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Posts Tagged ‘Frank Sesno’

CNNers Past and Present Celebrate Network’s 30th Anniversary

Sat Party 4.jpgA large crowd of former and current CNNers gathered at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Saturday night to celebrate the network’s thirtieth birthday.

The bash — an unofficial gathering organized by former CNN producer Elissa Free — drew over three hundred people and was emceed by former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw.

“It was a celebration of what we had built,” former CNN correspondent Kelli Arena tells TVNewser. Arena, who started her career at CNN in 1984, said that joining the then-four-year-old network “was a labor of love… There was an energy and an innocence about the place. We brought live to the air things that people had never seen live on the air before.”

CNN founder Ted Turner addressed the group, telling attendees he was proud of what staffers have accomplished. Former CNN president Tom Johnson also spoke.

Current CNNers in attendance included anchor Wolf Blitzer, News Standards and Practices EVP Rick Davis, Political Director Sam Feist, and correspondent Jeanne Meserve.

Former CNNers in the house included Cissy Baker, Ralph Begleiter, Charles Bierbauer, Mike Boettcher, Tony Collings, Roger Cossack, Patty Davis, Bill Dorman, Rusty Dornin, Bob Franken, David French, Frances Hardin, Leon Harris, Sandy Kenyon, Jamie McIntyre, Brooks Jackson, Kathleen Koch, Eileen O’Connor, Chris Plante, Frank Sesno, Mark Shields, Linda Taira, Mary Alice Williams, and Judy Woodruff.

“It was a lot of reminiscing about the little network that could,” Arena said. “There was no griping, no discussion about the current CNN — that’s not why people were there. People were there to celebrate what we had accomplished. It was like a family reunion.”

More photos, after the jump…

(photo by Richard Kolko)

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CNN Top Boss: ‘We Compete Against a lot More than Fox and MSNBC’

The Associated Press has yet another, ‘woe is CNN’ story. This time, David Bauder goes straight to the top, talking with the president of CNN Worldwide, Jim Walton. On the faltering ratings for CNN’s primetime, Walton says, “It matters to us. Trust me, it matters. We want all of our networks to grow their audiences. But the fact is, (CNN) is a vibrant, healthy company that’s growing in an industry where we’re pretty much one of one.”

“We compete against a lot more than Fox and MSNBC,” says Walton.

Frank Sesno, the former CNN Washington bureau chief and now a professor at George Washington University tells Bauder, what CNN needs is to find a way to bring the passion to stories that its rivals bring to arguments. Which sort of echoes these comments from the premiere primetime cable news host a couple weeks ago.

Secretaries Gates & Clinton Sit for Joint Interview for CNN

Tonight, the sitting Secretaries of Defense and State, Gates and Clinton, sat down with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour along with Frank Sesno, a former CNN anchor and now Director of George Washington’s School of Media and Public Affairs. The discussion is a special edition of the new show “Amanpour” which will air tomorrow on CNN/U.S at 3pmET and simulcast on CNN International. The interviews took place at GW.

On the issue of the U.S. military in Afghanistan, Gates says, “We are not leaving Afghanistan. There should be no uncertainty in terms of our determination to remain in Afghanistan and to continue to build a relationship of partnership…with the Pakistanis.” Asked about the situation in Honduras, Clinton said, “We’re working very hard to reach a conclusion in Honduras that will permit the elections to go forward…to get Honduras back on the path to a more sustainable democracy…to get to where they were before there was the disruption and the exiling of President Zelaya.”

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Is this a first? Does anyone know if sitting Secretaries of State and Defense have participated in a joint TV interview?

• The full transcript after the jump…

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The Ticker: Newseum, Hunter, Lee

• The Newseum is launching a 10-part series for public television entitled “The Future of News with Frank Sesno.” The first episode features NBC News’ Ann Curry and Global Post editor Charles M. Sennott.

• Former “Good Morning America” investigative correspondent Greg Hunter has launched a new Website whose mission is “to watch out for the American people.” USA Watchdog “will keep an eye on the government, your financial interests and cut through the media spin.”

• And Fox Biz anchor Jenna Lee was featured in this month’s Cosmo as one of the “money honeys” that was asked to share their wardrobe strategy. Not surprisingly, she suggests paying close attention to how you allocate your monthly budget. (PDF here).

“People Have Learned New Viewing Habits”

ElexNight_11.10.jpgThe AP’s David Bauder takes a look at the cable news landscape through the lens of an Obama White House. Frank Sesno, the former CNN Washington bureau chief and occasional on-air analyst says viewing habits shifted during the campaign. “The market has changed. I don’t think this is episodic. I think it is structural and real and probably permanent. People have learned new viewing habits and new news consumption habits,” Sesno says.

So does this mean good things for MSNBC? The former president of the network says maybe. Erik Sorenson says MSNBC should do better in quieter periods than it has in the past because of its clearer identity. “That said, the wrong guys won the election for MSNBC,” Sorenson says. “If McCain won, Keith [Olbermann] and Rachel [Maddow] would have a lot to talk about. The audience would have a lot to be angry about and focused on.”

— Earlier on TVNewser: What the cable nets will do to keep audiences tuned in…

FNC: Jay Wallace: “Any time there’s a key story that’s out there…we always tend to retain more eyeballs than anyone else.”

CNN: Jon Klein: It’s the economy…

MSNBC: Phil Griffin: “We’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing.”

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