Thursday, September 30, 2010


Telepictures/Warner Brothers Domestic Television Distribution Press Release - Telepictures Productions Signs Deal with Emmy® -Award Winning Television Personality to Produce One-Hour Daily Strip for Daytime Television to be Distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution

BURBANK, Calif. (September 30, 2010) — Anderson Cooper has signed a deal to host a new, one-hour daily daytime strip, set for national syndication launch in Fall 2011, it was announced today by Ken Werner, President, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, and Hilary Estey McLoughlin, President, Telepictures Productions.

“Over the course of the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to work on a number of daytime programs,” said Anderson Cooper. ” It’s fun and interesting to work in daytime television. The format is unique and you can really go in-depth on a wide range of fascinating and compelling stories. With this new program I hope to relay important information and relate to people and the audience in a completely different way. It’s an exciting opportunity to show another side of myself and create something worthwhile and special in daytime.”

“There is a great opportunity in the marketplace for this type of show,” said Ken Werner, President, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. “Fall ’11 begins a transition period when long established franchises are leaving the air and making way for a new generation of shows. Anderson Cooper is one of the most distinctive voices of the next generation of television. His popularity and skills uniquely position him to be the next big syndication franchise.”

“The hallmark of Telepictures’ success has been attracting iconic talent and building franchises based on their personalities. From my early days working with Rosie through our success with Ellen, we have been able to identify great talent at the right time that fills a void in daytime. Anderson fills that void today, and I’m thrilled that we’ll be welcoming him to the Telepictures family. Anderson is one of those rare talents that has a relatable and authentic persona, a keen sense of humor and intelligence and has already demonstrated his ability to resonate with daytime viewers,” said Hilary Estey McLoughlin, President, Telepictures Productions.

Cooper will bring his passionate voice and personal perspective to a topical daily talk show that will tell the stories that are capturing the daytime audience’s attention. The show will have a broad palette that will cover social issues, trends and events, pop culture and celebrity, human interest stories and populist news. Cooper will tap into his compassion and fascination with the human condition and share compelling and provocative personal stories and tackle the issues that will stir debate while bringing his humorous take on what is top of mind for the daytime audience.

Cooper will address water cooler topics and interview the real people, populist newsmakers and celebrities behind these stories. From undercover investigations to hidden camera experiments, the show will give the audience new perspective in an effort to gain insight into relevant issues and social trends affecting women’s lives. In addition, Cooper will hold town hall meetings on hot button issues from race to infidelity to Internet predators. When there is breaking news, he will take the audience along with him right into the eye of the storm, as he goes beyond the headlines and into the lives of those affected. The show will feature audience participation both in the studio and live chats with home viewers. Like his predecessors Oprah Winfrey and Phil Donahue, Anderson Cooper will create a daily destination for multiple generations of women looking to be informed and entertained, gain perspective, and stay connected to each other and the world around them.

Cooper will continue to anchor CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” a provocative alternative to the typical network evening newscast, airing weeknights at 10 p.m. ET. Cooper joined CNN in December 2001 and served as CNN’s weekend anchor before moving to prime time in March 2003 following the war in Iraq. In addition to reporting for CNN, Cooper, an award-winning journalist, also provides reports for CBS’s “60 Minutes.” Dispatches from the Edge, Cooper’s memoir about covering the South Asia tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and other news events, topped the New York Times Bestsellers List and other bestseller charts. Before joining CNN, Cooper was an ABC News correspondent and host of the network’s reality program, “The Mole.” He anchored ABC’s live, interactive news and interview program, “World News Now,” as well as providing reports for “World News Tonight,” “20/20″ and “20/20 Downtown.”

Cooper graduated from Yale University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. He also studied Vietnamese at the University of Hanoi.

The show will be based in New York City and produced by Telepictures Productions in association with StrongChild Productions and Anderson Cooper will serve as an Executive Producer.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CNN Relaunches Online Political Coverage

CNN Press Release: Head-turning redesign combines latest political news with unmatched expertise and analysis

CNN has unveiled some significant changes to the digital home for its political coverage, showcasing the whole of CNN’s world-class political reporting front and center online. Focused on providing users with a more social, conversational and visually compelling online news experience that is easy to navigate, and its companion blog, the Political Ticker, draw on the full strength of CNN’s unparalleled reporting resources – including’s political reporting team, the CNN Political Unit, CNN’s Washington and New York bureaus and journalists in the field.

“The new pairs CNN's timely, smart reporting with new interactive features and visual oomph,” said Meredith Artley, vice president and managing editor of “Our dynamic coverage now has the dynamic digital presence it deserves.”

Utilizing a premium design and innovative features incorporating user-generated content and social media activity, the section offers all of the latest – and biggest impact – political stories, video and polls as well as direct access to the Internet’s No. 1 political news blog, the Political Ticker. Some new features on include:

  • “The Top 5:” A daily digest of the five most important political stories to keep users in-the-know, from aggregated content around the web to highlights of the weekend political television programs;
  • Top Stories & “The Conversation”: A rundown of the biggest political stories of the moment, broken down by the topics generating the most conversation and comments among’s users;
  • Opinion: The most recent op-eds and daily musings from CNN’s political contributors and pundits on both sides of the aisle – and beyond;
  • Polling Center: The place to go for CNN’s extensive polling, plus public political polling across the country; and
  • Local Headlines: The latest and greatest political headlines from across the nation and users’ hometowns, customizable by zip code and powered by CNN’s hundreds of local affiliates.

As the premier online destination for all things politics – inside and outside of the beltway – every week, will publish an agenda-setting cover story called “The Sweep,” channeling the award-winning reporting expertise of CNN’s anchors and correspondents. Additionally, the site is introducing new regular editorial features from CNN’s political juggernauts, including:

  • Wolf’s Picks,” regular Political Ticker posting about the top stories to watch from the one-and-only anchor of CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer;
  • Henry in the House,” a weekly column from senior White House correspondent Ed Henry, providing an insider's view of the Obama White House;
  • "Reliable Sources," weekly columns by Howie Kurtz, host of the weekly CNN program Reliable Sources, that turn a critical lens on the media and invite the audience to participate in the discussion; and
  • Coming soon, “Preston on Politics,” an analytical wrap-up of the day’s political headlines from political editor Mark Preston.

“Everyone in the business knows CNN has the ‘Best Political Team on Television,’ but not everybody knows the extent of the massive team in the wings supplementing, reporting, and breaking political news every single day on-air and online,” said Sam Feist, CNN political director and vice president of Washington-based programming. “The new will spotlight the extensive political news apparatus that truly makes CNN the place for politics.”

Every day up until the election and every hour into prime time, CNN will provide live on-air updates from the desk in the Washington Bureau, further extending the reach of CNN’s political reporting across platforms. In addition to regular cut-ins from Preston and deputy political editor Paul Steinhauser, CNN anchors and correspondents, including Blitzer, chief political correspondent/anchor Candy Crowley and chief national correspondent/anchor John King, also will report the latest up-to-the-minute political news from the desk. also features premium content from partner Time Magazine, incorporating more of its sweeping coverage within

Content from is also available through CNN’s mobile website, as well as via the CNN App for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Twitter users also can keep up with CNN’s latest political reporting on the Political Ticker blog by following @PoliticalTicker.

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CNN International Leads Across Europe In Latest Survey

CNN Press Release: CNN was today confirmed as the top television news brand for reaching the highest earners in Europe with “advertiser ready” content across television, online and mobile combined. The news comes as Synovate releases the annual results of the European Media and Marketing Survey (EMS), which this year incorporates mobile reach data for the first time. In the inaugural year of measurement, CNN’s mobile content reaches more affluent “advertiser accessible” Europeans than any other commercial international news channel.

These results round off a bumper 12 months for CNN where the brand has enjoyed leadership results amongst international commercial news channels in EMS Middle East and EMS Africa. Over the past year, CNN has also made a robust investment in its mobile business as demand for news across multiple platforms grows.

Jonathan Davies, Executive Vice President, Advertising Sales, CNN International commented: “These results demonstrate the unwavering strength of the CNN brand across EMEA and underline the value of an integrated sell across an important geographical region for advertisers. The availability of mobile data is a significant leap forward for advertisers who now have a robust, platform-inclusive commercial benchmark that mirrors audience consumption habits”.

About the data

CNN dominates cross-platform reach (TV + Online) in EMS main, representing the top 13% of Europe’s earners including corporate investors, opinion leaders, frequent travelers and business decision makers; a key set for the network’s advertisers as they seek to connect their brand with upscale audiences. In EMS main, the CNN brand reaches 40.5% of the audience, compared to the BBC (40.1%) and Euronews (31.6%).

Mobile represents a robust opportunity for CNN to extend its audience amongst Europe’s elite. When mobile is added to TV and web, CNN’s reach increases from 40.5% to 42.3%, registering the highest incremental increase across “advertiser enabled” platforms amongst all international news channels. At 42.3%, CNN’s full cross platform (TV + Online + Mobile) reach, leads the BBC brand (42.1%) and Euronews (32.8%).

“This result is a validation of the investment CNN has made in bringing its compelling, sponsor ready content to new mobile audiences via strategies like the launch this year of our CNN International iPhone app”, added Davies .

** 52% of the BBC’s mobile reach comes from UK residents, who have no advertising available to them when they are in the UK.

** CNN Mobile platforms refers to CNN and CNN Money, which are both advertiser-supported sites.

** All reach figures are monthly.


Heidi Collins' New Twin Cities Gig

Heidi Collins, former CNN Newsroom anchor who left the network in January, will sign on as the new co-anchor of the 5pm and 9pm news bulletins at Fox 9 Minneapolis in early October.

Following the announcement by Fox 9, Collins spoke with Amy Carlson Gustafson from

Q In January, did CNN let you go or how did that work with you leaving the station?

A "That's not even remotely close to the truth. I was offered a two-year extension on the contract I had already completed and we never came to terms. My contract with them was actually just complete in August. It was interesting how all that was written at the time — not at the fault of CNN. CNN said we were going our separate ways, but the way it was written in a lot of different places was that they chose not to renew my contract. No one ever called me for an interview, so I just decided whatever. Onward and upward."

Q CNN is a national cable network and now you're coming to a smaller, local TV market. Why?

A "First of all because of my home and getting back with the family. Quite frankly, I've always loved Minnesota. I talked about it on my show at least on a weekly basis. My regular viewers were very aware I was a native Minnesotan and a Vikings fan. It just was truly the very first opportunity I've ever had to come back, especially in this type of job situation. A main anchor position most certainly for Fox would be my No. 1 choice. And to have it be in Minnesota is a total knockout, a win-win for me and my entire family. On a professional level, there's a lot going on in Minnesota both politically and news-wise that I really want to be a part of. I'm lucky it's going to be with Fox. I know they had a great night on Saturday winning all those (regional) Emmys. They're really on a roll and I'm thrilled to be walking into such a successful station."

Q So what have you been up to since leaving CNN?

A "Mostly I've been taking care of my family. It was a real tough time for us. Services for my father-in-law were in May, early June — they went on for quite a while, it's a large family and we had a lot of people to see and gather. We then got in a car and traveled 6,000 miles out west and took the kids and did a little bit of healing in all the national parks."


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

CNN’s Right On The Edge

CNN Press Release: CNN’s Right on the Edge Documents the New Generation of Guerilla Journalists.

With a growing distrust of the mainstream media among young conservative activists, CNN takes an inside look at their new generation of guerilla journalists. Armed with video cameras and ideas, these young activists post their videos online to get their message directly to the public, bypassing the mainstream media. It’s the new wave of what they say is old-fashioned guerilla journalism.

CNN’s investigative correspondent Abbie Boudreau follows four rising stars in the conservative movement. They have changed the course of public debate and pushed the envelope of journalism. They are controversial and confrontational.

Right on the Edge debuts Saturday, Oct. 2 at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on CNN/U.S. The one-hour documentary profiles:

Lila Rose, an anti-abortion activist who goes under-cover at Planned Parenthood clinics around the country;

Christian Hartsock
, a Hollywood video director whose work is layered with a conservative message;

Jason Mattera, confronts liberal lawmakers in the hallways of Congress and posts his videos online; and

Ryan Sorba, an anti-gay activist not afraid to stir up controversy.

There’s no singular leader of this new generation of activists going under-cover with video cameras, though James O’Keefe is well-known to the four activists and appears in some of their videos. He infamously dressed as a pimp, and along with another activist who pretended to be a prostitute, videotaped his own application for public assistance inside the community-organizing group ACORN. Earlier this year, two other activists posed as telephone repairman and entered Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu’s office while O’Keefe secretly videotaped it, which led to his arrest. His alleged plans of an under-cover video operation would reveal to CNN how far this movement is willing to push boundaries.

Scott Zamost is the senior producer for Right on the Edge. Bud Bultman is managing editor for CNN’s Special Investigations and Documentaries Unit. Scott Matthews is the executive producer.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Dan Rivers Upped At CNN

CNN Press Release: Award-winning international reporter Dan Rivers returns to London as senior international correspondent for CNN.

CNN today announces Dan Rivers' appointment to senior international correspondent based at the network’s second largest production hub in London, England.

"Dan has established a reputation as one of the finest investigative reporters in the industry. In the relatively short time he has been with CNN, he has not only covered some of the most significant news stories from South East Asia which have won him an Amnesty International Media Award and a George Polk Award in the past year, he has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience in covering breaking news. His return home where he started and established himself gives us an advantage for our investigative and enterprise reporting in the UK. Dan will continue be part of our global team covering breaking news for all our platforms," says Parisa Khosravi, senior vice president of international newsgathering for CNN Worldwide.

Award-winning Rivers was most recently based at CNN's Bangkok bureau where he reported throughout the recent political turmoil and protests in the Thai capital. He also followed the Phnom Penh trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders, tracking down the chief interrogator of the S-21 prison camp, chronicling the atrocities committed, hearing from survivors and unveiling allegations of corruption at the trial. His exclusive investigation into the case of Rohingya refugees set adrift by the Thai navy made headlines around the world. He also gained exclusive and clandestine access to Myanmar to report on the devastating aftermath of Cyclone Nargis. Elsewhere he has closely followed stories including the flooding in Pakistan in August of this year, the Yogyakarta earthquake and the release from prison of controversial Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir.

Prior to joining CNN in 2006, Rivers worked for ITN in the UK both as a crime correspondent and later as an international correspondent. He takes up his position on 1st October.

About Dan Rivers

Dan Rivers is an award-winning correspondent for CNN International who has covered news and business stories from across South East Asia for the past four years.

Since joining CNN, Rivers has cemented his reputation as one of the foremost investigative reporters of his generation. He closely followed the Phnom Penh trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders, tracking down the chief interrogator of the S-21 prison camp, chronicling the atrocities committed, hearing from survivors and unveiling allegations of corruption at the trial.

His exclusive investigation into the case of Rohingya refugees set adrift by the Thai navy in a story that made headlines around the world led to him winning both an Amnesty International Media Award and a George Polk Award for International Television Reporting. He also gained exclusive and clandestine access to Myanmar to report on the devastating aftermath of Cyclone Nargis. Elsewhere he has closely followed stories including Thailand’s political turmoil, the Yogyakarta earthquake, and the release from prison of controversial Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir. Most recently he was deployed to Pakistan to report on the aftermath of the flooding. He has also secured exclusive interviews with international newsmakers including the Bali bombers prior to their executions, former and current Thai prime ministers, alleged arms dealer Viktor Bout and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

Prior to joining CNN in April 2006, Rivers was the Crime Correspondent for Britain’s ITV News. During his career at ITN, Rivers broke the story that a series of police blunders led to the mistaken shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes at a London underground station, after the Brazilian was mistaken for a terrorist. Rivers’ report was subsequently nominated for a Royal Television Society Award in the UK.

In March 2003, Rivers was one of the ITV News team covering the War in Iraq as an embedded reporter with the Royal Navy, broadcasting live from a ship in the Gulf. He was first with a tip-off of the initial attacks on Baghdad and also filed exclusive reports on mine sweeping operations off the coast of Iraq. During the three weeks after the fall of Baghdad, Rivers covered the unfolding humanitarian and aid problems in southern Iraq. Further international experience includes his coverage of the Asian Tsunami and the break-up of Yugoslavia.

Prior to joining ITN, Rivers worked for EuroNews in Lyons, France, where he reported on a variety of international news stories, including the fall of President Milosevic in Serbia.

Before that, he freelanced for London News Network (LNN) on 'London Tonight', producing reporting around the British capital. Rivers’ first job in journalism was as a journalist and newsreader on an independent local Radio station, Pirate FM. Rivers studied Social Sciences at Durham University and Broadcast Journalism at Falmouth College of Arts.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Scot Safon to Helm HLN Network

CNN Press Release - Scot Safon assumes the role of executive vice president overseeing the HLN network, effective immediately, it was announced today by Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide. Safon replaces Ken Jautz, who has moved into the position of executive vice president of CNN/U.S. Safon, who most recently served as CNN Worldwide’s Chief Marketing Officer, continues to report to Walton and is based in Atlanta.

Safon, a long-time Turner executive, has served as CNN Worldwide’s Chief Marketing Officer, where he supervised the development of all consumer and trade communication on behalf of CNN/U.S., HLN, CNN International,, CNN Mobile and all CNN branded services. Safon has elevated the CNN brand worldwide and spearheaded some of the most high-profile, award-winning campaigns in CNN history.

“Scot is one of the most creative and passionate executives at Turner Broadcasting,” said Walton. “As HLN continues to distinguish its brand in the marketplace, we are thrilled to have someone with his leadership skills, consumer insights and commitment to innovation running HLN.”

Safon joined CNN Worldwide in August 2002 as its Senior Vice President of Marketing and Promotion and was appointed Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer in 2007. Safon has overseen the marketing and promotion of programs including Anderson Cooper 360, Nancy Grace, Joy Behar, Larry King Live, The Situation Room and Fareed Zakaria GPS. His team has been responsible for handling marketing and sales communications during CNN’s award-winning coverage of the 2008 and 2004 Presidential Elections, Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, the war in Iraq and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. He has also overseen the Emmy-winning campaign for the top-rated God’s Warriors and campaigns for award-winning primetime documentary series such as Black in America and Planet in Peril.

His campaigns for, the world’s #1 news website, have included the multi-award winning “Power of CNN Under Your Command” campaign, and the “Where Information Meets Opportunity” campaign for CNN’s mobile and podcast services. His work with CNN International includes overseeing promotion development supporting the current “Go Beyond Borders” branding campaign.

Safon was named a 2006 “Brand Builder” by Television Week magazine, and his campaigns for Anderson Cooper 360 and CNN=Politics have been named “Campaigns of Distinction” by the magazine. Safon’s team led the charge on CNN’s groundbreaking Inauguration Day partnership with Facebook, which resulted in hosting the largest online video event in internet history.

Prior to joining CNN, Safon was senior vice president of marketing for Turner Network Television (TNT). In this capacity, he was responsible for all marketing efforts on behalf of TNT, including network branding, consumer and trade advertising, as well as the marketing and promotion of individual programming events, series and franchises. He supervised the marketing campaign that launched the network’s successful “We Know Drama” branding initiative in June 2001. He has also overseen campaigns for TNT’s specials, sports programming and original series, including the network’s coverage of PGA, NASCAR and the NBA.

Before joining TNT, Safon was in the ad agency world, handling campaigns for the CBS
Television Network, working on campaigns for CBS Sports, CBS News and CBS International. He began his career in account management with D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Inc.

Safon earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and history from the University of Virginia and a Masters of Business Administration from Cornell 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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Ken Jautz to Lead CNN

CNN Press Release - Ken Jautz, a long time CNN executive who most recently oversaw the HLN network, has assumed the role of executive vice president of CNN/U.S. reporting to Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide. Jautz replaces Jon Klein who will be departing the company after 6 years in the role.

Jautz has managed several networks for CNN and Turner Broadcasting in both Europe and the United States including HLN, CNNfn, and n-tv, a German national news channel.
At HLN, Jautz revamped and re-branded the network, formally known as CNN Headline News, and created an entirely original line-up of evening talk shows that more than doubled the network’s prime time ratings. Under Jautz’s leadership, HLN launched such signature programs as Nancy Grace, Joy Behar, ShowBiz Tonight, Issues with Jane Velez Mitchell and Morning Express with Robin Meade.

“Ken has a rich history with CNN – as a reporter, bureau chief, programmer and news executive – and comes to this position with a proven track record,” said Walton. “He is a respected, strategic and decisive leader and is the right person to lead CNN into the future.”

Previously, Jautz served as executive vice president of CNN’s business news operations and the CNNfn network, as well as CNN Money. He also served as managing director of n-tv, a German news and television company partly owned by Time Warner. Jautz, who is fluent in German, had previously worked as a London-based business development executive at Turner Broadcasting Europe, helping launch channels in several European markets.

Jautz joined CNN in 1989 as CNN’s bureau chief in Germany. Prior to that he had been an international correspondent for The Associated Press. Among the stories Jautz covered as a journalist were the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent revolutions in East European countries, the 1991 Gulf War and the dissolution of both the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.
Jautz is a graduate of Cornell University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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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Memo from Jim Walton

I have some news to share with you about our executive leadership and how our programming teams are going to work together to ensure we’re prominently featuring CNN’s quality journalism across our multiple platforms. Two accomplished CNN executives whom most of you know and have worked with are stepping up to new roles, effective immediately. A third senior leader will be brought on in the role of managing editor to help leverage our newsgathering resources across multiple platforms in a more collaborative way.

Ken Jautz is moving from HLN to CNN/U.S. to run the network as its executive vice president. Ken is a rarity—a working journalist who is an even better news executive. The reinvention of HLN is the latest in a string of successes he has led at CNN. Ken has launched, made profitable and turned around businesses for our news organization, Turner Broadcasting and Time Warner literally around the world. To his new assignment he brings deep experience as a reporter, both overseas and in the US; a CNN-wide perspective; and relationships from multiple positions within Turner. Most importantly, he has a demonstrated ability to collaborate and lead strong teams, and a track-record of programming successes.

Scot Safon assumes the executive vice president role at HLN and will run the network. Scot and HLN are in my view an inspired combination. He is an innovator; HLN is an ideal news and information laboratory. He is an expert in audience targeting and development; HLN’s audience is young, engaged and growing. And he is a charismatic leader who is passionate about journalism, storytelling and our brand. As Chief Marketing Officer of CNN Worldwide, Scot has led a dynamic team that has done award-winning marketing, advertising and promotion for CNN, HLN, CNN International and

Additionally, to put our multi-platform advantages more fully to work, we will be naming an executive vice president and managing editor of CNN Worldwide to lead collaboration across all platforms and elevate CNN’s unique journalism and analysis. A managing editor, with full access to our journalism resources and my mandate to shape and connect our newsgathering across networks, shows, and websites, is a new role for the organization. Ultimately, the goal is that the kind of front-page reporting and analysis that captures a news event, translates its meaning and shapes the dialogue about the story will continue to emerge in even more prominent and more accessible ways to CNN’s audiences. The search for this person is currently underway.

Our colleague Jon Klein is leaving CNN. Jon’s six years as head of CNN/U.S. are reflected in the quality of our coverage of signal news events during his tenure: the tsunami in South Asia, Hurricane Katrina, the 2008 election cycle and the Haiti earthquake, as well as shows like Anderson Cooper 360°, The Situation Room and Fareed Zakaria GPS, all of which bear his imprint. Jon has made important contributions to the CNN story, and he leaves with our respect and friendship, and with my sincere thanks.

We are going into a busy fall and winter with November elections and two new prime time shows on CNN. Ken, Scot and the new managing editor will impact these and all of the other events ahead, as will you. My expectation is that our leaders and our new operating discipline will put CNN’s advantages to work where they matter most: for our audience. Our coverage will be relevant and resonant; will have meaning for millions of people around the world; and it will reflect the qualities that CNN is rightfully famous for: commitment to truth, respect for facts, service to no political agenda and passion for journalism and analysis done right and well.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

CNN Heroes 2010 - The Top 10

CNN today unveiled the Top 10 finalists for CNN Heroes 2010. The release with the names of the finalists is below.

"CNN Heroes" returns on Thanksgiving night, as the network celebrates its fourth year of honoring everyday people changing the world. This year's Top Ten Heroes range from a Scotsman providing free daily meals to 400,000 children to a former child soldier clearing land mines in Cambodia. Ricky Martin, Rainn Wilson, Holly Robinson Peete, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Sir Richard Branson and Muhammad Ali are among the blue-ribbon panelists who selected this year's Top Ten Heroes.

Get to know the Top Ten Heroes:

Susan Burton has helped more than 400 female ex-convicts get back on their feet. Her nonprofit provides sober housing and other support services to formerly incarcerated women in California.

Linda Fondren started Shape Up Vicksburg to help her Mississippi hometown lose weight. Through the group's free fitness activities and nutrition classes, residents have lost nearly 15,000 pounds to date.

Harmon Parker is using his masonry skills to save lives. Since 1997, he has built 45 footbridges over Kenya's perilous rivers, protecting people from flash floods and predatory animals.

Aki Ra is helping to make his native Cambodia safer by clearing land mines. Since 1993, he has helped clear 50,000 mines and unexploded weapons.

Dan Wallrath has given injured Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans their own homes -- mortgage-free.

Anuradha Koirala is fighting to prevent the trafficking and sexual exploitation of Nepal's women and girls. Since 1993, she has helped rescue and rehabilitate more than 12,000 victims.

Narayanan Krishnan brings hot meals and dignity to India's homeless and destitute. Since 2002, he has served more than 1.2 million meals.

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow launched Mary's Meals, a program that provides free daily meals to more than 400,000 children around the world.

Guadalupe Arizpe De La Vega provides quality health care in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico -- one of the most dangerous cities in the world.

Evans Wadongo
invented a way for rural families in Kenya to replace smoky kerosene and firelight with solar power and has distributed an estimated 10,000 free solar lanterns.

Help pick the 2010 CNN Hero of the Year. The winner will be announced during the "CNN Heroes: All Star Tribute" on Thanksgiving night at 8 p.m. ET, hosted by Anderson Cooper. Vote now.

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Top 10 CNN Heroes Nominees Announced Today

CNN will unveil the top 10 finalists of CNN Heroes 2010 today on CNN Domestic, CNN International and online at

As in previous years, Anderson Cooper will announce a finalist each hour from 1:00pm (Eastern).

In the meantime, you can see all of the 2010 CNN Heroes, read their stories and watch their videos online here.

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CNN International Examines The Power Of Advertising

On this month's icon, CNN's Monita Rajpal examines the power of advertising, and is challenged to create her own an advertising campaign.

Choosing to promote the idea of volunteering, Rajpal and the icon team enlisted the help of advertising powerhouse Saatchi & Saatchi. The finished commercial is below.

Be sure to catch the full episode to watch what went into the making of the commercial - from idea to finished product - on this month's icon. The program airs on CNN International on:

Thursday 23 September: 1130 GMT, 1630 GMT
Saturday 25 September: 0630 GMT, 2000 GMT
Sunday 26 September: 0330 GMT, 0730 GMT, 1500 GMT
Monday 27 September: 0130 GMT

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CNN 30: Were You There?

CNN Press Release: CNN launches a multi-month network initiative to mark the most iconic moments and news events of the past 30 years.

CNN is asking viewers from around the world to submit their photos, memories, videos via iReport, the network’s user-generated news community, online or directly via the CNN international iPhone app.

"We're delighted that this landmark anniversary for CNN allows us to engage with our global audiences to produce a definitive take on the most significant events of the last three decades. The idea that attics and cellars may be hiding never-before-seen footage from iconic newsgathering moments is hugely exciting. 'CNN30: Were You There?' will take us beyond history's borders to reveal new insights on the events which have shaped our world," said Katherine Green, senior vice president of programming for CNN International.

"With this project, CNN is asking our audience to reflect on our shared history, and help us layer personal memories against iconic images from the biggest news events over the last 30 years,” said Lila King, participation director, "Our hope is that this ambitious project of marrying personal snapshots and original news footage will shine a new light on the moments that changed our lives as well as our world."

Viewers are together invited to help build an interactive timeline on at of the past three decades, sharing their recollections and any archival footage, pictures and more. The best of these submissions will be featured in a half-hour special program premiering on CNN International on October 23 at 8:30pm (HKT). Users can also comment and like individual iReports on Facebook and Twitter.

Submissions are encouraged beyond the 30 events that CNN have listed which include:
  • The assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984
  • The 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union
  • The 1981 wedding of Charles and Diana
  • The 1997 Hong Kong handover
  • The 2008 Mumbai terror attacks
  • Chernobyl in 1986
  • The 2001 September 11 terror attacks
  • The 1989 Fall of the Berlin Wall
  • The 1990 release of Nelson Mandela
  • The 2004 Asia tsunami
  • The 1994 Rwandan genocide
  • Hurricane Katrina in 2005
  • The Haiti Earthquake in 2010.
The full list is at and deadline for submissions is October 15.

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CNN Announces First Round Of Midterm Debates

CNN Press Release: CNN = Debates for the 2010 Midterm Election Season

CNN is the place for political debates throughout the midterm election season. The network is partnering with educational institutions and local media outlets to moderate important debates that will better inform local constituents as they make their decision on the upcoming races.

Members of the Best Political Team of Television including anchors Wolf Blitzer, Candy Crowley and John King are slated to moderate debates in the closing days of this election season in various bellwether states. More debate announcements to follow.In Florida, CNN will have a debate doubleheader, partnering with the St. Petersburg Times and the University of South Florida for two nationally-televised debates from USF’s Tampa campus.

  • On Wednesday, October 13 at 7:30 p.m., lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer will co-host a 90-minute showdown in Delaware between candidates, Chris Coons (D) and Christine O'Donnell (R), vying for Vice President Joe Biden’s former Senate seat. Blitzer will join Delaware public television anchor Nancy Karibjanian at the University of Delaware to co-moderate the debate, parts of which will air nationally on CNN. Blitzer also will anchor a special edition of The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer live from the campus from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., prior to the debate.
  • On Sunday, October 24, chief political correspondent and anchor Candy Crowley will moderate a one-hour debate among Gov. Charlie Crist (who is seeking an independent bid), Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) and Marco Rubio (R). The debate will air live at 9 a.m. and replay at noon on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley.
  • The following evening, Monday, October 25, chief national correspondent and anchor John King will take the stage to host a one-hour debate between Florida’s gubernatorial candidates, Rick Scott (R) and Alex Sink (D). The debate will begin at 7 p.m. and air live on a special edition of John King, USA.

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CNN International's iList Nigeria

CNN Press Release: CNN’s i-list heads to Nigeria as the country celebrates 50 years of independence.

Week-long coverage anchored by Isha Sesay features interviews, countrywide reports from Christian Purefoy and Nima Elbagir plus viewer videos.

Sesay fronts the week of coverage live from Lagos, delving into its dynamic industries and diverse cultures through a series of interviews with guests from the world of politics, business and pop culture interspersed with reports and stories from CNN’s correspondents Christian Purefoy and Nima Elbagir.

CNN looks at the challenges and opportunities for Nigeria as it prepares for general elections in January. The political landscape, economic growth, unemployment, corruption, religious and ethnic tensions and violence and land ownership all come under the microscope during the week.

Nigeria looks at how Africa’s largest oil and gas producer is tackling power shortages and environmental issues, recent reforms in the banking industry and strenuous efforts to restore investor confidence. There are also stories about the thriving mobile communications industry in Nigeria. For major providers it is an enormous market and the primary way to access the internet. For the informal economy, entrepreneurs are finding innovative ways to setup and support small businesses.

Fashion, music and film from also feature during the week as we focus on the entrepreneurial spirit of those living in the mega-city of Lagos. Another big business in Nigeria is wigs and weaves; i-List looks into the colourful story of roadside barbers and celebrity hairdressers.

The week also features the traditional yam festivals celebrated throughout August and September in Nigeria and West Africa. We highlight the scientific work being done at the world-respected International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, to protect the yam and in doing so, the region's culture and economy.

The programming culminates with the 50th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence, looking at its past achievements and exploring the challenges ahead.

“Our i-List series showcases nations, people and places - those having an impact inside and outside their borders - and brings our viewers a fresh insight into these countries that are shaping the international community. i-List Nigeria promises to be an interesting case study of the African nation as a barometer of the continent's wealth and progress." says Mike McCarthy, vice president of coverage and feature programming for CNN International.

CNN is asking viewers to submit their pictures and videos about Nigeria to iReport. This latest instalment of i-List continues a global journey which to date has included Bahrain, France, Georgia, Macedonia, Poland and Oman

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Monday, September 13, 2010

CNN Ranks #1 in Believability According to Pew

CNN Press Release - In a study released today by the Pew Center for the People & the Press, CNN once again has ranked #1 in believability among all news organizations including television, print and cable.

Of those surveyed by Pew, more than a quarter (26 percent) gave CNN the highest rating of “4” and more than half (58 percent) gave CNN a “3” or higher on a four-point scale of believability. A rating of “4” means you can believe all or most of what a news organization says, and “1” means you can believe almost nothing at of what they say.

Percent Rating Each Organization as a “4”

CNN – 26 percent
Fox News – 25 percent
PBS NewsHour – 20 percent
NPR – 20 percent
MSNBC – 19 percent
ABC News – 19 percent
CBS News – 19 percent
Daily Newspapers (most familiar with) – 19 percent
Wall Street Journal – 18 percent
NBC News – 18 percent
New York Times – 15 percent
CSPAN – 15 percent
USA Today – 13 percent

**The only two higher rankings went to individual shows and genres: 60 Minutes and Local TV news

Percent Rating Each Organization as a “4” and “3”

CNN – 58 percent
ABC News – 58 percent
NBC News – 58 percent
CBS News – 55 percent
60 Minutes – 57 percent
Daily Newspapers (most familiar with) – 54 percent
MSNBC – 51 percent
Fox News – 51 percent
PBS NewsHour – 45 percent
Wall Street Journal – 45 percent
NPR – 43 percent
New York Times – 43 percent
USA Today – 43 percent
CSPAN – 39 percent

**CNN ties with the broadcast networks ABC News and NBC News for the “4” and “3” rating.


Nic Robertson Anchors 'Prism'

Nic Robertson has turned to anchoring - albeit as substitute for Stan Grant.

The CNN Senior International Correspondent hosted CNNI's 'PRISM' program from the network's Middle East news hub in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

According to Nic's facebook fan page, he'll be hosting the show for "the next couple of weeks".

Cap thanks to dexter from our forum.

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Thursday, September 09, 2010

Michael Ware Speaks Out

Michael Ware, currently on a year-long leave of absence from CNN, will feature on ABC Australia's 'Australian Story' next week.

A press release and promo from ABC Television Australia is below...

In this special two part edition, a famously fearless reporter finally confronts his personal demons after a decade dodging bombs and bullets in warzones across the globe.


Part I Monday September 13 at 8pm on ABC1
Part II Monday September 20 at 8pm on ABC1

“From sitting down with West Timorese, to spending endless hours with the Afghan Taliban; to have sat with Al Qaeda after 9/11… I’ve always found myself crossing into the unknown – to the darker recesses.” – MICHAEL WARE.

Michael Ware’s fearless reporting made him a star on U.S. television, but his exploits are little known back in his home country.

Over the past decade, Michael Ware has reported on conflicts all over the world. But it was his most recent assignments in Afghanistan and Iraq that made him a household name in America.

Formerly TIME Magazine’s Baghdad Bureau Chief, Ware has spent the past four years as a foreign correspondent for CNN. His unflinching candour and outrageous physical courage often rankled authorities, while his reputation as a fearless seeker of truth earned him respect from all sides of the conflict.

“Michael Ware has completed the equivalent of eight to nine combat tours – there is no soldier in our military that has done that…Michael Ware has done that.” – FORMER STAFF SERGEANT DAVID BELLAVIA, US ARMY INFANTRY

Adopting local guise, Michael immersed himself in the conflict, gaining the trust of all sides, by attending insurgent training camps, speaking with Al Qaeda and embedding with the US military.

Today, Michael remains the only Westerner to be captured and later released by Al Qaeda in Iraq.

After constantly cheating death, Michael has just returned home to Brisbane to start to heal the psychological scars, reunite with his young son, and deal with experiences and trauma that almost defy belief.

On Australian Story, he is telling his compelling personal story for the first time.


Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Piers Morgan to Host Prime Time Interview Program on CNN

CNN Press Release - Global media personality and veteran newspaper editor Piers Morgan will host a candid, in-depth newsmaker interview program on CNN beginning in January, it was announced today by Jon Klein, president of CNN/U.S. The new program will air weeknights on CNN/U.S. at 9 pm ET/PT and will air worldwide on CNN International in more than 200 countries.

Known to United States viewers primarily for his role as a judge on NBC’s No.1-rated America’s Got Talent and as the winner of Celebrity Apprentice, Morgan has had a long career in journalism in the United Kingdom as a newspaper editor and, more recently, as the host of the popular television interview program Piers Morgan’s Life Stories. He will now bring his penetrating interview style and gift for unearthing the surprising detail to American television and to CNN viewers around the globe.

“Piers has made his name posing tough questions to public figures, holding them accountable for their words and deeds,” said Klein. “He is able to look at all aspects of the news with style and humor with an occasional good laugh in the process. He is a natural fit with Anderson Cooper, Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker in our prime time line up, and the ideal choice to update the storied tradition of newsmaker talk on CNN.”

Morgan began his career as a reporter for The Wimbledon News and then as a columnist at The Sun. In 1994, when Morgan was 28 years old, Rupert Murdoch appointed him the youngest ever editor of the News of the World, and the youngest national newspaper editor in Britain for 50 years. Two years later he moved to the Daily Mirror, where he served as editor-in-chief from 1995 until 2004. The paper won numerous journalistic awards including Newspaper of the Year at the prestigious British Press Awards in 2002 for its coverage of the 9/11 terrorist atrocity in New York. After his controversial departure from the Mirror, Morgan went on to become a best-selling author, a regular media columnist, and host of his own interview programs on the BBC and ITV, as well as appear as a judge alongside Simon Cowell on the No.1-rated show Britain’s Got Talent.

“I am thrilled to be joining CNN, and very much looking forward to bringing my own style of interviewing to the world’s biggest, and best, TV news organization,” said Morgan. “As a young journalist in Britain, I watched CNN’s astonishing live coverage of the 1991 Gulf War, and felt enthralled by the courage and brilliance of the journalists involved in that coverage. Years later, I watched Anderson Cooper’s visceral reports from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and felt equally enthralled by his passionate and relentless search for the truth. Perhaps most pertinently, I have watched Larry King Live for much of the last 25 years, and dreamed of one day filling the legendary suspenders of the man I consider to be the greatest TV interviewer of them all. To now have the chance to work with Larry and Anderson, and to try and continue the outstanding journalistic legacy created by them, and so many others at CNN, is both a great honor, and a great challenge.”

After leaving the Daily Mirror, Morgan began writing a monthly interview column for GQ magazine where he interviewed some of the biggest names in global entertainment and politics. In 2004, he moved into television, co-hosting a Channel 4 current affairs show, Morgan & Platell, and two BBC interview shows, Tabloid Tales and You Can’t Fire Me I’m Famous. In 2008, Morgan joined ITV, where he hosted a documentary travelogue show called Piers On…, reporting from cities including Shanghai, Las Vegas and Dubai. He also developed a new talk show, Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, where he conducts one-on-one intimate and lengthy sit-down interviews with celebrities, business and political leaders, including Prime Minister Gordon Brown. It has been consistently the No. 1-rated talk show in Britain for the last two years.

Morgan will continue to write his two regular columns for the Mail on Sunday newspaper – one on sports, the other a weekly diary of his life, and he will also provide regular columns to

Morgan is an accomplished author, writing eight books including three best-selling volumes of diaries: The Insider, Don’t You Know Who I Am, and the recently published God Bless America.

He is also co-founder and editorial director of First News, Britain’s first ever national newspaper for children.

Morgan re-married in June, to Celia Walden, and has three sons from his first marriage – Spencer, Stanley and Bertie.

He will be based in New York, and also work from Los Angeles and London.

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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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

First Look at 'Parker Spitzer'

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

CNN's August Numbers

According to Alex Weprin, CNN has recorded its lowest primetime audience in 10 years. Whilst things may not look that great on paper for CNN TV, CNN Digital continues to dominate. The release from CNN with a breakdown of the August numbers is below.


CNN Digital No. 1 in Online News for 23 Months and Mobile News for 42 Months


CNN: 93.3 million viewers
HLN: 84.6 million viewers
Fox News: 83.6 million viewers
MSNBC: 84.2 million viewers

CNN Digital: 35.7 million users
Fox News Digital: 15.6 million users
MSNBC Digital: 30.7 million users

*Based on Monthly Unique TV Viewers in August and Latest Monthly Digital Users (July)

In August, CNN topped MSNBC during the daytime (9am-5pm) in both total viewers and the key demo 25-54 and in total day (6am-6am) among total viewers. In head-to-head comparisons with MSNBC’s daytime non-opinion programming – CNN had a 66% advantage among total viewers (439k vs. 265k) and a 41% lead among adults 25-54 (117k vs. 83k). MSNBC placed fourth every hour during the daytime in the demo 25-54, except at 4p where they placed third behind CNN’s Rick’s List. Rick’s List topped MSNBC at both 3pm and at 4pm in the demo 25-54 – with CNN outperforming MSNBC Live (122k vs. 84k) and Dylan Ratigan (126k vs. 86k). In total day among total viewers, CNN had 381k vs. MSNBC’s 378k. CNN’s AC 360 also topped MSNBC in total viewers at 10p with 559k vs. 534k.

Compared to a year ago, FNC and MSNBC’s primetime audiences are both down by double digits among adults 25-54 — with The O’Reilly Factor dropping -26% (638k vs. 866k), Countdown with Keith Olbermann is down by -25% (263k vs. 350k); at 9pm Hannity (548k vs. 732k) and Rachel Maddow (230k vs. 308k) are both down by -25%; and at 10pm On the Record is off -24% (452k vs. 594k) and Countdown declined -16% (204k vs. 244k).

Both FNC’s news and non-news programs posted substantial audience loss when comparing August to their peak in January 2010, with the network’s audience dropping off by 19-36% every hour the in the demo 25-54. FNC’s non-news program Fox and Friends was down -19%, Your World with Cavuto was down -30%, Glenn Beck was off -32%, The O’Reilly Factor declined -36%, Hannity lost -31% of its audience and On the Record was down -30%. Other double-digit demo losses included the 9a hour (-29%), 10a (-30%), 11a (-28%), Noon (-25%), 1p (-21%), and 2p (-25%). Studio B with Shep Smith at 3pm, Special Report with B. Baier at 6p and Fox Report with Shep Smith at 7p were all down -30 % compared to January.

CNN Digital - Traffic

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

* No. 1 in Total Usage Minutes: 797 million minutes, 250 million more than No. 2 Yahoo! News and 313 million more than No. 3 MSNBC Digital.

* No. 1 in Time Per Person: 22.3 minutes, the highest time spent among the top 20 News and Information sites, 41% greater than MSNBC Digital (15.8 minutes) and 12% greater than Fox News Digital (20 minutes). (Source: Nielsen Online Netview, July 2010).
* No. 1 in Page Views: 1.2 billion page views, 86% ahead of No. 2 Yahoo! News and 118% more than No. 3 MSNBC Digital. (Source: Nielsen Online Netview, July 2010).

No. 1 in Audience among all TV News Sites: When compared to its TV News competition, CNN Digital topped them all in terms of unique audience. With 36 million unique visitors in July, CNN Digital’s audience was 16% larger than MSNBC Digital (31 million); 129% larger than Fox News Digital (16 million); 206% larger than ABC News Digital (12 million) and 315% larger than CBS Digital (9 million). (Source: Nielsen Online Netview, July 2010)

CNN Digital - Video

CNN Digital is No. 1 among ALL News and Information Properties in video for July.

* No. 1 in Video Streams: 112 million streams, beating No. 2 MSNBC Digital by 4 million streams and No. 3 Yahoo! News by 28 million streams. (Source: Nielsen VideoCensus, StreamCensus Global, July 2010.)
* No. 1 in Streams Per Visitor: 11 streams per visitor, more than any other property in the Top 20 of the News and Information category based on reach. (Source: Nielsen Online VideoCensus, July 2010.)

CNN Digital - Mobile

CNN Digital is No. 1 in Mobile in News and Current Events for the 42nd consecutive month.

With 15 million unique visitors to its mobile site in June, an increase of 29% over last June, CNN Digital beat the nearest competitor, Fox News Digital, by 66%. (Source: Nielsen Mobile MediaView – June 2010)

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