Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kiran Chetry Signs Off

Friday, July 29, 2011

CNN Plans Live Coverage Of Debt Ceiling Countdown This Weekend

CNN Domestic is planning live coverage of the debt crisis this weekend. Coverage notes from CNN below.

CNN Press Note: Live programming will include coverage from CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, John King, Ali Velshi, Gloria Borger, Jessica Yellin, Kate Bolduan, Brianna Keilar, Dan Lothian, Athena Jones, CNN political contributors and more.


FRIDAY, July 29

JOHN KING USA – Airs LIVE from Capitol Hill Friday 7:00PM

Topics: Debt Ceiling Negotiations
Guest: Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)

Topics: Debt Ceiling Negotiations
Guest: Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC)
Guest: Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)

Topics: Debt Ceiling Negotiations
Guest: Sen. John Thune (R-SD)

Anchor: John King



Live coverage of the debt crisis negotiations.

Anchor: Wolf Blitzer

SUNDAY, July 31


Topic: Debt Ceiling Negotiations
Guest: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Minority Leader

Topics: Debt Ceiling Negotiations
Guest: Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)

Topics: Debt Ceiling Negotiations
Guest: Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Budget Committee

Topics: Debt Ceiling Negotiations
Guest: Mark Zandi, chief economist, Moody’s Analytics

Guest Anchor: Gloria Borger


A live, two-hour special co-anchored by Wolf Blitzer from Washington and Don Lemon from Atlanta on the latest from the debt crisis negotiations.

Anchors: Wolf Blitzer and Don Lemon

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Coal vs. Environment – Soledad O’Brien Explores Both Sides of Mountaintop Removal

CNN Press Release - Battle for Blair Mountain: Working in America airs Sunday, August 14 at 8:00pm ET & PT on CNN/U.S.

Sharples, West Virginia – population: around 100 people – is ground zero in the fight over an issue of importance to every American who has ever plugged in a computer, watched a television or taken a hot shower. Around 50 percent of electrical power in the United States is produced by coal. Across the nation, a schism that separates pro-coal and pro-environment movements over mountaintop removal, a destructive yet highly effective form of strip mining, is deepening.

CNN documents the intense struggle over mountaintop removal in Battle for Blair Mountain: Working in America, debuting on Sunday, August 14 at 8:00pm ET and PT, with a replay on Saturday, August 20. Anchor and Special Correspondent Soledad O’Brien examines the fight over Spruce One, the largest ever proposed mountaintop removal site in the U.S. When O’Brien’s team first arrived in Sharples, W.V., nearly everyone in Appalachia was waiting to see if the Environmental Protection Agency was going to allow Spruce One’s permit to proceed, citing Clean Water Act violations.

Several groups were invested in the fight: coal miners who wanted to keep the jobs they’ve had for decades, the green activists who oppose all coal mining and a coalition of people who would like to see mountaintop removal replaced by less damaging mining practices. Coal companies and politicians, such as EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Senator Joseph Manchin (D-WV), had plenty to say about the outcome, too. O’Brien and her team tell the story from all sides.

“I see what’s down here and what’s down here is still beautiful, still pretty clean,” Linda Dials says confidently. “I don’t have any problems what so ever with the water or anything else,” says the miner’s wife.

Linda and her husband James Dials have deep roots in the coalfields of southern West Virginia. James works in mountaintop removal and is proud of his job reconstructing mountains. He blames this fight on outsiders who simply don’t understand a coal miner’s way of life. Like most miners today, James and Linda feel under attack. They see efforts by environmentalists and the EPA to limit mountaintop removal as a threat to coal mining jobs everywhere. Linda is passionate and dedicated to protecting her community and their coal. With her husband’s job on the line, she finds herself on the frontlines of the fight as a coal activist.

On the other side of this battle is Billy Smutko, the son and grandson of a coal miner. He has lived in the same community as the Dials for his entire life. Although he never went into the mines himself, he knows the importance coal mining has had in building his area. However, he thinks mining can be done more responsibly. In his eyes, a job is temporary but the destruction mountaintop removal has wrought will be forever.

“… I am environmentally concerned for my children, and my grandchildren, and every generation after that,” Billy Smutko tells Soledad while surveying the aftermath of a mountaintop removal project. “It’s all about jobs right now. In two weeks we get a pay day,” he says mimicking the attitude of his neighbors. “In 30 years, what do you get?”

Chuck Keeney, a local community college professor, says he has witnessed the destruction that coal has brought to the lives of his students. An outspoken opponent of the influence of the coal industry in Appalachia, Chuck has made it his mission to save Blair Mountain from the bulldozers and blasts of mountaintop removal. Blair Mountain is across the valley from Spruce One. Chuck Keeney says he’s following in the footsteps of his great grandfather who led the original Battle for Blair in 1921 at time when miners were still fighting for a decent wage and a steady job.

Additional reporting on the mountaintop removal debate and video excerpts from The Battle for Blair Mountain: Working in America can be found at CNN Student News is producing an Educator and Parent Guide for the documentary, which will include discussion questions and a learning activity. The guide will be available on prior to the debut of the documentary as a companion viewing aid and teaching tool.

Michelle Rozsa is the senior producer, Ron Howell is producer and Dave Timko is producer/editor for Battle for Blair Mountain: Working in America. 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.

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CNN International Counts Down To 2012 Olympic Games With New Program

CNN International will debut a year-long series of Olympic programs this Thursday. 'Aiming for Gold' premieres at 0930 GMT, with a repeat screening at 1730 GMT. Details from CNN below.

CNN Press Release: With just one year to go until the eyes of the world are on London for the Games of the XXX Olympiad, CNN is launching a series of special Olympics 2012 programming, ‘Aiming For Gold’, as it takes on the role of the international home for the greatest sporting event in the world.

CNN’s programme will speak to the biggest Olympic stars, as well as the newsmakers driving the myriad decisions and events that contribute to the 2012 Games, with contributions from its many bureaux around the world to bring all aspects of the event – financial, social, cultural, political or sporting – to global viewers across all its platforms, from TV to and through dedicated social media on Twitter and Facebook.

‘Aiming For Gold’ kicks off its year-long programming with a key interview with Lord Sebastian Coe, former Olympic 1500 meter champion and the man responsible for spear-heading the London 2012 campaign. Coe talks to CNN’s Don Riddell about the challenges, controversies and opportunities the Games will bring to people from across the world, including questions from the CNN audience.

Also in the debut show, Becky Anderson reports on London’s history in hosting the games – in 1908, 1948 and now 2012; Stan Grant looks at the legacy of the 2008 Beijing Olympics; and Christina Ohurugu, a British 2008 gold medallist who grew up in the shadow of the games being built in east London, talks about the inspiration the 2012 provide.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Athena Jones Joins CNN Washington Bureau

Former NBC White House producer Athena Jones has joined CNN as a general assignment reporter, based at the network's Washington bureau. Jones had been serving as a freelance segment producer for CNN previously. Details from CNN below.

CNN Press Release: Athena Jones will join CNN as a general assignment correspondent, it was announced today by Sam Feist, Washington bureau chief and senior vice president. Jones will report on a wide range of general news stories and will appear on programs across the network. Jones will be based in the Washington D.C. bureau and will begin her position with the network immediately.

“Athena will be an outstanding addition to our political team,” said Feist. “Her experience covering the White House, politics and international affairs are a perfect fit for the Washington bureau.”

“I’m excited to be joining the CNN team,” said Jones. “And look forward to getting started.”

Previously, Jones was a White House producer with NBC, where she wrote packages, produced story segments and reported on air for MSNBC and NBC News. Jones covered the Clinton and Obama presidential campaigns during the 2008 election cycle for NBC and the National Journal. Prior to NBC, Jones served as a freelance segment producer for CNN. From 2001 to 2003, Jones worked as a reporter for Reuters based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she covered the Argentine presidential elections as well as other general news stories. Prior to Reuters, Jones reported on politics and the economy in both Chile and Argentina for Bloomberg News.

Jones graduated cum laude from Harvard University and earned her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. She studied Spanish and European politics at the University of Madrid Complutense in Madrid, Spain; and studied Islamic studies at the American Research Center in Cairo, Egypt, with Duke University.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekly Observations - week ending July 23, 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.

- This week, Piers Morgan Tonight celebrating six months on the air at CNN. Check out this behind-the-scenes look at the show.

- CNN International's Tony Maddox says consumers want news ‘on the go’.

- Anderson Cooper gets down and dirty.

- CNN en Español launches new multi-media initiative to empower Latinas.

- Former CNN reporter now dedicated to writing novels. (via: Johnny $)

- CNN iReport and costumes galore at Comic-Con 2011.

- The Google+ profiles of CNN Breaking News and CNN International's News Stream are just two of the profiles deleted under Google's current crackdown on company or business profiles on their new social network.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

CNN Apps Hit 10,000,000 Download Mark!

This week, CNN's Apps (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android) have hit the 10,000,000 downloads mark. CNN President Jim Walton sent a note to staff members today regarding the milestone.

To: Colleagues
From: Jim Walton


As you know, this week CNN and HLN began streaming their full 24-hour television channels on the Web and on Apps for iPhone and iPad to consumers of participating pay TV services. So far, we have received some very positive feedback and we are excited about this new opportunity to share our content.

We also hit another digital milestone this week. To date, more than 10 million consumers have downloaded CNN Apps globally on iPhone and iPad; Android tablets and phones; and Nokia devices. This, combined with 201 million page views to CNN's mobile Website in June, is evidence that consumers continue to rely on CNN to get the latest news and information, wherever they are.

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Piers Morgan Refutes Hacking Allegations On The Situation Room

Piers Morgan has hit back at claims he hacked phones while working as a newspaper editor in the UK, after he was named twice by a British politician during the Parliamentary hearings into the scandal yesterday.

MP Louise Mensch claimed that Morgan had bragged in his book, 'The Insider', about winning "scoop of the year" for a story he only gained knowledge of after hacking phones. Morgan responded to the allegations by saying:

"Well, I'm amused by her cowardice in refusing to repeat that allegation now she's not in Parliament and covered by privilege.

As she may be already aware, she came out with an absolute blatant lie during those proceedings. At no stage in my book or indeed outside of my book have I ever boasted of using phone hacking for any stories.

For the record, in my time at "The Mirror" and the "News of the World," I have never hacked a phone, told anybody to hack a phone or published any story based on the hacking of a phone.

And what she did today was a deliberate, in my view, and outrageous attempt to smear my name, CNN's name, "The Daily Mirror's" name. And I think her now to have the breathtaking gall to just sit here calmly and say, I can't possibly repeat that cause I haven't got privilege, is an outrage."

Morgan went head to head with his accuser on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. Watch the exchange in the video below.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

CNN's Coverage Of UK Phone Hacking Hearings

CNN Domestic and CNN International will carry coverage of today's UK Parliament Select Committee hearings into phone hacking. CNN has sent through details of the network's plans below.

CNN Press Release: CNN's coverage of UK phone-hacking inquiry

On Tuesday morning Rupert Murdoch, Chair and CEO of News Corporation; James Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive of News Corporation (International); and Rebekah Brooks, former Chief Executive of News International, will appear before the Select Committee in UK Parliament to answer questions about the phone-hacking scandal. This hearing, which is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. ET, follows a 7 a.m. ET session where UK lawmakers will question leading members of the Metropolitan Police including former chief Paul Stephenson.

CNN’s coverage of these hearings will include live reports from senior international correspondent Dan Rivers from inside the hearings; Richard Quest, Becky Anderson and Matthew Chance from Abingdon Green (outside Parliament); and Atika Shubert from CNN London.

• CNN International and CNN/US are covering the hearings live. CNN/US begins at 9:15 a.m. ET, with CNNI offering extended coverage from 6:00 a.m. ET until they end.

• Both sessions will stream live in their entirety on and via the CNN Apps for iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets and selected Nokia devices. In addition, CNN’s news blog 'This Just In' will live blog during both sessions featuring updates, instant analysis, iReport submissions and the latest News Corp. share price fluctuations.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

CNN Launches New Video Player; Online Streaming Of Domestic Networks

CNN today launched a brand new web video player, as well as launching online streaming of CNN Domestic and HLN to selected cable company subscribers.

It took me a few attempts at loading the player shortly after 9:00am (eastern) this morning, but I did eventually get it loaded... only after a few flash crashes. Whether or not it was teething problems as the new format was rolled out, or whether it was something my end remains to be seen, but ICN did share some frustrations with me via Twitter.

Details on the new service from CNN below.

CNN Press Release: Unveils New Video Experience to Showcase Live CNN and HLN TV, On-Demand Video, Multi-tasking

CNN and HLN’s complete 24-hour television networks will be streamed live on, the CNN App for iPad and the CNN App for iPhone and iPod touch beginning today, July 18. CNN Worldwide is the first news organization to stream its linear television channels online and on mobile devices to consumers who subscribe to a multi-channel video service. Simultaneous to this launch, has debuted its new video experience, which seamlessly integrates live network TV into a larger and higher-quality video player, capable of delivering HD quality.

CNN and HLN online and mobile streaming is currently available to approximately 50 million households with subscribers to participating pay TV providers, including: AT&T, Comcast, Cox, DISH Network, Suddenlink and Verizon.

“A principle goal for CNN is to make more of our content available to more people on more platforms, and CNN’s participation in the TV Everywhere initiative is another step forward in that effort,” said Jim Walton, President of CNN Worldwide. “We have long believed that our growth depends on keeping CNN essential and relevant to consumers wherever they arTo access CNN and HLN online, users can go to, click on the “Live” tab and log-in through their cable, satellite or telco provider with a username and password.

For mobile devices, a user can download the CNN App for iPad or the CNN App for iPhone and iPod touch (or update their app to version 1.2 for iPhone, 1.1 for iPad), and authenticate in the same way.

“CNN is taking a significant step forward by offering live CNN and HLN TV to our audiences whether they are on their couches at home or have their toes in the sand on the beach," said KC Estenson, general manager of CNN Digital. “The 10 million users who have downloaded CNN's mobile apps and the tens of millions of people who get the latest news and information from every day will soon be able to watch CNN TV on every device they have." video experience’s new video experience offers a cinematic player that optimizes the video quality for a user based on their Internet connection, with the capability of delivering HD quality. Video can be “squeezed back” to allow a user to browse through curated CNN video collections and TV show clips without leaving the video experience.

In addition to the live streams of CNN’s networks, the video experience will continue to offer up to four live streams of breaking news and events, original video series and on-demand video clips with related CNN and HLN show information.

The CNN App for iPad and CNN App for iPhone and iPod touch are available for free from the App Store or at

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, July 17, 2011

Weekly Observations - week ending July 17, 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.

- Questions have been growing this week over whether Piers Morgan had any knowledge of the phone hacking scandal, currently gripping News Corporation newspapers in the UK, during his time as editor of The Daily Mirror.

- A UK political blog says phone hacking occurred under the watch of Piers Morgan.

- Piers Morgan pleads ignorance, innocence in UK phone hacking scandal.

- Some UK politicians have called for Piers Morgan to appear at an inquiry that will investigate the News Corporation phone hacking scandal.

- CNN has so far kept quiet on Piers Morgan hacking allegations.

- Piers Morgan bans Ann Coulter for life.

- Turning the tables on Piers Morgan.

- Anderson Cooper debuts new promos for his upcoming daytime talk show.

- Inside Cable News analyzes the bigger implications of Kiran Chetry's move from CNN.

- Robin Meade takes 'Express' train to country stardom.

- CNN International to focus on Climate Change Summit in Durban.

- CNN brings on Ad2One as digital advertising sales agency in Australia and New Zealand.

- ORC International renews CNN polling partnership.

- Anderson Cooper accused of ripping off Snooki segment.

- CNN International launches new monthly equestrian show, 'Winning Post'.


Friday, July 15, 2011

CNN International Dominates TV News Viewership In Asia-Pacific

CNN International is noting its impressive results in the latest Pan Asia Cross Media Survey. Details from CNN below.

CNN Press Release: CNN cements commanding viewership lead against all international news & business channels in Asia Pacific

74% more viewers watch CNN daily than BBC World News

In an emphatic endorsement of CNN's coverage of a remarkable news cycle in 2011, the latest Pan Asia Cross Media Survey (PAX) (2010 Q2 to 2011 Q1) shows that once again CNN has delivered a substantially larger audience than all other international news and business channels in the Asia Pacific region:

* Each day 74% more viewers tune into CNN than the next placed channel (BBC World News)

* CNN's weekly and monthly audience totals are 65% and 56% greater than the next placed channel

* CNN has 21% more viewers each week than the combination of CNBC and Bloomberg TV deliver over a whole month

"We're delighted with these results which once again demonstrate the strength and loyalty of our audience," said William Hsu, Vice President, news advertising sales, Asia Pacific. "Our coverage on-air and online clearly resonates with this upscale demographic who embody the global interconnectivity which defines our age. At the same time, CNN's on-going investment in programming and newsgathering continue to pay dividends. When taken alongside our digital numbers, this is a resounding success for everyone at the network."

Online, CNN maintains the top position as the leading regional media website overall, with more than twice as many Top Managers visiting CNN** than BBC websites.

CNN is generating 39% more out-of-home viewing than any other international channel, and more than twice as much as any sports channel.

Forty-five percent more travellers watch CNN in hotels than any other international channel.

**CNN + CNN Money versus any BBC web sites; web portals and search engines excluded.

About PAX Survey:

PAX is a syndicated, cross-media survey conducted by Synovate, which measures TV viewing, print readership and website audience across 11 major markets in Asia Pacific, covering Australia (Sydney & Melbourne), Bangkok, Hong Kong, India (Delhi, Mumbai & Bangalore), Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo.

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CNN International Throws Spotlight On Green Pioneers

CNN International will feature multi-week programming event on the pioneers of green, which includes 'Extreme Science', a one hour documentary and 'Green Pioneers', a full week of special reports followed by a half hour special. Details from CNN below.

CNN Press Release: CNN International announced today that the network will unveil a multi week programming event on their next edition of Going Green coming up in July. With the network's promise to take viewers beyond borders, delivering intelligent programming for an interconnected world, Going Green: Green Pioneers follows Green Light for Business, which aired in April, part of a series of four installments where the network brings special reports on the environmental stories that are changing the planet.

"The Going Green franchise continues to grow stronger as there is a heightened awareness and interest in all things green. We hope that our audience is going to be as excited as we are to bring intelligent, relevant and unique programming like we've put together for Going Green: Green Pioneers. We've joined a team of experts who are studying Science in one rarely-explored part of the world, and we've enlisted CNNI's global network of journalists who bring a true global sense to our green reporting," said Katherine Green, senior vice president and general manager for CNN International.

This second edition of Going Green will kick off on July 16 with a special one hour documentary called Extreme Science. Hosted by special correspondent Philippe Cousteau, the documentary will showcase the journey to the Arctic and the significance of the science studied in conditions as low as temperature of 40 degrees. On what will be a mission to understand the changing face of the environment and its biological impact in the species that live in the Ocean, Cousteau joins a team of scientists in a remote polar location where he is witness to the search of clues that will help humans predict the loss of ice more accurately in the future. Living under extreme conditions on the frozen top of the Ocean, Extreme Science brings to viewers the adventure of survival of those who endure the low temps to learn more about the Arctic Ocean ecosystem that will help understand climate change and its impact in life in other parts of the planet.

Extreme Science will be followed by Going Green: Green Pioneers, a week of special reports that will look at the world's pioneers who are standing at the front lines of the environmental challenges to make a difference and create change. From a family working to save the fragile Patagonia grasslands to promote farm tourism to a sustainability school in Indonesia teaching future green leaders, a pioneer in the environmental equality movement in New York, and an unprecedented public awareness campaign in the Middle East and the leader who has put it in place. The series culminates with Green Pioneers, a half-hour program which will be hosted by Philippe Cousteau and will focus on the people who are using innovative ways to tackle today's environmental challenges.

Green Pioneers will be followed later this year by two remaining series: Your Green World and Our Green Future that will include reports ranging from the technology that is being developed around the world to real solutions that are changing the movement of green.

Airtimes (All Hong Kong times)
Going Green: Extreme Science
Duration: One hour
Saturday July 16 at 9pm
Sunday July 17 at 4am, 8am and 5pm
Saturday July 30 at 9pm
Sunday July 31 at 4am, 8am and 5pm

Going Green: Green Pioneers
Starting week of July 18

Going Green: Green Pioneers special
Duration: 30 minutes
Saturday July 23 at 9pm
Sunday July 24 at 4am and 5pm
Tuesday July 26 at 530pm
Wednesday July 27 at 130am

To learn more about CNN's Going Green series visit:

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ben Wedeman And Crew Caught In Libya Firefight

CNN Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedeman and his team were today caught up in a firefight between Libyan rebels and pro-Gadhafi fighters.

The tense 5 hour firefight broke out after rebel forces initially lost, and later regained, control of a village.

Wedeman appeared on The Situation Room earlier tonight to recount the terrifying incident. Watch the live report, including footage of CNN's crew escaping the firefight, below.

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Reports: Kiran Chetry To Leave CNN

According to Inside Cable News, The New York Post was first to publish tonight's story of CNN's next departure - Kiran Chetry.
Chetry has told colleagues that she plans to leave the network at the end of the month, and Ali Velshi and Christine Romans will continue as interim anchors on the low-rated morning news show.

A short time later, The New York Times' Brian Stelter seemed to confirm the news, via Twitter:
Some CNN news: Kiran Chetry, the "American Morning" co-host, is leaving the net at the end of the month. (CNN's been revamping "Morning.")

Chetry joined CNN in 2007 from Fox News Channel, initially filling in on programs including Anderson Cooper 360º, Paula Zahn Now, CNN Newsroom and American Morning, before being appointed permanent co-anchor of the latter.

UPDATE 1: -- Mediaite has Kiran Chetry's farewell note to colleagues. It reads, in part:

The nearly 5 years here at CNN have been some of the most exciting, challenging and rewarding of my career.

It was a true honor to come to work everyday with some of the most kind, professional, hardworking and fun people in the business.

This isn’t goodbye… this is see you soon.

You can read Kiran Chetry's note in full at Mediaite here.

UPDATE 2: -- Piers Morgan has weighed in with reaction to tonight's news...
Very sad to see @kiranchetrycnn go - great lady, terrific presenter. My mornings won't ever be the same.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Weekly Observations - week ending July 10, 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 Ken Jautz on network’s new lineup: ‘first rate reporting, wide range of opinions’.

- Why CNN canned Eliot Spitzer: 6 theories.

- Inside Cable News takes a detailed look at why CNN Domestic's upcoming prime time shuffle is fraught with risk.

- NAACP not pleased with CNN lineup changes.

- CNN International continues in top spot as the advertising choice to reach Europe’s elite.

- Behind-the-scenes with CNN producer on royal tour.

- Former CNN anchor Kitty Pilgrim breaks down new book 'The Explorer's Code'.

- Chinese firm demands CNN apology for century egg slur.

- CNN to broadcast Cityscape Egypt.

- CNN's Jessica Yellin on Journalism and Covering the White House. (via: ICN)

- Jonathan Berr: "Time Warner must make CNN more like Fox News"

- Georgian authorities deny reports on paying for CNN series.


Saturday, July 09, 2011

Larry King Previews Final Harry Potter Film With Cast Interview

Larry King's latest special for CNN debuts this weekend on CNN Domestic and CNN International. Details from CNN below.

CNN Press Release: CNN Presents: A Larry King Special – Harry Potter: The Final Chapter. King has first interview with film’s stars days before final Potter movie released.

Larry King sits down with the cast of Harry Potter leading up to the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2. The one-hour special, airing July 10 at 8 and 11pm ET will feature interviews with Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Tom Felton, Helena Bonham Carter and Robbie Coltrane, as well as never before seen footage from the film days before its worldwide premiere. Additionally, James and Oliver Phelps, who play the Weasley twins, take viewers on a tour of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Orlando Resort and interact with fans on the eve of the final Harry Potter movie. The special will also air on CNN International.

Radcliffe, calling the final Potter film a “hell of a movie,” tells King that he “wept like a child on that last day” of filming. The three main stars, who have spent half of their lives playing these characters, open up to King and reflect on the end of the series of films. “I was so young, it’s difficult to remember much of my life before this thing happened to me,” Watson says. “I was still losing my baby teeth” while playing Hermione. Grint says after 10 years of his life playing Ron Weasley, leaving the character behind was “quite a big kind of shock.”

In what many predict will be the movie event of the summer, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 will mark the end the most successful film franchise in history. The films are based on a series of seven best-selling novels, written by J.K. Rowling. After 10 years and over six billion dollars in ticket sales, Larry King will take viewers on an exclusive tour behind the scenes and into the making of the final movie with the special effects team who brought the magical world to the big screen. Never-seen footage will give CNN viewers a new glimpse at the iconic characters and for the first time, fans will see an extended clip of the film that will be shown exclusively on CNN just days before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 opens in theatres on July 15th. Wendy Walker is the executive producer of CNN’s Larry King Specials. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, A Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

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Friday, July 08, 2011

CNN Special Coverage Of Final Space Shuttle Launch

Shortly after 2:00am this morning, NASA started fuelling the Space Shuttle Atlantis. Later today, with weather permitting, CNN Domestic and CNN International will air special coverage of Atlantis' launch - the last time the U.S. will launch a Shuttle. Details on coverage plans from CNN below.

CNN Press Release: CNN anchor Anderson Cooper will lead the network’s team of reporters from Cape Canaveral, FL for the special live coverage of the final launch of the United States Space Shuttle program. Space Shuttle: Final Mission will air on CNN/U.S. and CNN International on Friday, July 8 from 10 a.m. to noon (ET). Former astronauts Cady Coleman and Senator Bill Nelson, and historian Douglas Brinkley will join CNN’s coverage.

Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to launch at 11:26 a.m. (ET) on Friday, July 8th.

As in the past during major news events, thousands of people in New York Times Square will be able to watch CNN's coverage of this historic moment.

More than one million spectators are expected to converge on Cape Canaveral, FL to witness the final launch. Having covered more than 80 U.S. Space Shuttle missions, correspondent John Zarrella will report from Kennedy Space Center. Anchor Ali Velshi will report for American Morning from Cape Canaveral, FL. Anchor Brooke Baldwin will be inside the Visitor Complex to gauge the excitement and nostalgia of the historic moment with spectators. Meteorologist Chad Myers will also be in the Visitor Complex providing viewers with up to the moment shuttle launch forecast. Correspondent Carol Costello will attend watch parties along the beach, capturing the celebratory mood. will offer comprehensive coverage of the final Shuttle launch including a live stream of the event at and on the CNN Apps. The US section will also feature in-depth stories about the space program over the years as well as image galleries and interactives.

CNN iReport has asked users to submit images of their experience of Shuttle launches throughout the years, which will be presented as an interactive on the day of the final launch.

Tune in to CNN Newsroom Friday, July 8th from 10 a.m. to noon (ET) for final launch coverage. CNN Presents – Beyond Atlantis: The Next Frontier replays at 10 p.m. (ET) after the final space shuttle launch.

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Thursday, July 07, 2011

This Weekend's HLN Programming Schedule

The folks at HLN just sent over an updated schedule for this weekend's programming in advance of Casey Anthony updates. All times Eastern:


6a Clark Howard
7a-noon Weekend Express
Noon-5 News Now (replay Friday)
5 Special Report (replay Friday)
6 Prime News (replay Friday)
7 Dr. Drew
8 Nancy Grace
9-11 Justice for Caylee: A Nancy Grace Special
11 Nancy Grace
12-2 Justice for Caylee: A Nancy Grace Special
2-5 Nancy Grace: Casey Anthony on Trial (3 hour recap)
5 Dr. Drew


6a Clark Howard
7a-noon Weekend Express
Noon-3 Nancy Grace: Casey Anthony on Trial (3 hour recap)
3-6 Nancy Grace: Casey Anthony on Trial (3 hour recap)
6-8 Justice for Caylee: A Nancy Grace Special
8 Nancy Grace
9-11 Justice for Caylee: A Nancy Grace Special
11 Dr. Drew
12-2 Justice for Caylee: A Nancy Grace Special
2-5 Nancy Grace: Casey Anthony on Trial (3 hour recap)
5 Dr. Drew

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Larry King to be honored with lifetime achievement Emmy

CNN Press Release - Legendary talk show host Larry King, who set a world record for the longest-running television show hosted by the same person, will be honored this fall with a lifetime achievement Emmy.

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced Thursday that King is being honored for his "influential 50-year broadcasting career" and his 25 years hosting CNN's "Larry King Live."

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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Anjali Rao Leaves CNN International

CNN International anchor Anjali Rao has left the network.

Joining CNN International's Hong Kong bureau in 2006, Rao anchored the evening news bulletin 'World News Asia', later moving to mornings as host of 'CNN Today' (later rebranded 'World Report'). She was also the main host of the weekly interview program 'Talk Asia'.

Since her departure last week, Rao's one hour 'World Report' has been anchored from Atlanta and Hong Kong with rotating hosts. At the time of publishing, there was no word from CNN on a permanent replacement for the timeslot.

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Eliot Spitzer Signs Off "In The Arena"

Eliot Spitzer signed off tonight as host of CNN's In The Arena. The show will air with guest hosts until Anderson Cooper 360° launches at 8PM ET August 8. Watch his sign-off above.

Big Numbers For Casey Anthony Coverage On CNN Networks And CNN Online

HLN, CNN and saw big gains on Tuesday during coverage of the Casey Anthony verdict, and during the hours following. CNN's press release is below.

CNN Press Release: HLN & CNN -- Nielsen Fast Nationals: Casey Anthony Verdict, Tues. July 5


HLN’s coverage peaked during the 2:15p quarter hour (when verdict was read), delivering 5.205M P2+ and 1.894M P25-54.

Among P2+, HLN beat FNC by +79% (2.913M) and MSNBC by +466% (920k)◦ Among P25-54, HLN surpassed FNC by +128% (830k) and MSNBC by +542% (295k).

2-3 pm, marked HLN's best performance in ANY HOUR IN HISTORY among P2+ (4.575M).

HLN delivered 2.123M P2+ and 901k P25-54 in prime and was #1 in prime in the demo, topping FNC by +46% (616k) and MSNBC by +236% (268k).

Tue marked HLN’s best prime performance since 9/11 in P2+ (2.5M) and since March 19, 2003 (Iraq War) among P25-54 (926k).

Nancy Grace delivered 2.888M P2+ and 1.286M P25-54 at 8p, besting FNC's The O'Reilly Factor by +72% among P25-54 (747k), was BEST EVER for Nancy Grace among both total viewers and P25-54.

Nancy Grace AGAIN at 9p delivered 2.248M P2+ and 909k P25-54 at 9p, and was #1 in its time period, topping FNC’s Hannity by +20% in P2+ (1.878M) and by +68% in P25-54 (540k).

For the week of June 27, HLN ranked as basic cable's #7 network in total day among both total viewers and Persons 25-54 for the week, besting FOX News Channel in both demos, and ranking #6 among total viewers in prime. Last week marked HLN's best weekly performance ever among total viewers in prime and total day, and second best week ever among P25-54 in total day (behind only the week of 9/11/01)


By quarter-hour, CNN’s coverage peaked at 2:30p (shortly after the verdict) with 2.330M P2+ and 865k P25-54.

Anderson Cooper 360 won the 10p hour among P25-54 with 618k, topping FNC’s On the Record by +10% (561k).

(* Data based on “Nielsen Fast National”)

HLN digital properties have also experienced significant gains, including:


Nancy Grace's Facebook fan page has over 731,000 fans, 46,000 of whom joined in June and 89,000 of whom joined during July 1-6.

Since the Casey Anthony trial began the fan page has had:

*Over 146,000 new fans
*Over 667,000 total likes and comments
*Daily average of 15,000 likes and comments, which is an increase of 178% vs the daily average from the month of April ’11
*On July 5, there were 12 posts about the Casey Anthony verdict on Nancy Grace’s Facebook fan page, which generated over 92,000 total likes and comments, 497% higher than the daily average during the trial, and more than 1500% higher than the daily average for the month of April ’11.
*The post that generated the highest number of interactions was: “Tot Mom Found Not Guilty of Murder! Tell us what you think” with over 16,000 likes and comments.

(Source: Facebook insights)


As of July 6, key HLN accounts covering news of the Casey Anthony trial had over 475,000 followers, an increase of 643% from April ’11.

Below are the follower counts and the % increase over April:

@HLNTV had 50,400 followers, up 199%
@NancygraceHLN had 133,900 followers, up 647%
@Vinniepolitan had 200,900 followers, up 976%
@insession had over 41,400 followers, up 802%
@teamnancyhln had 34,400 followers since it launched on May 10th, the account is up 586% since the trial began
@Ryansmithtv had over 14,500 followers, up 1472%

(Source: Twitter & Twittercounter)

CNN Digital

Traffic and video to was also up yesterday due to news of the Casey Anthony verdict. served

· 68.2 million global page views, up 54% from the prior 4-Tuesday average.
· 9.2 million videos globally, which is three times as high as normal levels
· 2.2 million live streams, a seven-fold increase over the benchmark (During the 2 – 3 p.m. hour when the verdict was announced, there were 1.3 million global live streams, which is 35 times as high as normal levels for that hour).
· 5.1 million domestic page views to CNN's news blog This Just In, six times higher than the prior 4-Tuesday average.

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CNN Announces New Evening Lineup

CNN Press Release - CNN has unveiled a new evening lineup with anchors Erin Burnett, Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan to launch this fall, it was announced today by Ken Jautz, executive vice president, CNN/U.S.

Beginning Aug. 8, CNN will broadcast its flagship nightly news program AC360, anchored by Anderson Cooper, live at 8pm and re-air it in its current timeslot of 10pm.

In the fall, CNN will premiere a new general news program with Erin Burnett, which will air at 7pm ET and re-air at 11pm ET. Piers Morgan Tonight will continue to air at 9pm and 12am ET.

John King USA will kick off the evening at 6pm. The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer will continue as a two-hour daily program, airing in a new timeslot of 4-6pm. CNN Newsroom will now air from 9am-4pm. The full programming schedule is provided below.

“The new line-up showcases anchors who are experienced reporters in covering stories that span the globe,” said Jautz. “We created a nightly schedule that brings together the best of CNN’s journalism on a wide range of topics from politics and the economy to global and world events, as well the best newsmaker and celebrity interviews. This line-up ensures viewers access to the best of what CNN has to offer whenever they tune in at night.”

“I’m looking forward to the new time slot and am excited to share AC360 with a new audience at 8pm, while still connecting with my regular viewers at 10pm,” said Cooper.

CNN Fall Schedule (All times Eastern):
6a-9am: American Morning
9a-4pm: CNN Newsroom
4pm: Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer
6pm: John King, USA
7pm: Erin Burnett
8pm: Anderson Cooper 360°
9pm: Piers Morgan Tonight
10pm: AC360 re-air
11pm: Erin Burnett re-air
12am: Piers Morgan Tonight re-air

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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CNN Domestic Primetime Schedule Changes

The New York Times' Brian Stelter writes today that In The Arena is cancelled beginning August 8. Anderson Cooper's AC360° moves into that 8 PM ET timeslot and coming in late September, John King USA moves to 6 PM ET and Erin Burnett's show will start at 7 PM ET.

An internal memo from Ken Jautz obtained by Stelter:
Beginning August 8, we will broadcast AC360, our flagship news program, at 8p and 10p. Then in late September, we will add Erin Burnett’s new show at 7p and 11p. Piers Morgan will continue at 9p and midnight, while JKUSA and the Situation Room will both be broadcast one hour earlier, at 6p and 4p, respectively.

This line-up emphasizes our focus on quality journalism and on hosts who are proven reporters, as well as on shows that successfully combine original reporting with news analysis, civil debate and a wide range of inclusive and differing opinions.

The CNN brand and business model thrive on high-quality journalism that resonates across multiple platforms. Over the last six months, we have broadened the range and depth of our reporting and added more analysis and opinion to our coverage to complement our reporting. The tone, quality and credibility of our journalism is what continues to set CNN apart and contributes to the growth and success of CNN Worldwide.

We are in discussions with Eliot Spitzer about an alternative role. We thank him and the entire In the Arena team for creating a program that moved many political and economic issues into the national spotlight.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

CNN Online Traffic Boosted By Casey Anthony Verdict

CNN is noting its online numbers today as the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial was handed down.

CNN Press Note: During the 2-3p hour for the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial, users tuned to for:

* Live video – with over 1 million users watching, 30x higher than the prior 4-week average

* Latest news – with approximately 12 million page views to, 4x higher than the 4-average

Source: Omniture domestic, July 6, 2011, 2-3p ET


Sunday, July 03, 2011

CNN Looks Beyond Atlantis In New John Zarrella Special

Just days before NASA launches its final space shuttle mission, CNN will air a John Zarrella special. Beyond Atlantis: The Next Frontier debuts tonight at 8 pm Eastern.

CNN Press Release: Having covered more than 80 U.S. Space Shuttle missions, CNN correspondent John Zarrella delivers a special report on the end of the Space shuttle program and the future for NASA, as the glorious and sometimes tragic era comes to end. CNN Presents – Beyond Atlantis: The Next Frontier debuts Sunday, July 3 at 8 p.m. (ET) on CNN/U.S. and it replays on Friday, July 8 at 10 p.m. (ET) after the final space shuttle launch.

Zarrella talks with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden about the Space Shuttle program and NASA’s future, and takes viewers for a tour inside the Space Shuttle Discovery, exclusively, with former Commander Robert Cabana.

Beyond Atlantis: The Next Frontier will examine the commercialization of space, through the eyes of visionaries like Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic, and Elon Musk of SpaceX, as they strive to make space travel more affordable, and dare to do what only governments could afford to do previously.

Zarrella speaks exclusively with the wife of one the Space Shuttle Challenger astronauts, and he travels to Promontory, Utah, to visit the site where the space shuttle boosters were built, talks to people who have spent most of their adult life working on the Shuttle program, and he takes viewers on the train ride carrying the last set of boosters to Kennedy Space Center for the final Space Shuttle mission.

In a tale of two shuttle crews, Zarrella sits down with Commander John Young and Pilot Bob Crippen, the first shuttle crew, in a CNN exclusive interview. They remember hoping they wouldn’t burn up on re-entry and about the ejection seats on the first flight. Both Crippen and Young say they thought that NASA should still be flying the space shuttle until a replacement is ready. Zarrella also traveled to Houston to talk with the last shuttle crew. Commander Christopher Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandra Magnus and Rex Walheim, they have the distinct honor of flying the last space shuttle. “We want to make sure we get the job done. And when the job is done, we can look back and reflect and think about where the place in history lies for this final shuttle flight,” said Commander Ferguson. “It'll be a sad moment because we know that it will be a while before there's another American vehicle that's ready to take astronauts to low earth orbit,” he said.

Lorna Onizuka, the wife of Space Shuttle Challenger astronaut Ellison Onizuka spoke exclusively to Zarrella about the death of her husband. Mrs. Onizuka said her husband knew the risks and they both openly accepted that in the name of progress. She gave Zarrella a tour of her home where she keeps a shrine and alter to remember her husband, and sometimes pours him a cup of coffee, or a beer. "I want to thank him. I want to thank Ell for watching over these guys in the years since, because I think he does. He shares their pride, shares their excitement, shares their glory, just from a different angle,” she said.

After the Challenger disaster, President Reagan suspended the Space Shuttle program for more than two years as a special commission investigated the accident. “We didn’t know what the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster would mean for the future of the shuttle program,” said Zarrella.

Administrator Bolden told Zarrella that the Space Agency is at its best when it explores and that is what they plan to do. Bolden says NASA could conceivably put a human on the surface of Mars in 2030. “Explorers - people like me, crazy people like me, we'll do anything, and we'll fly anything, but in order to expand the capability to bring more people into spaceflight, we needed a vehicle that had a capability for crews to escape.” An escape system, Bolden says, is a priority, already being tested, for this next generation of space vehicle, which may head to Mars, the moon, or an Asteroid.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Virgin Galatic founder Richard Branson believe that space is the next commercial enterprise. Musk’s Dragon spacecraft may dock with the International Space Station, later this year. Commercial companies will be the only way for the U.S. to travel to the space station, until the new spacecraft is ready.

Richard Branson’s dream of space tourism, he says, will bring the world closer together. "We've got extensive tests over the next fifteen months, before myself and my children go into space, and my wife won't forgive me if I don't bring the kids back,” he laughed.

For thirty years, the shuttles boosters have been built in Promontory, Utah. Zarrella talked to several of the employees that have spent their careers building boosters. CNN was allowed to accompany the last set of boosters from Jacksonville to Kennedy Space Center.

Rich Phillips produced Beyond Atlantis: The Next Frontier. Jeffery Reid is an executive producer for CNN Productions.

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper will lead the network’s team of reporters from Cape Canaveral, FL for the special coverage of the final launch of the United States Space Shuttle program. Space Shuttle: Final Mission will air on CNN/U.S. and CNN International on Friday, July 8 from 10 a.m. to noon (ET).

Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to launch at 11:26 a.m. (ET) on Friday, July 8th.

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Weekly Observations - week ending July 3, 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.

- John King and Dana Bash welcome son.

- New CNN news chief takes stock.

- Politico sits down with CNN International chief Tony Maddox. (via: ICN)

- Anderson Cooper has no intention of leaving news.

- Has TV Newser found some clues as to where Erin Burnett will land at CNN?

- CNN en Español hires two new political analysts.

- Behind the scenes of AC360° - The Art of Booking