Roth at the UN, and in recent years been based in Chennai, India.

We look forward to Liz’s excellent reporting to add to our expanded coverage in the region.

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Nick Charles Passes Away

CNN's first sports anchor, Nick Charles passed away Saturday after a lengthy battle with Cancer. He was 64 and is survived by his wife, Cory, a Senior Director of Guest Planning for CNN International and four children.

Coverage of this story:'s Wayne Drash

CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton sent an E-Mail to staff today regarding Nick:
With great sadness I send this to inform you our friend and former colleague Nick Charles died this morning.

As you may know, Nick had been ill for some time. He was public and extraordinarily generous with the story of his health struggles in recent months, notably in conversations with Sanjay Gupta for his show and a recent profile by Wayne Drash for

As a journalist and sports personality, Nick helped put CNN on the map in its early days. He brought intelligence, style and heart to his work–qualities that translated to our company and inspired those of us who worked alongside him. You’ll see some of that work in remembrances over the coming days.

We will share information on arrangements when we receive it. Our thoughts now are with Cory, Nick’s wife and our CNN colleague, his four children and the Charles family. Their loss is also a loss to CNN, to the sports world and to those of us who were proud and fortunate to call him friend.
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is hosting a special report Nick Charles: No Regrets, Lessons from the Fight which airs at 7:30 AM ET Sunday morning on CNN.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Wake Up Call Goes Global

As noted earlier this week, Wake Up Call with Ali Velshi premieres on Monday. We now know the show will simulcast for 30 minutes on CNN International, Monday to Friday. The program will run for 60 minutes on CNN Domestic.

CNN International has amended its schedule slightly to accommodate the live simulcast from CNN Domestic. The new lineup for CNNI is as follows:

0800 GMT - World Business Today
0900 GMT - Wake Up Call with Ali Velshi
0930 GMT - Taped programming
1000 GMT - World One (replacing World Sport and taped programming)

In addition to retaining anchoring duties for World One, Zain Verjee will also provide international news updates for Wake Up Call. The program is also tipped to feature crosses to CNN International's Hong Kong bureau for finance updates as Asia's market day wraps up.

UPDATE: Wake Up Call will not air on the Asia-Pacific feed of CNN International, according to the latest schedule update from CNN. This is the second time in recent weeks where the Asian feeds of the network have split from network programming** to alter the schedule to better adapt to regional timezones. **The Asia feed doesn't take The Situation Room simulcast, airing an hour of World Report in its place.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

CNN Coverage Of Obama's Address To The Nation

Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper will co-anchor CNN special coverage of President Obama's address to the nation on Wedesday night, with the broadcast to be simulcast on CNN International. Details from CNN below.

CNN Press Note: CNN will provide special coverage, beginning at 7:50 p.m., of President Obama’s address to the nation tomorrow evening. The president is scheduled to deliver remarks from the White House at 8 p.m. ET. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper along with correspondents and analysts will provide reports and analysis immediately prior to and following the address. CNN International will simulcast.

**All times Eastern**

7:00PM – 8:00PM: John King, USA
8:00PM – 9:00PM: Presidential Address: The Afghanistan Decision

Presidential Address: The Afghanistan Decision, anchored by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Ali Velshi's Wake Up Call

TV Newser reports that Ali Velshi's new 5am show will launch next week.

Called “Wake up Call,” the show will run from 5-6 AM ET Monday-Friday starting June 27. CNN has committed to the program through September 23, 2011.

Meanwhile, Inside Cable News questions what CNN has planned for the slot post Velshi :

Maybe the ol’ tin foil needs replacing but I don’t think that date was chosen at random. It was chosen for a reason. But what’s the reason? I would tend to think that September 26th, the following Monday, is too far off to possibly be the launch date for Erin Burnett’s show. But CNN has dragged out launches before.

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Ed Henry to FOX News reports that CNN Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry is leaving the network at the end of the week for a position as Chief White House Correspondent at FOX News.

Read Henry's touching e-mail to his CNN colleagues at TVNewser.

Henry is one of the latest to move to FOX News, John Roberts, former American Morning anchor, moved to FOX News as an Atlanta-based National Correspondent back in January.

CNN states that a new Chief White House Correspondent will be named in the coming days.

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Amber Lyon Special On "Online Warriors Of The Arab Spring" Debuts Tonight

CNN will premiere a new Amber Lyon special tonight. Details from CNN below.

CNN Press Release: iRevolution: Online Warriors of the Arab Spring premieres Sunday, June 19, 8:00pm ET & PT

CNN correspondent Amber Lyon reports from the digital edges of the democratic revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, and Bahrain on the movements spreading through North Africa and the Middle East. Using computers and cell phones, and social media like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, young citizen journalists have leveraged the technology of the Internet to call out injustices, demand democratic change, organize protests, and share news about how to evade authorities desperately trying to contain the spread of revolution.

CNN Presents – iRevolution: Online Warriors Of The Arab Spring debuts Sunday, June 19 at 8:00p.m. ET and PT it replays on Saturday, June 25 at 8:00p.m. ET and PT on CNN/U.S.

Though the historic changes sweeping the Middle East and North Africa have been collectively dubbed the “Facebook revolution,” Lyon reports how the digital roots of reform were actually sown years before the extraordinary street demonstrations of 2010 and 2011. Riadh Guerfali, whose online handle is “Astrubal,” is one of the founders of Nawaat, a crowd-sourced digital newspaper in Tunisia. In 2007, he launched a salvo with his exposé about the misuse of the president’s official airplane. His site was banned by the Tunisian government within days of its launch. Later, Astrubal created TuniLeaks, a website hosting the first set of WikiLeaks releases. The revelation that even the U.S. government suspected rampant corruption within the Tunisian regime, spawned even more outrage that ultimately led to President Ben Ali’s resignation.

From Tunisia, Lyon’s team travels to Cairo to report on activists Gigi Ibrahim and Mona Seif who are using the Internet to hold the new Egyptian government accountable for its actions, including allegations of torture. They take Lyon to the streets of Tahrir Square where activists use Twitter to battle alleged government enforcers. “Piggipedia” is a rogue’s gallery photo-sharing website used by Egyptian protestors to post the identities of authorities reported to have harassed demonstrators; the “Tahrir Diaries” serves as a digital blog that captures the testimony of protestors who report being emotionally, physically, and sexually tortured by authorities.

A spokesman responded to Lyon’s inquiries about the allegations of abuse with the following official denial:

“These cases of torture are false rumors. None of these accounts are true. We are in unstable times in Egypt; there are thugs loose.” Later though, Egyptian authorities admitted that virginity tests were conducted on female protestors in order to refute allegations that they were raped while held in captivity.

Lyon next travels to Bahrain where she searches for the founder of Bahrain Online, a ‘digital coffeeshop’ for political dialogue. For years the blog was thought to be edited by a team of underground bloggers, but the site was managed by a lone Bahraini airline engineer, Ali Abdulemam. Just prior to his planned interview with CNN’s iRevolution team, government forces raided his home and he disappeared. Nabeel Rajab, a human rights activist agitating for Abduleman’s innocence, himself was arrested. When Lyon asks Rajab’s young son what he did when their home was raided and his father was arrested he replies, “I put it on Facebook.”

Later, Lyon and her crew were detained during the reporting of this documentary.

“About 20 men wearing black ski masks, some in civilian clothing, pointed machine guns at us,” says Lyon. A six-hour detention followed, and authorities confiscated and erased their videotape.

Bahraini Foreign Minister Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa says, “It (the detention of the CNN crew) had to be done,” he says. “Nowadays,” he continues, “during this period of restoring law and order, this is the way that protects everyone – including your team,” he says. Masked armed authorities may be unusual he agrees, but he argues: “It’s unusual, because the whole situation around us in Bahrain is unusual. We have never seen this before in our lifetime.”

Online via, users wanting more information about the digitally-fueled revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and more will find video profiles of some of the most active “web warriors” of the Arab world. Blog postings and moving images from protests throughout North Africa and the Middle East are featured in an online gallery with video excerpts from the documentary.

Taryn Fixel and Scott Bronstein produced iRevolution. Kathy Slobogin is a managing editor for CNN’s Special Investigations and Documentary unit.

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Weekly Observations - week ending June 18, 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.

- Is Anderson Cooper staying at CNN? How will he handle AC360° and his new daytime show Anderson? Check out "Ask Anderson".

- Wilson Surratt named Executive Producer of CNN's new program with Erin Burnett.

- Suit demands CNN offer online captions for deaf.

- CNN reporter severs ties to Jewish women’s group.

- wins Murrow Award.

- Watch two new promotional spots for CNN's 'Freedom Project' documentary with Demi Moore. Promo 1 Promo 2.

- Z on TV: CNN sets high bar with GOP debate Monday.

- Isha Sesay tweets a humorous incident about a faux wedding between her and Anderson Cooper.

- CNN en Español produces featurette to accompany documentary in U.S. theaters.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ellana Lee Upped At CNN International

CNN International has promoted Ellana Lee to Vice President of the network's operations in Asia. Lee's current role is Managing Editor, Asia Pacific. More details in the press release below.

Press Release: CNN announced that Ellana Lee is moving into a new position at the network’s Asia Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong. Currently Managing Editor, her role as Vice President of Asia will expand her responsibilities to encompass all of CNN’s operations and award-winning on-air and online news and feature programming from across the Asia Pacific region.

“I’m thrilled and honored to be taking on this new position as Vice President. Asia Pacific is a remarkable and dynamic region and I look forward to working alongside our fantastic team of talented producers and correspondents to further strengthen our Asian editorial coverage for millions of viewers worldwide,” she said.

Through her managerial responsibility for CNN’s correspondents and newsgathering teams across nine Asia Pacific editorial operations, she has overseen a remarkable six months of coverage since the turn of the year, from the devastating Japan earthquake and tsunami in March, ongoing unrest in the Middle East to the death of Osama bin Laden.

Lee has also been instrumental in the launch of a new Asia Primetime programing line-up, a new Hong Kong-based show called News Stream and four weeks of extended regional coverage in Malaysia, South Korea, Japan and Indonesia.

Further landmark programming initiatives under her tenure have included taking Hong Kong-based programs to Beijing, Delhi, Mumbai and Seoul while from the world of business she managed the launch of a new weekday business program from Hong Kong, ‘World Business Today’.

Lee has also been named a ‘Young Global Leader’ by the World Economic Forum, is an Asia 21 fellow as awarded by the Asia Society and a graduate of Harvard’s ‘Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century’ Executive Program. Lee holds a Master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from New York University and an undergraduate degree in History and International Relations from Georgetown University.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

CNN Posts Wins With Debate Coverage

CNN is noting its Debate ratings. Details from CNN's press release below.



AC 360 #1 AT 10 PM

According to Nielsen Fast National data, CNN’s first Republican debate (8-10pm) moderated by John King, delivered an impressive 3.162 million total viewers and 918k among adults 25-54 last night, Monday, June 13. CNN ranked first in both total viewers and in the key demo 25-54, topping second place Fox News by 61% among total viewers (3.162 million vs. 1.959 million) and 94% among adults 25-54 (918k vs. 473k). CNN also out-performed third place MSNBC by 288% among total viewers (3.162 million vs. 814k) and by 348% among P25-54 (918k vs. 205k).

Compared to Fox News' recent GOP Debate (5/5/11), CNN had a 7% advantage in the key demo adults 25-54 (918k vs. 854k).

Following the debate, CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 ranked first in cable news at 10 pm with 1.895 million total viewers and 627k adults 25-54, ahead of FNC’s On the Record by 23% (1.546m) and 51% (416k), respectively. MSNBC’s The Ed Show trailed with 963k total viewers and 281k in the demo.

Other key highlights:

--Compared to CNN’s first GOP Debate in the 2008 Election Cycle (6/5/07), last night’s debate was 54% ahead among total viewers (3.162 million vs. 2.055 million) and was 23% ahead among P25-54 (918k vs. 747k).

--CNN's performance last night represents an increase of 385% in total viewers and a 352% advantage in the demo over CNN'S prior 4-Monday 8-10p average (excluding Memorial Day).

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Robin Meade's "Brand New Day" in Country Music

Robin Meade visited Nashville, TN last week to attend some events at the CMA Music Festival, a 4-day country music festival held each June. We caught up with her at the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game and asked about her latest project Brand New Day which hits Target stores and iTunes next Tuesday, June 21. You can pre-order the album on iTunes now.

How's everything going with CMA Fest?

It's good! It's good! It's my first time to come here as an artist. I came last year, you know, as a reporter covering the flood recovery. So this is a totally different vantage point, and I'm getting more worn out just meeting people, and keeping busy with everything.

Are you still doing any work or are you just kinda leaving it up to the artist thing this time?

This time around it's all artist stuff. No cameras are following me around from HLN this time.

So, have you gotten good response? I know you're selling your album early at the booth. Have you gotten good response from the fans?

Yeah! We're fortunate in that we did not get to sit down the entire time. We've been signing for two days and I'm going to sign today a little bit more. Most of them are viewers who are like 'Hey! I didn't know you are putting out a CD as well!' And most of them know Victoria Shaw who produced it and recognize her work too.

How did this album come about? Did you approach her or did she approach you?

Well, I approached her. I was hosting as a guest host The Next GAC Star a couple of years ago and I recognized her from the liner notes of the first Lady Antebellum album. I remember saying to my husband 'I'm gonna work with her some day.' and there she was! So I introduced myself and said 'I want to learn how to write, would you help me out?' a she did. She's just generous with her time and her talent. And we kept writing, we kept writing with different people like Gary Burr, John Rich, Billy Dean, and before you knew it we had an album.

Before working with her did you do any writing on your own or did she kind of push you into the songwriting?

I pushed her to teach me. I had dabbled a little bit with Ryder Lee and The Lost Trailers and Billy Dean a little bit. Then getting with her it's kinda like getting with the master class.

Have you had any interest from your friends like Billy Dean or John Rich for maybe doing some opening stuff on the weekends?

No, I haven't bothered them about that, I'm just happy to have them on the album.

So, do you think you might try to do some touring on the weekends?

Hey, in a perfect world, I think most things are already booked for this summer, but I'd like to have my butt in the anchor chair for five days and then go out and do some shows.

What about a single or maybe a music video? Any thoughts about that?

A music video is in the works. We chose a single, but a couple of DJ's have chosen their favorite and it didn't match, so I'm just going to wait and see what happens.

Jennifer Westhoven [Morning Express Personal Finance Correspondent] said she's going to be back next month. Have you seen cute little baby James yet?

I miss her! I have not seen him in person. She's in the Mommy mode. She hasn't come to the station that I know of.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

New CNN Investigation Profiles WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

'CNN Presents: WikiWars – The Mission of Julian Assange' debuts at 8pm (eastern) tonight on CNN Domestic. A preview and release from CNN is below.

CNN Press Release: Julian Assange says he is on a mission to change the world, by fighting corruption and what he sees as injustice, through exposing secrets. He has launched a cyber war over the control of sensitive information, inciting a debate over the power of secrecy and who has the ‘right’ to release confidential information. Exposing everything from secret war logs, to diplomatic cables, to explosive videos, the 39-year-old Australian founder of the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks has been called both a hero and a villain.

CNN correspondent Kaj Larsen reports on the unconventional life and mission of the WikiLeaks revealer-in-chief in a one-hour documentary, CNN Presents – WikiWars: The Mission of Julian Assange. The documentary debuts Sunday, June 12 at 8:00p.m. ET and PT replays on Saturday, June 18 at 8:00p.m. ET and PT on CNN/U.S.

Through a series of in-depth interviews, conducted over several months between Australian freelance journalist Mark Davis and Julian Assange, WikiWars recounts Assange’s evolution from a convicted teenage computer hacker, to someone who provokes outrage from governments around the world. Assange has attained cult hero status among his supporters, but critics accuse him of being obsessed with targeting the U.S. military, and recklessly endangering lives.

Larsen interviews former WikiLeaks spokesperson, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, author of Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website, who describes an organization in turmoil – running short of funding and running high on infighting. Larsen also spoke with former hacker Adrian Lamo, who communicated with PFC Bradley Manning in a series of web chats that eventually led to Manning’s arrest for allegedly leaking confidential State and Defense Department records related to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And, he interviewed Brigadier General Mark T. Kimmitt, USA (Ret.) about the fallout from WikiLeaks’ release of the controversial “Collateral Murder” video which reveals U.S. soldiers shooting at a group of men, killing insurgents and two men later identified as journalists.

In the summer of 2010, in one of its most notorious leaks, WikiLeaks released tens of thousands of documents to The New York Times, Germany’s Der Spiegel, and the U.K.’s The Guardian. The Guardian’s Nick Davies says that many of the reporters who were part of this unprecedented collaborative review came away from the experience with concerns. “All of us came across material, which was clearly likely to lead to the death of innocent civilians if we published it. All of us had the experience of bringing this to his [Assange’s] attention, and being told by him, in effect: ‘If an Afghan civilian helps coalition forces, then they deserve to die.”

Though Davies says Assange belatedly made some attempts to withhold some documents, he says sensitive identity data was released at the WikiLeaks website which, in his view, ‘reduced’ Assange’s moral authority. “He’d made a terrible tactical mistake,” says Davies.

In addition to the television airing, later this week users will find video excerpts from the documentary at Users will also find an article written by Kaj Larsen describing his first-person, behind-the-scenes account of his experience working on this documentary, and the impact of WikiLeaks upon journalism, diplomacy, government communications, and more.

Heather O’Neill is the senior producer for Wiki Wars; Ken Shiffman was a producer. Kathy Slobogin is managing editor for the CNN Special Investigations Unit.

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Weekly Observations - week ending June 11, 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.

- Larry King chats with Fox Business Network's Don Imus. Watch part 1 and part 2. (via: Johnny $)

- TJ Holmes advises Don Lemon and John King as they loosen up before CNN's debate in New Hampshire.

- CNN's Washington bureau chief on how the network grew to love Twitter.

- Veteran CNN Photojournalist Neil Hallsworth gives a behind-the-scenes look at working and traveling with Anderson Cooper.

- Kyra Phillips returns to CNN after birth of twins.

- Inside Cable News takes an in-depth look at where Erin Burnett might fit in at CNN - and where CNN should schedule her program.

- How CNN is crushing its online competitors with the "Pilates Strategy".

- CNN International unveils a new weekly feature titled 'The Gateway' next week. Read all about the new series to be hosted by Becky Anderson here, or watch the promo here.

- Shelley Fralic of The Vancouver Sun reckons Anderson Cooper should give up the idea of a daytime talk fest and stick with concentrating on his nightly CNN show.

- Sam Feist: ‘CNN Senior Management is behind John King USA

- CNN International rolls out new promotional spot for 'Quest Means Business'


Saturday, June 11, 2011

CNN Gears Up For Monday's GOP Debate

CNN is soliciting comments and questions to be put to GOP Presidential candidates for Monday's debate.

CNN Press Release: While Republican presidential primary contenders face-off Monday, June 13 in the first New Hampshire debate of the season presented by CNN, Hearst Television’s WMUR, and the New Hampshire Union Leader, voters will have opportunities to question the candidates in person and online. The debate will feature questions from New Hampshire voters inside the debate hall and potentially from town hall locations in Hancock, Plymouth, and Rochester, New Hampshire. In addition, CNN will solicit comments from its users on as well as questions via Facebook and Twitter.

The following Republican candidates will participate in the debate: Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, businessman Herman Cain, former Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

The debate, which will air live from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, will be moderated by CNN anchor and chief national correspondent John King, with questions from WMUR-TV’s Jean Mackin, Josh McElveen and Jennifer Vaughn and New Hampshire Union Leader’s John DiStaso and Tom Fahey. The debate will be broadcast live throughout New Hampshire on WMUR-TV and nationally on CNN, CNN en Español,, CNN Radio, and The debate will be available via live stream in the CNN Apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.

Viewers watching on television and online are invited to comment or ask questions by posting comments to, by logging on to John King, USA’s Facebook page and by using the #CNNdebate hashtag on Twitter. New Hampshire voters watching the debate at the Rochester town hall will be hosted by CNN correspondent Tom Foreman and will be equipped with handheld dial-testing devices to register their reactions during the debate. will offer streaming video of the live dial-testing results in addition to a live stream of the debate in its entirety.

CNN’s political team will live blog the debate on the CNN Political Ticker, which will also feature a live feed of debate-related tweets. A new interactive feature will debut Monday night on CNN when at the beginning of the debate, a QR code (a square digital barcode) will appear on screen. Viewers with smartphones will be able to scan the QR code to access exclusive content on including a column penned by Wolf Blitzer, a quick vote poll and a behind-the-scenes photo gallery.

CNN’s coverage surrounding the debates kicks off live and on location with John King, USA on Friday, June 10 at 7 p.m. and will continue through Monday featuring anchors Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Candy Crowley, John King, Don Lemon and Christine Romans with national political correspondent Jessica Yellin and chief political analyst Gloria Borger.

The following programs will originate live from Manchester, New Hampshire:

Saturday, June 11

5 p.m. – 6 p.m. CNN Newsroom with Don Lemon
7 p.m. – 8p.m. CNN Newsroom with Don Lemon
10 p.m. – 11 p.m. CNN Newsroom with Don Lemon

Sunday, June 12

9 a.m. – 10 a.m. State of the Union with Candy Crowley
6 p.m. – 8 p.m. CNN Newsroom with Don Lemon
10 p.m. – 11a.m. CNN Newsroom with Don Lemon

Monday, June 13

6 a.m. – 9 a.m. American Morning (split show from NH and NY)
5 p.m. – 7 p.m. The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer
7 p.m. – 8 p.m. John King, USA
8 p.m. – 10 p.m. CNN/WMUR/New Hampshire Union Leader GOP Primary Debate
10 p.m. – 11 p.m. AC 360° with Anderson Cooper, Tom Foreman will also be reporting from the Rochester, New Hampshire town hall
11 p.m. – 1 a.m. CNN/WMUR/New Hampshire Union Leader GOP Primary Debate (replay)

Meanwhile, watch as CNN's Don Lemon takes viewers on a quick tour of the debate set.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Kate Giles Leaves CNN International

CNN International's Kate Giles presented her final World Sport program on Friday. Writing on her facebook page, Giles thanked viewers and her fans:
It wasn’t an easy decision to leave CNN, I know I'm leaving behind some great colleagues, a show I have loved working on, and a channel that has been really good to me. But I am convinced this is the right step for me.

Thank you all so much for watching over the past couple of years, and for your messages here on facebook, it really has meant a lot.
As we reported in a Weekly Observations post last month, Giles is leaving CNN to join a new sport network for SKY in Germany. Kate Giles had been with CNN International since July, 2009.

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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Larry King Reveals Details Of Next Two CNN Specials

Larry King has revealed the focus of two more of his CNN specials, due to air later this year on CNN.

An hour with actor Johnny Depp, and a celebration of the last Harry Potter movie - slated for broadcast in July - will count as specials number 2 and 3 (of 4) planned for 2011.

Speaking with the American Morning team on Monday, King also revealed that he would like to nab a one on one with former Cuban President Fidel Castro.

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Actress, Activist Demi Moore Joins CNN's Freedom Project

As we mentioned back in May, CNN International has recruited Demi Moore for The CNN Freedom Project, and will air a new special revealing the heartbreaking stories trafficked children in Nepal.

Nepal's Stolen Children: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary, is scheduled to debut at 1300 GMT this Saturday on CNN International, with repeat airings at 2000 GMT Sunday, 0000 and 0900 GMT Monday.

CNN Press Release: Demi Moore Partners with the CNN Freedom Project in Gripping Documentary Uncovering Nepal’s Sex Trade.

Documentary is latest in CNN Worldwide’s commitment to The CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern-Day Slavery

Actress and anti-sex trafficking activist Demi Moore has partnered with the CNN Freedom Project to shine a light on the shocking trade of human life in Nepal’s Stolen Children: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary, which premieres Sunday, June 26 at 8 p.m. (ET) on CNN/U.S. The premiere of Nepal’s Stolen Children culminates in CNN’s week-long series “In Depth,” focusing on CNN’s reporting on modern-day slavery across all CNN networks and platforms the week of June 20th.

As a special contributor to the CNN Freedom Project, Moore heads to Nepal to join up with 2010 CNN Hero of the Year Anuradha Koirala and her organization, Maiti Nepal, which has rescued more than 12,000 stolen Nepalese children from sex trafficking since its founding in 1993. Moore is a passionate advocate for victims of human trafficking and through DNA, the organization she co-founded with her husband, Ashton Kutcher, is outspoken about the need to address the demand side of sex trafficking through law enforcement against solicitors, and education and rehabilitation for young victims ensnared by the abusive practices.

Earlier this year, CNN announced it was marshalling its global resources to take on human trafficking with the launch of ‘The CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern-Day Slavery’. Through this multi-platform initiative, CNN’s reporting aims to expose the horrors of modern-day slavery, highlight the growing efforts to stop the trade and exploitation of human beings and amplify the voices of the victims.

“This is a multi-faceted story, but each side does not carry equal moral value. Modern day slavery is wrong. It needs to be stopped,” said Tony Maddox, executive vice president and managing director of CNN International. “CNN has committed our reporters around the world for the year to investigate an end to this global epidemic.”

Each year thousands of Nepalese girls are duped into following men and women to the big city with promises of jobs, but instead they’re forced into the brutal life of prostitution. Nepal’s Stolen Children follows Moore as she speaks with dozens of girls – some as young as 11 years old - who have been trafficked. The girls share harrowing stories of torture and brutality, and some even describe being force-fed growth hormones to make their child-like bodies more curvaceous.

“At the brothel, I was forced to have sex with men and if I argued they would burn cigarettes on my body and beat me with a stick or spill hot water on me. I went with my baby son, but we were separated and when he cried they burned his tongue with a cigarette,” said Radika, one of the rescued girls Moore meets at Maiti Nepal.

The stigma of forced prostitution means many girls face rejection by their families. From the capital of Kathmandu, Moore makes a six-hour journey up into the Himalaya Mountains to a height of 12,000 feet with one young woman rescued from a brothel. Will the family welcome home – or turn their backs on – their returning daughter? Moore also goes to Bhairahawa, which is near the Indian border and a key point of trafficking from Nepal to India, and watches Maiti Nepal’s border guards take the lead in spotting traffickers. Moore finds out first hand how and where Nepalese girls are smuggled into India for the regional sex trade.

Moore meets with Nepal’s Prime Minister, Jhalanath Khanal, to discuss his country’s cultural and criminal problems caused by its widespread sex trafficking. Khanal vows to Moore that he will make efforts to tackle this issue as part of a new federal constitution in Nepal that “provides every kind of right to women.”

He adds, "For a long time in Nepal, there has been a patriarchal domination - that is one of the causes that women are in their unprivileged situation right now but there is dire poverty. Also, about 30% of our population is under dire poverty. These are the determining factors why the women are suffering."

The Freedom Project blog will be the online hub for special coverage of Nepal’s Stolen Children. Leading up to the premiere of the documentary, will have opinion pieces on the plight of Nepalese children and sex trafficking. The blog will also include explainers on slavery in Nepal, directing users on how to help, and videos and blog posts that highlight Koirala and Maiti Nepal.

CNN iReport will also issue the second iReport Freedom Project challenge by asking users to make paper airplanes with statistics about slavery and messages of hope for victims. Users will also be able to check for updates across social media on the Freedom Project Facebook page or @CNNFreedom.

Nepal’s Stolen Children replays on CNN/U.S. on Sunday, June 26 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., Monday, June 27 at 2 a.m., Saturday, July 2 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.; and Sunday, July 3 at 2 a.m. All times Eastern.

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Ali Velshi Moving To CNN Early Mornings?

TV Newser reports that Ali Velshi will soon anchor a new 5:00am program, before staying on to co-anchor American Morning.

According to the report, the new show is not considered to be a permanent addition to the schedule at this stage, which may be good news for fans of CNN International's World One (which is currently simulcast on the domestic network at 5:00am).

A name and launch date have not been set, but it will likely launch at the end of June or early July. Staffers have already been lined up, with most of the production to come out of Atlanta, while Velshi will be based out of New York.

The program is being described as a stage-setter for the day ahead, while also giving viewers the news that morning, and highlights from the night before. In addition to hosting the 5 AM show, Velshi will continue on as co-anchor of “American morning.”

TV Newser says that Velshi's 1:00pm - 3:00pm edition of CNN Newsroom will be anchored by a rotating roster of substitute hosts.

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Sunday, June 05, 2011

New Fareed Zakaria Special - Restoring The American Dream: How To Innovate

CNN Domestic will tonight debut a new Fareed Zakaria special. Details from CNN are below.

CNN Press Release: Fareed Zakaria Talks to America’s Top Innovators About the Best Way Forward in New Primetime Special

Restoring the American Dream: How to Innovate – A FAREED ZAKARIA GPS Special debuts Sunday and is featured in TIME magazine

In 2011, for the first time in history, China is on track to outpace the United States in patent filings. From the political right to the political left, nearly everyone agrees that innovation is key to American job growth. CNN and TIME magazine’s Fareed Zakaria interviews America’s top innovation experts for their best ideas on how to fuel creativity and the U.S. economic recovery for a new special, CNN Presents: Restoring the American Dream: How to Innovate, debuting Sunday, June 5 at 8:00p.m. and 11:00p.m. ET/PT. Fareed Zakaria’s TIME magazine story, “Innovate Better” is featured in the June 13th issue, currently on newsstands.

But just what is “innovation” and who is good at it? If America is falling behind, how can the U.S. rebound? Should government or the private sector take the lead? And, who are the winners and losers if America can get back to innovating?

To answer these questions, @FareedZakaria speaks with:
  • Silicon Valley venture capitalist Len Baker, who has grown businesses such as Shutterfly®, FaceTime® software, Openwave, and pharmaceutical and medical device companies.
  • Dr. Regina Dugan, Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the federal agency that developed GPS technology – and over 40 years ago, the development of the internet.
  • Steven Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation
  • Innovation strategist and author of Innovation Nation, Dr. John Kao
  • Google, Inc. executive chairman, Eric Schmidt
  • Paul Romer, economist and visiting professor at New York University's Stern School of Business.
Zakaria points out that China and South Korea have the world’s fastest-growing economies and are leveraging heavy government investment to promote innovation and infrastructure development. Dr. Kao warns that America may be in danger of leaving some American workers behind and “becoming a nation of innovation haves and have-nots,” since jobs leveraging new technologies and science will follow the availability of a skilled labor force.

Schmidt strikes a note of optimism: he feels there are industries that are likely to be “born in America” first – including innovations in plastics that move in response to human touch, and innovations in nanotechnology, the engineering science of very small things. “This research was done in American universities,” Schmidt says, “the manufacturing plants for that need to be where the research is done.”

The special replays Saturday, June 11 at 8:00p.m. and 11:00p.m. ET/PT. For more on Fareed Zakaria’s insights on innovation and the economy, please visit:

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Weekly Observations - week ending June 4, 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's Washington bureau went dark earlier this week, forcing The Situation Room and John King, USA to broadcast on generator power.

- Candidates announced for CNN's New Hampshire GOP primary debate.

- CNN's Belief Blog marked its first birthday with its best ever month of traffic. The blog notched up over 12 million views in the month of May.

- Larry King finds the 'Real Time with Bill Maher' set too cold.

- CNN International's 'Quest Means Business' underwent a mini makeover this week. The program recieved new titles and a remixed theme.

- Piers Morgan tackles summer double duty as 'America’s Got Talent' judge and CNN host.

- Former CNN correspondent Karl Penhaul made his freelancing debut for Al Jazeera English this week. CNN Observations has learned that Karl will contribute to the Qatar-based english language network, as well as Univision. You can follow Karl on his new twitter account: @KarlPenhaul

- CNN political contributor Amy Holmes lands co-anchor gig on America's Radio News Network.

- CNN International's 'Back|Story' has teased a new set with two pictures on facebook and Twitter. The program's producers have said on their facebook page that viewers could see the new set on air by "early July". Meanwhile, CNN International's London studio added a larger touch screen to their set this week.

- Anderson Cooper celebrated his birthday on Thursday. CNN Public Relations tweeted a behind the scenes video of Cooper's birthday surprise.

Photo courtesy of The Meyer Group


Saturday, June 04, 2011

Piers Morgan's False Start

Earlier this week, Piers Morgan told The Hollywood Reporter that his show has been a work in progress:
"I think that it’s all been trial and error thus far, and I like the errors more than the successes. The successes are pleasing for a few seconds and then you move on. It’s when things don’t work out quite how you thought that are very interesting."
In that case, we think Piers would have found his (taped) Friday program interesting, after CNN failed to edit out his false start on the Edie Falco interview.

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Sanjay Gupta MD AIDS Special This Weekend

Sunday marks 30 years since the first diagnosed case of AIDS was reported. This weekend in a special edition of Sanjay Gupta MD, CNN's chief medical correspondent talks to actress and prominent AIDS activist Sharon Stone, and gay rights activist Cleve Jones. CNN's press note and preview clip is below.

CNN Press Note: June 5th marks 30 years since the first diagnosed case of AIDS. CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta interviews actress and HIV/AIDS activist Sharon Stone, now in her 16th year as an AmFAR (The American Foundation for AIDS Research) ambassador, about her activism and provocative views as the world marks 30 years of the AIDS epidemic. Dr. Gupta and Stone share a frank discussion on where we are now in the global fight against the disease – and the actress opens up about her own early learnings about safer sex.

Dr. Gupta also interviews gay rights activist Cleve Jones in San Francison, and spends time at Atlanta’s Ponce De Leon Clinic where he meets patients - and those who care for them. The 30th anniversary of HIV/AIDS, the human costs of the epidemic, and how the world is doing in managing the global crisis will be explored in more detail in a special SANJAY GUPTA MD, on Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5 at 7:30am ET on CNN.

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Friday, June 03, 2011

The CNN Freedom Project's 'Paper Airplanes For Freedom'

CNN viewers around the world are being urged to create their own symbol for freedom - in the form of a paper airplane. The idea is part of The CNN Freedom Project's latest iReport assignment - 'Paper airplanes for freedom'.

CNN has more details on how viewers can take part in the assignment:

1. Build it. The CNN Freedom Project has used the paper airplane as a symbol of the path towards freedom. We want you to make a paper airplane of your own. On one wing, write one of the three statistics above. On the other wing, write a message of hope for the victims in your own words. Then add your name.

2. Show it. Upload a close-up photo of your airplane. Extra points if you also upload a video of your plane flying through the air.

3. Pass it on. Give your plane to a friend or a stranger. Encourage that person to write their name and pass it on to others.

The deadline for submissions in June 15. You can view a collection of paper airplanes submitted by viewers by scrolling to the bottom of this link.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

CNN's May Numbers

CNN is noting its numbers for May. The notes from CNN follow below.



Anderson Cooper 360 Tops MSNBC’s Ed Schultz at 10 pm and is Up 89%; Piers Morgan Tonight Increases 50%; In the Arena Grows 33%

John King, USA Bests MSNBC’s Hardball 7 pm and Grows 56%; and CNN Newsroom Tops Fox News at 12n

CNN Digital continues traffic surge, sets multiple records in May

In May, CNN continued to post significant year-over year-ratings gains and grew more than any other cable news network – increasing an impressive +60% in M-F primetime (279k vs. 174k), +47% in total day (218k vs. 148k) and +36% during dayside (207k vs. 152k) in the key demo adults 25-54 vs. last year. Also in May, CNN topped MSNBC in total day (6a-6a) among both total viewers (607k vs. 477k) and in the key demo 25-54 (218k vs. 169k).

CNN’s coverage during the hour President Obama announced the death of bin Laden ranked as the top non-sports hour across all ad-supported cable networks in May 2011 among both total viewers and key demo. CNN also had its best cumulative audience this month (since the Haiti earthquake in January 2010), reaching 117 million viewers.

While CNN saw a +60% increase in overall M-F primetime in May vs. a year ago (279k vs. 174k), MSNBC was up far less, 26% (294k vs. 233k) and Fox News declined -10% (504k vs. 558k) among 25-54. In addition, each CNN M-F primetime program also saw substantial double-digit demo gains vs. a year ago.

AC 360 topped MSNBC’s The Ed Show/Docs in the key demo (390k vs. 279k) and among total viewers (1.032m vs. 858k), with MSNBC falling to third place in May. Anderson Cooper also grew the most compared to the other cable news networks at 10 pm vs. last year – increasing a staggering +89% (390k vs. 206k), MSNBC’s The Ed Show/Docs was up 41% compared to a year ago (279k vs. 198k), while Fox News’s On the Record dropped double digits, losing -12% of its key demo audience in May (406k vs. 462k).

Piers Morgan Tonight continued to grow and also increased more than the other cable news networks in the 9 pm timeslot among 25-54 compared to year-ago programming – up an impressive +50% (249k vs. 166k), MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show was up 37% (339k vs. 248k) and FNC’s Hannity was down -6% (491k vs. 520k). In addition, since Piers Morgan launched in January, the show is way up compared to CNN’s 4th quarter average, increasing +58% in the demo (268k vs. 170k) and +29% among total viewers (846k vs. 657k).

CNN’s In the Arena at 8 pm showed strong gains as well, increasing +33% in May (197k vs. 148k), MSNBC’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell was up only 6% (267k vs. 253k) and FNC’s O’Reilly Factor was off -9% (636k vs. 700k) in the demo. Since In the Arena launched (February 28) the program is up +62% among 25-54 vs. CNN’s 4th quarter average (219k vs. 135k), while MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell is down -12% since his launch (January 24) vs. Olbermann’s 4th quarter average (253k vs. 288k).

Other CNN ratings highlights for May:

At 7pm, John King, USA beat MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews in the key demo (245k vs. 210k) with Hardball falling to third place in May. JK, USA also increased +56% in the demo 25-54 (245k vs. 157k) and +44% in total viewers (665k vs. 463k) vs. May 2010, while MSNBC was up only 22% in the demo (210k vs. 172k) and 15% in total viewers (752k vs. 654k).

At 5 pm, CNN’s Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer increased +35% in the demo vs. last year (238k vs. 176k), and topped MSNBC’s Hardball (187k). The program also topped Hardball in total viewers (802k vs. 763k) and increased +33% in 2+ (802k vs. 603k) vs. a year ago. In addition, the Situation Room at 6 pm was up +43% in the demo (243k vs. 170k) and increased +43% in total viewers (760k vs. 532k) and outperformed MSNBC in both categories.

CNN Newsroom’s Suzanne Malveaux-led hour at 12 noon topped FNC (201k vs. 199k) in the key demo and a tight race has developed at 3pm with the Brooke Baldwin-led hour at 3pm posting 208k in the demo 25-54, with Fox News/Shep Smith averaging 209k. CNN Newsroom also outperformed MSNBC every hour throughout dayside (9am-5pm) in both total viewers and the key demo 25-54, posting gains from 26%-43% each hour in the demo compared to a year ago. In head-to-head comparisons with MSNBC’s daytime non-opinion programming, CNN had a +67% advantage in total viewers (676k vs. 403k) and a +66% lead among adults 25-54 (207k vs. 125k).

State of the Union with Candy Crowley on Sunday at 9 am topped MSNBC in total viewers (424k vs. 268k) and in the demo (151k vs. 116k) and again at 12 noon in both categories. Fareed Zakaria GPS at 10 am also topped MSNBC in total viewers (456k vs. 240k) and in the demo 25-54 (149k vs. 99k) and at 1 pm, GPS outperformed MSNBC and grew +22% in total viewers (689k vs. 567k) and +12% in the demo (182k vs. 162k) . Reliable Sources outperformed MSNBC in both categories and was up +33% (603k vs. 455k) in total viewers and increased +47% among adults 25-54 (202k vs. 137k) compared to last May.

CNN reached a cumulative audience of 117 million viewers in May, FNC lagged behind with 94 million and MSNBC averaged 92 million. This represents CNN’s best cumulative audience since January 2010 (Haiti earthquake).


In May, was up double-digits over last year with 1.6 billion global page views (+11%), and set a new mobile web traffic record with 239.8 million page views for the month. also had the 6th highest traffic day in its history with 125 million page views on May 2, the day after the announcement of bin Laden’s death. Also on that day, video usage was the 5th highest day in’s history with 17.9 million video views.


In May, breaking news related to bin Laden’s death and feature reporting added to traffic increases.

The World section was up 32% over last month and 78% over last year with 134.4 million global page views due to breaking news of bin Laden’s death.
CNN Opinion had 18.4 million global page views in May, 62% higher than last year. Top writers LZ Granderson, Bob Greene, David Frum and Roland Martin all had stories that reached more than a half-million page views.

Blogs continue to drive traffic to the site, with 129.3 million domestic page views in May. This represents the highest month to date for the CNN Blog Network, with traffic up 13% over the prior month and 59% over the prior year.

This Just In, The Political Ticker, The Marquee Blog, Belief Blog and The Chart were the most-trafficked blogs for May.

Belief Blog had its best month ever with 12.8 million page views, up 159% over the prior month, with the top post related to Doomsday with nearly 1.4 million page views.


Total global video usage in May reached 121.8 million starts, up by 33% over last year; with live video up 159% over last month.

(Source: Omniture SiteCatalyst)


In May, the CNN Mobile website set a new record with 247 million global page views, up 54% versus May 2010. (Source: Bango Analytics –– Bango tracking began in May 2010)

According to Nielsen, CNN Mobile continues to be No. 1 in Mobile in News and Current Events, for 52 consecutive months. (Nielsen Mobile MediaView – March 2011 – latest data available)

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HLN's Robin Meade Releasing BRAND NEW DAY June 21


Pre-Order on iTunes Now!

Featuring original songs and collaborations with some of country music’s top artists, Meade’s debut will be exclusively available in all Target stores and iTunes

Look for Meade at CMA Music Fest and much more in the coming weeks

NASHVILLE, TN (June 1, 2011) – Robin Meade, popular host of “Morning Express with Robin Meade” on HLN, will release her musical debut, Brand New Day, on Tuesday, June 21, 2011, exclusively through Target and iTunes. Other stars appearing on the album as duet partners or background vocalists include Celebrity Apprentice winner John Rich, American Idol's Bo Bice, Kix Brooks, and Sarah Buxton. Nashville heavy-hitter Victoria Shaw (Lady Antebellum) produced the album, which includes songs Meade co-wrote with Shaw, Rich, Hall of Fame writer Gary Burr, singer-songwriter Billy Dean, Matt Lopez of Due West and others.

Meade’s new album offers fans a glimpse into her musical roots and aspirations. Her love of music was fostered from the pews of church as the daughter of an Ohio preacher, and has evolved to include a passion for writing and performing country music.

“Songwriting, like journalism, is about telling people’s stories, the things that make up their lives: their loves and losses, their passions and dreams, their challenges and victories. It was important to me that this album reflect my respect for country music and my desire to convey the human condition through song. I'm chomping at the bit to share this side of myself with the world.”

No stranger to the stage, Meade has performed with Kenny Chesney, Richard Marx, David Foster, John Rich and pianist Jim Brickman, among others, and received a standing ovation at the Grand Ole Opry.

BRAND NEW DAY Track Listing:


Meade will connect with both longtime and new fans during her first CMA Music Fest appearance in Nashville (June 9-12). She'll perform on the Lay’s Plaza Stage Sunday, June 12 at 11:45am central time, play in the annual City of Hope Softball Challenge Saturday June 11, duet with Bo Bice Sunday June 12 on the Lay's Stage at 5:45pm central time, and sign copies of her new album 'Brand New Day' at her convention center booth June 9, 10, & 11.

In May, Meade co-hosted CMT’s “Disaster Relief Concert” that re-aired on HLN to raise money for recent storm and flood victims. She also hosted a behind-the-scenes special that featured her conversations with other country artists helping raise money for the American Red Cross.

Meade's New York Times bestselling book, 'Morning Sunshine! How to Radiate Confidence and Feel It Too', was also just re-released in paperback.

Meade can be seen Monday through Friday from 6am-Noon eastern hosting "Morning Express with Robin Meade" on HLN.

TWITTER: @robinmeade


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