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CNN Worldwide is a portfolio of two dozen news and information services across cable, satellite, radio, wireless devices and the Internet in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. CNN is division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company. The 24-hour cable news channel was founded in 1980 by American media proprietor Ted Turner. CNN broadcasts from its headquarters at the CNN Center in Atlanta, the Time Warner Center in New York City, and studios in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. CNN is available in 98 million U.S. households, and more than 271 million worldwide. Jeff Zucker is the president of CNN Worldwide.

Jeff Zucker Names New CNN Digital Team

newCNNCNN President Jeff Zucker announced today a new management structure for CNN Digital led by Andrew Morse, Meredith Artley and Alex Wellen. This moves comes after KC Estenson, the former senior vice president and general manager of, was laid off amid company-wide cuts.

The new, three-headed digital group has specific roles designed for each member. Morse will oversee CNN Digital global operations and editorial. Wellen is the chief product officer, while Artley has been promoted to editor-in-chief.

Zucker issued the following statement: Read more

CNN Inks Sponsorship Deal With Volkswagen

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 8.07.17 AMThe New York Times reports CNN has signed a sponsorship deal with German automaker Volkswagen that will put VW branding on upcoming “CNN Films” documentary programs:

Although financial terms of the CNN Films sponsorship are not being disclosed, Volkswagen of America more than doubled its ad-spending commitment to CNN in the 2014-15 upfront compared with the 2013-14 upfront. The sponsorship is planned to run through the end of the third quarter of 2015.

The sponsorship will be promoted in video clips and posters using phrases like “CNN Films, presented by VW,” rather than giving Volkswagen a shout-out in the title the way that, say, “Camel News Caravan” did for Camel cigarettes or that, in the contemporary sports realm, a college football championship game was renamed the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

CNN Hits New Ratings Low Monday Night

Cooper1110Monday’s 9pmET timeslot on CNN drew 181,000 total viewers, the lowest for the time period since at least Oct. 1, 1991, as far back as Nielsen electronic records go. Anderson Cooper anchored a second live hour of AC360 at 9pm. It was also the lowest rated hour of CNN’s entire day. Cooper finished fourth in the hour behind Megyn Kelly on Fox News, Rachel Maddow on MSNBC and Dr. Drew Pinsky on HLN, in both total viewers and the demo.

CNN’s 9pmET hour was the longtime home of Larry King and, until earlier this year, Piers Morgan. Most nights, CNN’s new non-fiction shows from Lisa Ling, Mike Rowe and John Walsh fill the timeslot. But Mondays have included a second live hour of Cooper.

CNN Departure Lounge Clears Out

Last Friday saw the departure of another group of laid off CNN employees. They are part of the 300-person workforce reduction at the news channel which began last month. Many employees stayed on to help through midterm election coverage. Insiders tell us another group will be making Nov. 21 their last day, while still another wave will depart on Dec. 19.

Among those saying goodbye last Friday, host Jarrett Bellini who’s been with the network more than 10 years. Atlanta-based Bellini, the younger brother of Wall Street Journal senior producer Jason Bellini, was looking forward to going pants-less this week.

Among the big names departing the DC bureau, is Michelle Jaconi, a 12-year NBC News veteran who moved to CNN in 2009 and has been producing special projects for the last several years. “By the end of my time here, my telephone had become the equivalent of the Red Phone. More often than not, it was someone from the top of one of the Turner totem poles needing me to lead a pressing new project,” Jaconi wrote in a goodbye memo.

And as CNN right-sizes , the network continues to fill some slots. Molly Shiels, the coordinating producer for Maria Bartiromo‘s show, left FBN for CNN where she will be coordinating producer for Brian Stelter at CNNMoney. She started yesterday.

CNN to End Broadcasts on Russian Cable, Satellite TV

CNN-2009-STING-11-2CNN will go dark on Russian cable and satellite networks beginning next year, reports USA Today:

“Turner International is assessing its distribution options for CNN in Russia in light of recent changes in Russian media legislation,” the company said in a written statement. “We are bringing our existing distribution relationships to an end while we do that.

“We hope to re-enter the market in due course, and will notify our partners of any update about resuming these services.”

The network’s news gathering in Russia will not be impacted. CNN has been available to Russian viewers since the early 1990s.

CNN Accidently Reports SEAL Killed Obama

The UK edition of The Huffington Post pointed out that CNN accidentally aired a graphic that read, “SEAL who claims he killed Obama under attack” on Nov. 8.

Yes, it says Obama, as in, President Barack Obama. CNN clearly meant the late Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden and corrected the mistake in less than a minute. Erin Burnett later apologized for the error.


In Profile: Zucker, Kelly, Morse

CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker talks with the South China Morning Post:

I think I inherited a company with a long proud tradition, with an iconic brand, that had gotten a little unsure of itself, especially in the U.S., in the partisan cable news wars in the U.S. I think we’ve given the place a little bit more confidence and been a little bit more assertive.

Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly is featured in where she talks about prepping for those big TV moments, asking for a raise and how she got to where she is today.

In journalism, I don’t have quite as much self-doubt as I did practicing law, but I still feel that the key to most things is preparation. I almost never feel nervous, even on big nights, because I usually know what I’m doing. There’s comfort in being prepared. I try hard to provide myself with that.

CNN/U.S. SVP Andrew Morse speaks with Capital about the midterms and how election coverage compares to sporting events.

When technology is used as a gimmick it can be a terrible distraction. The trick is to harness technology in a way that empowers the audience, informs them and brings them closer to the action. CNN has always been an innovator on election night, with the Magic Wall leading the way.

With Navy SEAL Audio Interview, CNN Gets Ahead of Fox News Special

Billing it as an exclusive, CNN’s Anderson Cooper interviewed freelance journalist Alex Quade on his show last night and played excerpts of audio interviews Quade conducted over the last year with Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill, who claims he fired the shots that killed Osama bin Laden. O’Neill — then called “The Shooter” – was he subject of an Esquire article last year, and next week will be featured in a two-night, two-hour special on Fox News Channel.

Cooper didn’t mention Fox News by name, but rather that O’Neill tells his story “in a TV documentary.”

O’Neill is the second SEAL to speak out about the raid. The first was Matt Bissonette, who “60 Minutes” called Mark Owen in two interviews — including a follow-up last month. Cooper talked with former Navy SEAL Jonathan Gilliam, who says O’Neill could, and should be charged by the military for speaking out. “It’s time to start setting an example. The guy’s my SEAL brother, but he’s gone far beyond where I can support my brother.”

Read more

So, Anderson Cooper Had Some Friends Over Last Night

Now MSNBC is Producing a Pot Show

PotBaronsAs two more states and the District of Columbia legalize marijuana, another cable news network is trying to catch the pot wave with a new documentary.

“Pot Barons of Colorado,” a 6-part series debuting Sunday, Nov. 30, is produced by MSNBC’s Long Form Unit and production company Triple Threat TV. The series follows Colorado-based ‘pot barons’ who are working to secure a foothold in the rapidly expanding world of legal recreational marijuana use.

“Pot Barons of Colorado” follows CNN’s announcement two weeks ago that it is producing “High Profits” an 8-part series which follows Breckenridge Cannabis Club owners Brian Rogers and Caitlin McGuire. CNN’s series will debut in 2015.

As we’ve reported for years, pot documentaries — first focusing on medical marijuana, now on legal weed — have brought big ratings to cable networks, including CNBC which produced the often-repeated “Marijuana, Inc.” and, later, “Marijuana USA” reported by Trish Regan, who now works for Bloomberg TV. Earlier this year, CNBC aired an updated “Marijuana in America” reported by NBC’s Harry Smith.