Viewers yesterday evening may have noticed that Piers Morgan‘s pre-Oscar show started a half hour early, around 5:30 Pm ET instead of 6 PM. The cause was a blackout in the channel’s Atlanta headquarters. Aside from a few seconds of dead air, there wasn’t much of an interruption, with the L.A. bureau taking control after a commercial break.
“CNN Atlanta experienced a power failure on Sunday and was able to quickly switch to another bureau for broadcast,” said a CNN spokesperson in a statement. “Live programming and taped programming resumed with minimal interruption during the switch.”
So, what happened? CNN was doing some routine maintenance and system updating (The Oscars are as good a time as any to do it, after all), and the city power supply that the network was using as a backup during the maintenance had a glitch, causing the power issue at the CNN Center.
As the Super Bowl power outage fiasco proved, it could have been far, far worse.