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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year from All Things CNN

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What Do You Call The Decade?

Last week, Cleveland.com had an article discussing how we would refer to the next decade. The article quoted CNN's Candy Crowley:

Speaking of media, bellwethers and "twenty-twelve," that's when the next presidential election and summer Olympics will be held, said CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley.

"When you're doing a two-minute and 20-second piece, you pick up seconds wherever you can," Crowley said. " 'Two-thousand and twelve' is five syllables. 'Twenty-twelve' is three."

... to read the full article: What will we call the new decade?




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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ratings For the Week of December 21st


1 - Based on three nights of regular programming. Thursday and Friday nights were special programming or breaking news.


2- Based on four nights of regular programming. Friday night was a special.



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John King at the Blue Bonnet Cafe in Denver

Earlier this month, John King did the CNN Diner segment of State of the Union in Denver, Colorado. The Denver Post talked with him while in town:

Make that salsa verde with extra economic stimulus and a side of Afghanistan.

CNN's John King, the longtime level- headed presence on CNN who is about to be rewarded with a nightly centerpiece newscast, was in Denver last week. He enjoyed hefty vegetarian burritos at Denver's Blue Bonnet Cafe, saying afterward he'll have to spend an extra hour in the gym paying the price.

Burritos were the backdrop for a discussion with three locals about the issues of the day in the "diner" segment, a refreshing break from Washington- ese that is a regular feature on his Sunday talk show, the four-hour marathon "State of the Union with John King." The Denver segment is due to air Sunday. He's traveled to 48 states so far, taking the pulse of Americans beyond the Beltway.

"They speak a different language from those of us in D.C.," King said.

In addition to discussing the diner segment, they also asked King about his new program:

King, perhaps best known for digitally pushing, pulling and expanding mountains of data on his "multitouch" screen, has spent the past year delivering a straight-ahead Sunday show that steers clear of typical cable news rant and sticks to information. The program has hit its stride, just as King is about to be elevated to an even more prominent role.

"I'll miss it. It's great real estate," he said of the Sunday slot.

...

The format for King's forthcoming weeknight show is still being developed, but the plan is to give news junkies something they didn't already know after a day of Internet, radio and TV news.

King will avoid the hyperventilating, opinionated styles of MSNBC and Fox News anchors, in favor of more even- handed reporting.

"I have nothing against what I call the business model of Fox or MSNBC. But these are business decisions." He rejects them for his network. "There are times," he said, "at CNN when we worry too much about what they're doing. That's less and less the case. Maturity has helped us focus on who we are." The rest, he said, will take care of itself.

On King's weeknight hour, "We'll empty our notebooks out and then have a feisty segment, where it's an anchor steering the debate, not telling people what to think."

He knows he's not the incendiary personality type, like Keith Olbermann or Glenn Beck, Rachel Maddow or Sean Hannity.

"I hope I have a little bit of personality, but my opinions don't matter," King said. "Am I going to set myself on fire? No. I don't view that as my job."

... to read the full article: CNN's King makes his rounds in Denver

Photo credit: Jeremy Harlan, CNN. From left: Erica Shine, Joe Lecci, CNN's John King and Ira Crump at Denver's Blue Bonnet Cafe

Here's the video clip from the CNN Diner segment that aired on the December 13, 2009 State of the Union:

Source: State of the Union: Grading Obama in Denver




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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Larry King: Bradley University Commencement Speech

Larry King was in Peoria on December 19, 2009, to give the commencement speech at Bradly University. The Peoria Journal Star reported on the speech:

A boo and a baby didn't hold up Larry King's commencement speech for a second Saturday morning.

After receiving an honorary degree at Bradley University's midyear graduation at the Peoria Civic Center, the celebrated CNN talk-show host stepped to the podium and said, "I know, you thought I'd passed away."

King then joked about the "boobird" and the crying baby in the audience and proceeded to keep listeners alert and chuckling throughout his presentation.

"I thought it was fantastic," said John Holmes, 22, noting King took the interruptions in stride.

"He kind of poked fun at it," said Holmes, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology.

King, who arrived at CNN in 1985, admitted to the December 2009 graduating class that his speech did not have a theme "except, to tell you that you should never give up."

"I'm a classic example of this," he said.

The 76-year-old told a story about an elaborate prank he and two buddies cooked up as ninth-graders in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The friends, Herb Cohen and Brazie Abbate, went on to become a nationally recognized negotiator and a brain surgeon, respectively, he said.

The prank involved telling the school their friend Gilbert Mermelstein was dead. Mermelstein, whom the trio nicknamed Gil Moppo, actually had been diagnosed with tuberculosis and had gone to Arizona with his family to get better.

King told how he and his friends collected money for flowers for Moppo and kept it, and how the scheme unraveled when Moppo returned to school.

Even though King acknowledged he and his friends did "a stupid thing" and risked suspension, he said the lesson learned is how far perseverance and gumption can take you.

"Never be afraid to take risks," King said, reminding parents not to hold back their children.

... to read the full article: King shares message of perseverance

Photo credit: RON JOHNSON/JOURNAL STAR




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Your Views on the News December 29,2009

As 2009 draws to a close we find our favorite news channel finishing in 4th place. Why the nosedive and how do they recover (or is just making money enough)? We'd love to hear your opinions.






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Monday, December 28, 2009

Candy Crowley: CNN DC Holiday Party

The Washington Times, Stephanie Green and Elizabeth Glover, spoke to Candy Crowley days after CNN's Washington bureau holiday party.

The CNN Washington bureau held its holiday soiree at Nationals Park Friday night, but the network's formidable senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley, told us she's trying to be good and steer clear of the usual culinary delights that tempt partygoers this time of year.

"I am carbohydrates girl," she explains of her most vexing vice. "Bagels, pasta."

Not anymore.

Thanks to disciplined diet and exercise, Ms. Crowley has dropped nearly five dress sizes this year, she says, and hopes to lose another three to reach her ultimate personal best.

Her weight loss has been grist for blogosphere chatter, and Miss Crowley set the record straight in the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 18 by confirming to writer James Rainey that she did not undergo gastric bypass surgery.

Speaking to us in her office on Friday, she says she's been motivated by the "outside support" from even "total strangers" who have noticed her new look.

Her new look may be just in time for a new job. Sources tell us that Ms. Crowley has "been talked to" by CNN executives about taking the reins of Sunday morning's "State of the Union" program.

The current host, John King, will be moving soon to a new 7 p.m. weekday show to fill the void left by Lou Dobbs, the feisty former host of "Lou Dobbs Tonight."

If Ms. Crowley takes the new gig, she will be the only woman to anchor a Sunday morning public affairs program, a proposition she finds "lovely," considering she started as a journalist at a time when women reporters were scant, especially on the political beat.

David Bohrman, the CNN Washington bureau chief and senior vice president, tells us that internal and external candidates likely will be considered, but that it is "relatively" early in the process and there are "no front-runners."

For now, team CNN is focusing on more pressing matters. A little elf at the CNN holiday bash tells us that the usually restrained Wolf Blitzer, host of CNN's "The Situation Room," and political strategist and CNN commentator Donna Brazile provided the backup vocals on a karaoke rendition of the Temptations' classic "My Girl."

Source: The Washington Times, Green & Glover


Thanks to Ed Henry's tweets and Twitpics, here are a few pictures from the holiday party:



Donna Brazile at home plate on Twitpic
Donna Brazile at home plate


Inside the Nats' dugout on Twitpic
Inside the Nats' dugout


CNN's @johnking batter up at Nationals Park on Twitpic
CNN's @johnking batter up at Nationals Park



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Sanjay Gupta: Cheating Death NYC Book Party

NY Post's Cindy Adams spoke to CNN's Sanjay Gupta about his book Cheating Death at a book signing party held earlier this month.

GERONTOLOGISTS or biologists or sociologists or physiologists or whatever kind of ologists scientifi cally decree that man's life span has been extended eight years. Dr. Sanjay Gupta told me that Monday, the very day of the announcement.

Said CNN's chief medical correspondent: "A woman's average previous life span has been 72; men, 70. We now add eight years onto that. It's not due to the stress of work that men have two years less because today women also share that same environment. It's just something about the male gene."

However, you'll only live longer if you do not meet Sanjay's staff. They are injurious to your health. They'll tell you how in the '60s, his mother, in a sari, was the first-ever woman engineer at Ford. They'll constantly say how wonderful, patient, kind, intelligent, caring, helpful, loving he is. You could meet them healthy and come away with diabetes.

It was a book party this week for his just-published "Cheating Death." After Dr. Sanjay Gupta hugged Dr. Deepak Chopra, I asked if, with elder abuse increasing, is life worth extending? He said: "Many parts of the world, like Japan, which has the highest concentration of centenarians, respect elders. America discards people from the work force at 65. This country cannot further physical changes without also making cultural changes.

... to read the full article: Life goes on and on.


LIFE has several pictures of the event:

Jonathan Klein, Philip Kent and Dr. Sanjay Gupta


CNN's Robin Meade, John Roberts and Kiran Chetry


CNN's Larry King, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Soledad O'Brien


CNN's Christine Romans, Larry King and Dr. Sanjay Gupta



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Sunday, December 27, 2009

CNNi Amanpour Program December 27-January 3


SUNDAY, DEC 27: AL QAEDA TODAY/MIDEAST PEACE

Topic: al Qaeda Today
AMANPOUR has an inside look at how al Qaeda is evolving and spreading throughout Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States through its adept use of the tools of modern communication to perpetuate jihad. In his first TV interview since Fort Hood, Christiane sits down with the U.S. Ambassador at large for Counterterrorism.
DANIEL BENJAMIN - U.S. State Department Amb. at large for Counterterrorism
KAREN GREENBERG, Executive Director of the Center on Law and Security and editor of the books Al Qaeda Now and The Torture Debate in America.
THOMAS HEGGHAMMER - Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, associate at Harvard Kennedy School and a senior research fellow at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment (FFI) in Oslo
Topic: MIDEAST PEACE PROCESS
It's one of the most intractable wars of our time the struggle between Palestinians and Israelis over land, the Holy Land. The past 60 years have seen violence and uprising in the Middle East, interrupted only briefly by moments of hope. U.S. President Obama began his administration appointing a high profile envoy and promising to break the log jam, but ten months later it's still deadlocked.
AARON DAVID MILLER, Woodrow Wilson Center/former diplomat who served six U.S. Secretary's of State
AMIRA HASS, Ha'aretz , correspondent in the Palestinian territories

MONDAY, DECEMBER 28th: RWANDA: FROM GENOCIDE TO RECONCILIATION

Joseph Sebarenzi speaks to AMANPOUR about his new memoir about the Rwandan genocide that killed his entire family and 800,000 other Tutsis, to becoming a member of parliament and later a specialist on conflict resolution. His story mirrors the story of Rwanda itself, as is struggles to come back from the abyss. HE is joined by Philip Gourevitch, a journalist who has chronicled Rwanda’s genocide and journey toward reconciliation.

JOSEPH SEBARENZI, author “God Sleeps in Rwanda” / TWC
PHILIP GOUREVITCH, author “We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families”

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 29th: NEGOTIATING WITH THE TALIBAN

Eight years after being routed from Afghanistan after 9/11 the Taliban have returned with a vengeance. U.S. and NATO troops are struggling to defeat them but they only seem to be gaining ground. Our roundtable guests discuss whether or not it’s time to switch tactics and try negotiating with the Taliban.

AHMED RASHID, Author, Taliban via remote MADRID
THOMAS JOHNSON, Professor, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA TWC
MICHAEL SEMPLE Author, Reconciliation in Afghanistan, TWC

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30th: WORLD’S PROSECUTOR

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the International Criminal Court’s top prosecutor, briefs AMANPOUR on the latest in the prosecution of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and the ongoing violence in Sudan. He’ll also discuss the ICC’s role in prosecuting war crimes in Gaza, election violence in Kenya and allegations of abuse by the U.S. military in Afghanistan.

LUIS MORENO-OCAMPO, International Criminal Court Prosecutor

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31st: AFRICAN WOMEN STANDING FOR PEACE

Grammy-winning singer Angelique Kidjo and Leymah Gbowee recall how women forced Charles Taylor, an accused war criminal, into a peace agreement, and are now laying the groundwork for similar peace agreements in other African nations.

ANJELIQUE KIDJO, singer/musician / composer “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” TWC
LEYMAH GBOWEE, Liberian peace activist / protagonist “Pray the Devil Back to Hell”/ Founder and Executive Director, Women in Peace and Security Network - Africa (WIPSEN-Africa)
http://www.praythedevilbacktohell.com/nonflash/about.htm

FRIDAY; JANUARY 1st: MAYA LIN: WHAT IS MISSING?
In conjunction with COP 15, Maya Lin launches what will become her last memorial – What is Missing? It is a multi-sited and multi-platform art and media work dedicated to raising awareness about endangered and extinct species. What is Missing? links habitat and species loss with the current crisis of extinction – the 6th mass extinction in the earth’s history – but the first to be caused by the actions of a single species – humankind – while also making the crucial link between global warming emissions (20 % of which are caused by deforestation) and habitat protection
MAYA LIN, artist/architect

SATURDAY, JANUARY 2nd-SUNDAY, JANUARY 3rd: WEEKEND SHOW

TOPIC: SELLING WIVES
Drought and the global economic crisis are making the situation worse for many women and girls in India who are being used as currency to raise money for their impoverished families. All too often, these women find themselves the victims of sexual trafficking. AMANPOUR asks what can be done to stop this multi-billion dollar trade.

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT
RUCHIRA GUPTA, Founder of APNE AAP
TAINA BIEN-AIME, Executive Director Equality Now

TOPIC: AFGHAN OPIUM TRADE
Amanpour has the first look at a new report from the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime on the global heroine trade. More people die from this drug than any other in the world – 90 percent of it grown inside Afghanistan. Is there anything that can be done to stop it?

ANTONIO MARIA COSTA, UN office of Drugs and Crime TWC
GRETCHEN PETERS, Author ”Seeds of Terror: How Heroin Is Bankrolling the Taliban and al Qaeda”


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Brianna Keilar: FishbowlDC Interview

Earlier this month, FishbowlDC posted an interview with CNN's Brianna Keilar:


How often do you Google yourself? My tech-savvy grandma takes care of that for me.

Who is your favorite working journalist? [CNN's] Dana Bash. I think she's the hardest working journalist on the Hill and she's a pleasure to work with.


... to read the full interview: The FishbowlDC Interview With CNN's Brianna Keilar






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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Jeffrey Toobin: Best American Crime Reporting 2009

Rochelle Olson of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune recently reviewed Best American Crime Reporting 2009 which was edited by The New Yorker and CNN's Jeffrey Toobin.

These reported pieces, culled by Jeffrey Toobin from magazines, are both horrifying and heartbreaking. Three have strong links to Minnesota.

If love has no limits, neither does evil.

Through 15 nonfiction stories from different authors, this year's "Best American Crime Reporting" (Ecco, 313 pages, $14.99 paperbound) explores various crimes and efforts to stop them. Edited by New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin, the selection ranges from horrifying and heartbreaking to intellectually fascinating.

Not one to delay gratification or trust an editor, I intended to read the stories out of order, starting with Michael J. Mooney's "The Day Kennedy Died." The story, originally published in D magazine, describes the scene in the emergency room at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas when President John F. Kennedy lay mortally wounded on the table. A surgeon who was there tells the story to awed medical students. It would seem there are few mysteries left about the Kennedy assassination, but there were incredible details here.

But I ended up reading that story in its proper order toward the middle of the book. The first story, "The Color of Blood" grabbed me with Calvin Trillin's opening line: "What happened at the foot of the driveway at 40 Independence Way that hot August night in 2006 took less than three minutes." The last sentence of the story, which was originally published in the New Yorker, is as powerful as the first.

... to read the full article: An eye-opening volume of true-crime reporting.


The book's publisher, Harper Collins, has an excerpt published on their website (including the introduction that was written by Jeffrey Toobin).




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Larry King at "Lady in Red" Gala

The TCPalm.com posted an article about the "Lady in Red" Gala that was emceed by CNN's Larry King:

A few measly raindrops couldn't dampen the party mood on Friday,December 4, 2009, as LIFE hosted the 16th annual "Lady in Red" Gala at The Mar-a-Lago Club, Palm Beach. Larry King, whose arrival miraculously brought out the clear skies and chased away the rain, emceed this incredible evening with entertainment from veteran performer Dean of Impersonators, Rich Little. Lois Pope [pictured] and Dick Robinson were Chairmen and thanks to the generosity of Simon Fireman, who graciously donated $100,000 for the second year in a row, more than 100 disabled veterans were able to join the fun.

LIFE's unwavering supporter, Tiffany & Co. provided fabulous gifts and prizes for the lucky guests of the "Lady in Red". Star Ruby Benefactor Braman Motorcars generously donated a racy red convertible Mini Cooper, which went home with Lorrain and Malcolm Hall. The beautiful décor was provided in part thanks to a generous in-kind donation from Susan Bubis and Susan Sachs from Great Events. Soul Survivors once again provided top-notch musical entertainment in Mar-a-Lago's exquisitely beautiful ballroom keeping guests dancing until the wee hours of the morning!

... to read the full article: Larry King took center stage with "The Lady in Red"

Photo credit: Lucien Capehart Photography





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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from All Things CNN

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Giving in Focus: Clinton Township Nonprofit Featured

MyCentralNewJersey.com posted an article about an upcoming CNN Program, "Giving in Focus: 12 Days of Goodness."

The nonprofit group Hunters Helping the Hungry will be one of a few organizations being featured on an upcoming segment of the CNN network, titled, "Giving in Focus: 12 Days of Goodness."

The series, produced by CNN writers and photojournalists, will chronicle ways people give their time and resources to help those in need.

Hunters Helping the Hungry provides venison for soup kitchens, shelters and emergency pantries in Hunterdon, Sussex and Warren counties through the Phillipsburg-based Northwest New Jersey Community Action Program food bank. Hunting season typically runs from September until Feb. 15. As part of the program, statewide hunters donate deer to a butcher certified by the program and inspected by the state's health department.

Since its inception in 1997, the organization has donated more than 219,000 pounds of venison, providing about 876,000 servings to feed hungry people in the community, said Les Giese, co-founder of Hunters Helping the Hungry and a township resident.

... to read the full article: Clinton Township nonprofit to be featured on CNN



Watch "Giving in Focus," an hour-long special hosted by Tom Foreman, at 1 p.m. ET on Christmas Day and 3 p.m. ET on December 26 on CNN.




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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ratings For the Week of December 14th






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Tom Foreman: Palin, pols and prose, oh my!

Tom Foreman CNN Metro 2009

CNN's Tom Foreman had an article in the Metro last week:

Palin, pols and prose, oh my!

The Internet is overflowing with holiday gift books for your politically savvy friends; to be unwrapped, placed prominently on the coffee table, and given to the school book drive two months later when your pals realize they are not really that interested in a biography of Barry Goldwater.

The problem is clear: For all the books out there, the ones that we actually want to read were simply not penned. So herewith I present the 10 best books of the year that should have been written:

Sarah Palin, “Levi’s on the Floor!”: When a harried ex-governor is called away from her busy schedule of debunking climate change by the hijinks of her almost son-in-law, hilarity prevails! And when he poses for Playgirl, it’s not just the planet that heats up.

Barack Obama, “Dreams of My Campaign”: In beautifully crafted prose, the commander in chief explains why certain unforeseen situations, the difficulty of pulling people together, and the economy have made fulfilling his campaign pledges ... uh ... what was I saying?

Hillary Clinton, “I Told You So”: The much-anticipated answer to Dreams of My Campaign.

... to read the full article: Palin, pols and prose, oh my!



The Golden Mike Goes To ...

Congratulations to CNN for the following awards that were announced last week:

CNN was honored with two awards in the digital arena in two days – one for the CNN App for the iPhone and iPod Touch and the other for the @CNN twitter account. Yesterday, Macworld honored CNN by bestowing it with the award for best News App in their 2009 App Gems Awards. Also, today, Mashable announced their 3rd Annual Open Web Awards, and @CNN was named the best news source to follow on Twitter.


CNN Radio has been honored with a Golden Mike by RTNA for best news reporting by a radio network for CNN Radio correspondent Jim Roope's "Red Carpet Ride".











Source: CNN Press Releases, 12/18/2009, CNN Digital Honors & Congratulations CNN Radio!






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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Downsizing The Situation Room

Its been a while since I felt compelled to bring out the soap box, but the announced changes in CNN's daytime schedule seem to warrant dusting if off and making use of it. What's all the fuss about? Let's start by taking a look at an article from today's Los Angeles Times:

CNN is shaking up its afternoon lineup in the new year. Beginning Jan. 18, “The Situation Room” will start an hour later to make room for a new show dubbed “Rick’s List,” anchored by Rick Sanchez, that will air from noon to 2 p.m. PST. It will be followed by a two-hour “The Situation Room,” whose anchor, Wolf Blitzer, had until now been handling three live hours a day.

CNN executives declined to speak publicly about the move, but a spokeswoman that the change was made to bring more uniformity to the afternoon lineup. The shake-up also lessens the focus on political news, which is expected to be one of the main topics covered in the 4 p.m. PST hour when John King begins anchoring that time slot early next year. [Updated at 12:06 p.m.: Blitzer will continue to cover political news in "The Situation Room."]

[Updated at 12:24 p.m: Sanchez will also cover the top political stories of the day during his program, while the shows anchored by Blitzer and King will be based in Washington and have a strong political focus.]

“Rick’s List” is expected to incorporate Twitter, a tool Sanchez frequently uses. This morning, he tweeted that the show “will be full of newsmakers and thinkers we- and u- think are relevant to CNN. My access = your access.”

Blitzer, in turn, tweeted that he was fine about the change. “Our excellent team can focus on 2 solid hrs,” he wrote. “Less becomes more.”

In the short term, Blitzer will continue to anchor for three hours a day, as he’ll be substituting in the 4 p.m. PST time slot until King begins his new show. King replaces Lou Dobbs, who abruptly resigned from the network last month. There is still no word yet about who will take over for King on his Sunday show “State of the Union.”

Source: Rick Sanchez gets expanded show on CNN; 'The Situation Room' loses an hour [Updated]

I have to give credit to CNN's management for being consistent: with any tweak or change to the line up that they make that one could deem as an improvement (for instance Lou Dobbs parting ways with CNN and then turning over the 7PM hour to John King next year) they tend to follow it with another decision that just leaves one scratching their head and wondering "what exactly were they thinking?"

For the past four and a half years, The Situation Room has been one of the most consistent programs in CNN's daytime line up. Three hours of news, politics, and sprinkling of analysis and pundits. For me, this has been the "must see" program on CNN during the week. Earlier this year, the program was even expanded to included an hour on Saturday evening for a recap of the program's highlights for the week. This is the program that is now getting cut by an hour each day?

There are many perfectly logical reasons why CNN may have decided to make this cut.

  • Maybe Wolf Blitzer wanted to cut down on the number of hours he spends on air? Maybe losing two hours a week at the beginning of 2009 worked out so well, that cutting back an additional five hours a week in 2010 makes perfect sense?
  • Maybe this is CNN's way of pushing Blitzer out the door? (Although, admittedly, CNN is typically not so nice about pushing people out the door nor do they typically take years to accomplish it. )
  • Maybe Blitzer is giving up an hour of the Situation Room, so that he can go back to working 7 days a week and revive Late Edition on Sundays when John King vacates State of the Union?
  • Then there's the cost aspect: maybe CNN wants to limit the production costs at the DC bureau to three hours of live TV a day during the week. (Two hours of The Situation Room and one hour of John King)?

Of course, what really adds insult to injury is the hour Blitzer is losing is being given to Rick Sanchez. Who would have ever imagined that CNN would replace Blitzer with Sanchez? Think about that for a moment... they are replacing one of their best journalists/ anchors with the least capable anchor on staff. In what way does this make sense? If CNN wants "uniformity" in the afternoon lineup, wouldn't giving the two hour block to Don Lemon, TJ Holmes, Betty Nguyen, or Ali Velshi (all very good journalists/ news anchors) make more sense? Or how about giving the viewers in the US an hour or two of International programming (for instance, Back Story or Quest Means Business)? I don't understand CNN's fascination with Sanchez and "the twitter hour". The experiment of having Sanchez on at 3PM is one that should be abandoned and quickly forgotten instead of expanded into a two hour program.



NOTE: The views and opinions reflected in this post are those of Book Asylum's and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the other contributors to All Things CNN.





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John King: Reports From Hawaii

I can't help but a tiny bit envious of John King's recent trip to Hawaii. (I recently had to dig my car out from under over a foot and a half of snow, so a warm tropical breeze sounds very inviting at the moment.) On Sunday's State of the Union, the CNN Diner segment was about the impact the recession has had on the island:

Source: People Are Spending Less


I can't say I'm as envious of King's trip to the top of a wind turbine for his American Dispatch report on alternative energy usage in the state.

It was an energy audit at work that first nudged Susan Chandler to think green.

"The first thing I did was change all my light bulbs" to energy-efficient models, Chandler said during a recent visit to her Honolulu home. "Then I started tracking my energy bill."

She began walking into rooms her husband and son had just left to turn off the lights. A significant cutback in the use of the clothes dryer was another step. Still, Chandler said she wanted to do more.

"So I put up the panels."

Six solar panels were installed on the angled roof of her hillside home, which has a breathtaking view of downtown Honolulu, Waikiki Beach and the famous Diamond Head rock formation.

"We've got terrific tax credits in the state, as well as from the federal government, so it's not that expensive," Chandler said. "And I'm into just saving energy."

And into saving money.

Hawaii's electricity rates are the highest in the nation. A year ago, Chandler's monthly power bill topped $100. Her most recent bill was $36.

That's a big financial plus, but what Chandler said she enjoys the most is the evidence of how she is cutting her carbon footprint.

... to read the full article: Hawaii in early stages of energy revolution



Source: State of the Union: Hawaii's energy evolution

Photo Source: State of the Union: Atop a wind turbine in Hawaii





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Ch-ch-ch-changes ... to the CNN schedule

Rick Sanchez tweeted this morning that starting in January he will now have two hours M-F, from 3-5pmET. Not to be outdone by that modern technology, Wolf Blitzer tweeted that TheSitRoom will air from 5-7pmET, giving them a tighter focus. "Less becomes more."

BTW, Ali Velshi is filling in for Rick's 3pm shift today, and will be interviewing Peter Bergen. (Gotta love the CNN TweetVerse!)



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CNNi Amanpour Program December 21-



MONDAY, DECEMBER 21: MUGABE ON-THE-RECORD

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe sits down with Christiane Amanpour for an exclusive interview, his first to the western media in years and the first to CNN since he banned the network from reporting from his country. He defends Zimbabwe’s power-sharing agreement, talks about the arrests of his political opponents, and slams international sanctions.
ROBERT MUGABE, President of Zimbabwe

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22: COLOMBIA DRUGS
President Richard Nixon launched America’s “War on Drugs” in 1969 – yes, 40 years ago – but this war, too, is far from won. In fact, the business of illegal trafficking of drugs has soared from to an estimated $400 billion. While the explosion of violence in Mexico has made headlines over the past year, a cartel war has made Colombia just as deadly. Amanpour is joined by former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria who will talk about how the drug trade has changed and gone even more global. We’ll also have an exclusive look at a new documentary “Sins of My Father.” It tells a story of reconciliation between Pablo Escobar’s son and the sons of his father’s victims.
CESAR GAVIRIA, Former Colombian President
NICOLAS ENTEL, Director “Sins of My Father”

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 23: VIOLENCE IN CONGO
The civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed five million people and the fighting continues with the most terrible consequences reserved for women. Human rights advocates say there an epidemic of rape and other acts of violence against Congolese women that is now being perpetuated by the very troops brought in to protect them.
ANNEKE VAN WOUDENBERG, Human Rights Watch’s senior researcher for the Democratic Republic of Congo
JEAN-MARIE GUEHENNO, Fmr. Under-Secretary-General for peacekeeping operations (2000 to 2008)

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 24: IRAN HOSTAGE ANNIVERSARY
Thirty years later, Christiane sits down with the mastermind of the student takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. She is also joined by former hostage John Limbert, who for the first time addresses his former captor about what happened then. The Obama administration recently appointed him to be the State Department’s top man on Iran. They’ll be joined by President Carter’s principal aide on Iran during the hostage crisis, Gary Sick, for a conversation about the future of U.S.-Iran relations.
EBRAHIM ASGHARZADEH, former student leader of Embassy takeover
JOHN LIMBERT, former U.S. hostage
GARY SICK, principal White House aide for Iran during the Iranian Revolution and the hostage crisis

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 25th: TINA BROWN AND HARRY EVANS
Two people with legendary careers in newspapers and publishing share their story with AMANPOUR. Sir Harold Evans was the editor of the prestigious Sunday Times and The Times, revolutionizing British journalism by bringing to light many of the most important stories of our time. Tina Brown achieved fame as the first female editor of the New Yorker and Editor-in-Chief of Vanity Fair. Now she is making her mark on the web with Daily Beast. In a rare joint interview, the powerhouse couple sit down to talk about their life together and the future of the craft of the trade they helped create.
SIR HAROLD EVANS, author “My Paper Chase”
TINA BROWN, Editor/Founder, Daily Beast

SATURDAY DEC 26th: AL QAEDA TODAY/MIDEAST PEACE
Topic: al Qaeda Today
AMANPOUR has an inside look at how al Qaeda is evolving and spreading throughout Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States through its adept use of the tools of modern communication to perpetuate jihad. In his first TV interview since Fort Hood, Christiane sits down with the U.S. Ambassador at large for Counterterrorism.
DANIEL BENJAMIN - U.S. State Department Amb. at large for Counterterrorism
KAREN GREENBERG, Executive Director of the Center on Law and Security and editor of the books Al Qaeda Now and The Torture Debate in America.
THOMAS HEGGHAMMER - Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, associate at Harvard Kennedy School and a senior research fellow at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment (FFI) in Oslo
Topic: MIDEAST PEACE PROCESS
It's one of the most intractable wars of our time the struggle between Palestinians and Israelis over land, the Holy Land. The past 60 years have seen violence and uprising in the Middle East, interrupted only briefly by moments of hope. U.S. President Obama began his administration appointing a high profile envoy and promising to break the log jam, but ten months later it's still deadlocked.
AARON DAVID MILLER, Woodrow Wilson Center/former diplomat who served six U.S. Secretary's of State
AMIRA HASS, Ha'aretz , correspondent in the Palestinian territories


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Monday, December 21, 2009

Ratings Numbers From Two Perspectives

Last week, we saw two different views on CNN's ratings. One was from New York Times' Bill Carter, who posted an article titled, CNN Falls Behind MSNBC in Annual Prime-Time Ratings:

CNN will finish 2009 behind MSNBC in prime-time ratings, the first time CNN has ever trailed a competitor other than the Fox News Channel over a full calendar year.

That finish had been expected. In recent months, CNN, which continues to stand behind its policy of steering clear of the opinion-based shows that draw large prime-time audiences for its competitors, has also trailed its own sister network, HLN (formerly Headline News). CNN has frequently finished fourth in the news channel category.

CNN will finish the fourth quarter of 2009 in fourth place — another first — and with two weeks left has been fourth on more than 100 nights this year.

But the end-of-the-year ratings for the news networks — which were being presented this week because nothing is likely to change by Jan. 1 — are bringing some other, less expected, results. One is the ability of Fox News, which had the biggest ratings year in its history, to grow even against the heavily viewed election year of 2008. (Both CNN and MSNBC were down sharply from last year.)

Another surprise has been the steady growth, up 9 percent in prime time, of HLN, where hosts do offer opinions.

Perhaps most surprising is the overall growth in viewing for all the news networks over the last several years. For example, even with its competitive problems in prime time, CNN has had more viewers on average this year than it did in 2006 or 2007. So has MSNBC. But they both have been left in the dust by Fox News.

... to read the full article: CNN Falls Behind MSNBC in Annual Prime-Time Ratings


The other perspective: CNN's. This press release focuses on a different ratings measurement:

In November, roughly one month following the unveiling of the new CNN.com, the CNN Digital Network continues to hold the No. 1 position among ALL News and Information sites in several key metrics, including total video streams and time spent watching video. Additionally, compared to last year, CNN Digital has increased video streams by 6%, paying off CNN.com’s video-driven redesign, while No. 2 MSNBC Digital has dropped by 3%.

No. 1 in Video Streams: 89.1 million streams, beating No. 2 MSNBC Digital by 2.6 million streams and No. 3 Yahoo! News by 36.9 million streams

No. 1 in Time Spent Watching Video: 215.5 million minutes, beating No. 2 MSNBC Digital by 21.2 million minutes and No. 3 Fox News Digital by 80.8 million minutes. CNN Digital is also the No. 1 news video property year-to-date averaging more than 318 million minutes per month.

November marks the 14th consecutive month that CNN Digital has been No. 1 in the news and information category in total usage minutes and in share. CNN Digital has also been No. 1 in time per person for the past 6 consecutive months.

No. 1 in Total Usage Minutes: 1.1 billion total usage minutes, beating No 2. Wikipedia by 23 million minutes and No. 3 Weather Channel by 401 million minutes.

No. 1 in Share: 9%, beating Yahoo! News (4%), Weather Channel (5%) and Wikipedia (8%).

No. 1 in Time Per Person: 29 minutes, 5.8 minutes more than No. 2 Fox News Digital and among the top 20 sites.

When compared to the websites of its cable and network news competitors, CNN continues to attract a larger audience than any other TV news brand on the Internet.

No. 1 in Unique Audience: 36.6 million unique visitors, beating MSNBC Digital by more than one million and Fox News Digital by more than 20 million. CNN Digital also beat CBS News Digital by 26.2 million and ABC News Digital by 23.7 million.

No. 1 in Unique Video Viewers: 10.9 million viewers, beating MSNBC Digital by 11%, Fox News Digital by 137%, CBS News Digital by 990% and ABC News Digital by 143%.

This also marks the 34th consecutive month that CNN Digital was No. 1 in the news and current events category for mobile according to Nielsen Mobile Media View. (Source: Nielsen Mobile Media View - October 2009 – most recent data available)

No. 1 in Mobile: 12.1 million unique visitors, surpassing the nearest competitor Yahoo! News by 104%.

No. 1 in Mobile Video: 1.9 million video viewers per quarter, more people watch video on CNN Mobile than any other TV news mobile property. (Source: Nielsen Mobile Media View –Q3 2009)



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Roland Martin Article on Wall Street

Roland Martin has a new article on The Cap Times titled "Mr. President, It's Time To Kick Wall Street Butt". Here's an excerpt:

If you told me that I could take billions of dollars in bailout money from the government and shower myself and my fellow comrades on Wall Street with $140 billion in bonuses and only get a tongue-lashing from the president and nothing more, I would want to know where to sign up.

President Barack Obama and his administration have undertaken their latest round of berating Wall Street for its bad ways.

On CBS’ “60 Minutes,” the president bristled at questions about helping the banks, saying, “I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street.”

You didn’t, but you have. In your defense, this economy stinks, and the mess of the Troubled Asset Relief Program left by former President George W. Bush’s treasury secretary, Hank Paulson, didn’t solve anything; you and your administration have been trying to figure it out to no avail.

“The people on Wall Street still don’t get it,” a frustrated Obama said. “They’re still puzzled why is it that people are mad at the banks.”

We knew that then, and we know it now. So, Mr. President, what are you prepared to do?

Let me be on the record as saying that unless the president, his administration and Congress go after Wall Street with gusto, not a damn thing will be accomplished by the chat between the president and the top Wall Street bankers. Let me be clear: NOTHING.






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CNN Christmas Holiday Schedule



CNN announced their program line up for Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

THURS 12/24 - regular programming until 4pm
4pm - Best and Worst of 2009 -- Foreman/Yates
5pm - Future Fast Forward - Campbell Brown Special --- Brown/Rodriguez
6pm - In God We Trust -- Romans/Kane (premieres Saturday 12/18 at 8pm)
7pm - Best and Worst of 2009 -- Foreman/Yates
8pm - Future Fast Forward - Campbell Brown Special --- Brown/Rodriguez
9pm - Larry King Live
10pm- After Jesus - CNN Presents (two hours)
Mid – Larry King Live
1am – After Jesus
3am– Larry King Live
4am - Future Fast Forward
5am - Best and Worst

FRI 12/25-- regular programming until 1pm
1pm - Focus on Giving -- Foreman/Swain
2pm - The Two Marys - CNN Presents
3pm - The Mystery of Jesus - CNN Presents
4pm - Heroes - An All-Star Tribute - Cooper/Flynn (two hours)
6pm - King-Sized Christmas --- 4 hours of Larry King Live
10pm - Heroes - An All-Star Tribute - Cooper/Flynn (two hours)
Mid - Larry King Live
1am Heroes
3am - Larry King Live
4am – Heroes


Program Descriptions:

CNN PRESENTS: AFTER JESUS
As two billion Christians worldwide prepare for the celebration of Christmas, CNN explores the early history of Christianity, and the struggles of the early church in a two-hour event documentary narrated by Liam Neeson.

FOCUS ON GIVING - This series by CNN writers and photojournalists looks at the creative and traditional ways people are giving of their time, their resources and their love, highlighting acts of generosity that can be found not only at the holidays, but throughout the year. Watch "Giving in Focus," an hour-long special hosted by Tom Foreman, at 1 p.m. ET

CNN PRESENTS: THE TWO MARYS
CNN Presents examines the "Founding Mothers" of Christianity – and what they mean for believers today. Filmed in Galilee, Jerusalem, Rome, Fatima (Portugal), and Lourdes and Vézelay in France, CNN Presents visits newfound archeological digs and interviewed scholars and the faithful to show the great influence of the two women closest to Jesus.
CNN PRESENTS: THE MYSTERY OF JESUS
Exploring the stories and questions surrounding Jesus, CNN Presents uses medical modeling and analysis from biblical scholars to try to uncover when was Jesus born, if it was in Bethlehem, what he looked like, and how he really died. Narrated by Sigourney Weaver, and filmed in Nazareth, Galilee, and Jerusalem, this documentary recreates Jesus’ early life as a young Jewish boy, and probes the mysteries of his betrayal, trial, execution, and the miracle of his resurrection.

CNN HEROES AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE- Millions voted – Now Dare to be inspired – Join Anderson Cooper for CNN Heroes an All-Star Tribute to those changing the world!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Your Views on the News December 19,2009

Opinions? We know you have them and here's the place to tell us what you're thinking.






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Join Anderson Cooper for New Year's Eve


Anderson Cooper will host CNN's live coverage of the New Year's Eve celebration in New York City's Times Square on Thursday, Dec. 31, from 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. (ET). For "New Year's Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin," which will air in HD, CNN anchors and correspondents will provide reports from celebrations across the country and around the world.

Entertainer Lance Bass will also be part of the show this year, joining Cooper and Griffin from Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. CNN anchor Don Lemon will report from the crowd in Times Square along with CNNMoney.com’s Poppy Harlow. Correspondent Gary Tuchman will report live from New York City's Central Park for the annual Midnight Run. Senior White House correspondent Ed Henry will report from Honolulu and correspondent John Zarrella from Key West, Florida. The show will simulcast on CNN International.

Leading up to “New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin” will be “All the Best, All the Worst of 2009”, an Anderson Cooper 360° special which will air at 10pm ET. The special will count down to the new year by reviewing the old one with humor, insight, and fun. CNN correspondent Tom Foreman will shine a spotlight on the highlights and lowlights of the past twelve months in politics, pop culture, the economy, entertainment, and much more. Joining Foreman will be a lineup including: host of “The Joy Behar Show” on HLN and co-host of ABC's The View" Joy Behar; economist and actor, Ben Stein; MTV’s Sway Calloway; AC360’s own Jack Gray; Time Magazine and LA Times columnist, Joel Stein; comedian and actress, Margaret Cho; the Daily Beast’s Tina Brown; and conservative author and strategist, Leslie Sanchez. CNN International will simulcast.


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Friday, December 18, 2009

With All Due Respect


HLN will air a new one-hour special entitled With All Due Respect this weekend. The special features HLN anchor Robin Meade, TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley, TBS MLB analyst Dennis Eckersley and TNT NASCAR analyst Kyle Petty. It will include the trio giving their opinions on topics ranging from sports to world news, entertainment and current events. With All Due Respect will premiere on HLN on Sunday, Dec. 20 at 10 p.m. (ET).
On Wednesday this week Robin Meade talked with Anderson Cooper on AC360 about her special, the guests on her panel and the wide ranging topics they cover ...including Tiger Woods. Cooper shared with Robin his first meeting with basketball great Charles Barkley. Here's the clip:


video


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Jim Walton's End of Year Message to the CNN Staff


Jim Walton (CNN Worldwide President) sent this end of year message to the CNN/HLN troops yesterday. Credit to TVNewser for the find.

From: On Behalf Of Walton, Jim
Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2009 11:28 AM
Subject: Note to Staff

December 17, 2009


To: CNN Staff
From: Jim Walton

Because as professionals and as an organization we are wired to look forward rather than back; because time passes quickly and it's easy to forget all of the moments that make a year; and because it's just as important to savor accomplishments as it is to collect them, I want to close 2009 with a reminder of what you did that set CNN apart and helped us win.

First, some breaking news: Despite the worst economic climate in 75 years, CNN will finish 2009 with double-digit profit growth for the sixth consecutive year. Our collective commitment to cost management has helped us achieve our most profitable year ever. You did that. And it was hard. But you understood the importance to our future of weathering this storm and you did your part, and more, to see us through it.

We presented consumers with three compelling, new CNN experiences: the re-branded HLN, which caught fire and is the year's fastest-growing brand in cable news; the re-designed CNN.com, now with enhanced video and deeper news and brand offerings; and the re-imagined CNN International, featuring more analysis, connectivity, perspective and an entirely new prime time line-up. I liken each of these efforts to changing the tires on a moving car. But you did it. Congratulations.

Our work on emerging platforms generated a new kind and level of buzz around the CNN brand. The Facebook partnerships, the iPhone app and an exponentially higher profile in the social media universe connected us to new audiences and had them talking to, with and about us. Great stuff. And again, all you.

This year we put proper emphasis on how we work with each other; invest in each other; learn from and listen to each other; translate it to our culture; and reflect it in our content. Our people initiatives added work to days that were already full and exercised muscles we've frankly neglected. But we're better managers of people, resources and responsibilities today than we were a year ago, two years ago or five years ago. And it's all your doing.

Fine-tuning our structure to reflect and support what we are now and will become, as opposed to what we used to be, continued across the CNN portfolio. We added staff in areas where we were thin and where we will grow, and will end 2009 with more employees than we had at the start of the year. Your judgment, planning and vision did that, too.

Finally, we continued to deliver the quality journalism that is the promise, signature and soul of CNN around the world. We brought 12 new CNN shows to air in 2009, an extraordinary feat in any year. Our colleagues at CNN/U.S. added memorable new chapters to the in America and CNN Heroes stories, and CNN journalists led from Iran and Iraq to Copenhagen and Mexico. But what's really important to me is that we did work that was relevant, current, essential and valued; work that made a difference in peoples' lives; and work that was worthy of the CNN imprimatur. I can't give you a higher compliment than that. You did it, and you've earned it.

The year ahead will bring challenges, some carried over from 2009 and others brand new. I'm confident in our ability to meet what comes our way as long as we continue to think like owners, act like leaders and put good journalism first. I'll promise you this: Whatever we do in 2010, we'll do it together.

Enjoy the holidays. Remember the people who make your work life possible and your life meaningful. And be proud of your special contribution to CNN. I am grateful to each of you.




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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Must Read Jeffrey Toobin (According to Tina Brown)

CNN's Jeffrey Toobin recently made the Daily Beast Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown's must read list. In her "Word of Mouth" segment on NPR, she recommends Toobin's New Yorker article The Celebrity Defense.

Brown's next suggestion is a New Yorker article on Roman Polanski. Writer Jeffrey Toobin traces Polanski's trouble with the law to determine whether his fame has helped or hurt him with regard to the rape charges he has been fleeing for more than 30 years.

"He very coolly dissects the impact that celebrity has had on the vicissitudes of Polanski's whole course with the law in the last 33 years," Brown says.

In the article, Toobin argues that at first, celebrity helped Polanski's case. But fame turned against him eventually, when a photo of the director carousing with a young woman in Germany landed in the papers.

"That picture made the judge absolutely crazy," Brown says.

"He felt that Polanski was flouting the judge's authority, and that really set him a course for the second round, where, in fact, everything was really weighted against him."

Source: NPR: Tina Brown's Must-Reads: Celebrities Behaving Badly

A clip of NPR's Steve Inskeep discussing Brown's picks is available from NPR:



Toobin also has another article on line at The New Yorker, On Top of Spaghetti. In this article, he interviewed Edward Youkilis, a restaurant owner and Cincinnati native.



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Meredith Artley On CNN.com's Redesign

Fast Company talked to Meredith Artley, vice president and managing editor of CNN.com, about the website's recent redesign.

Artley views the newsroom as a cohesive unit, or, as she calls it, a "giant candy store," where the knowledge of contributors from all corners of CNN can be creatively combined to produce comprehensive, multimedia coverage of any story. Joining the team just before the redesign, Artley encouraged reporters not only to use the latest streaming video technology and share resources but to actually tell stories in a different, often more personal way. "This is a place for journalists to really have an impact," Artley says. "I think we can change the future of storytelling."

...

Still, the question remains: When it comes to technology, what will be the game changer, a la John King's "magic" touchscreen wall, for the CNN.com experience? The site has already integrated streaming video with real-time chatter from Facebook, as it did on its Inauguration Day coverage. NewsPulse is a way to customize, filter, and search news. After hinting at the possibility of some interactive graphics, Artley says ... wait for it ... "We'll be getting funky in the months to come," she says.

...

But already since the redesign, Artley's team has noticed an uptick in more videos being watched, as well as a longer time engagement with the site--not just scanning for the latest headlines. That's the real change she thinks CNN.com will see in the long run. "We're always going to have the breaking news, where we dominate and deliver," she says. "But look for new broader stories, trend pieces, that give more analysis." Artley even acknowledges the suggestion that CNN.com could be a model for a brighter future in a bleak industry. "That's the most wonderful byproduct," she says. "We're empowering journalists to be reporting again."

... to read the full article: Inside CNN.com's Relaunch: The Philosophy After the Facelift



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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ratings For the Week of December 7th






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John King's TVWeek Interview On The Move To Primetime

TVWeek recently spoke to John King about his new Primetime program scheduled to begin in January.

King said in an interview from on the road in Little Rock, Ark., that his new show “will build on some things we know that work, and create some new things.” The giant touch-screen “Magic Wall” that became his trademark for explaining election results during the 2008 political campaign is one of the elements that will make the transition.

While ideas are still being kicked around, he said, “one thing I do know is I want it to be constructive and contextual, to peel back some of the big questions people have,” whether about what to do with the economy, or what’s really in the health bill or “who are the Taliban.” The debate can be “provocative,” he said, but it won’t be led by an anchor who’s an advocate for one side or the other.

Indeed, asked his view on immigration, King called it “a powerful issue in our country, an issue we need to cover. It’s a gut-wrenching and divisive issue.” Then, after a beat, he added: “We will cover it. And many, many, many, many, many, many, many other issues.”

“People always say you can’t do policy on television, I just don’t buy that,” King said. But he does get a constant complaint from viewers that, while they are interested in issues, “‘you guys don’t speak our language.’ The defining challenge, I believe, to anybody in our business right now is relevance. People are in a hurry, and they have so many options. They don’t want their time wasted. They want you to talk about things they care about and to do it in their language.”

That language won’t be the “shouting” that some of his competitors employ, he added. Those shows can be “fun to watch,” he said, “but they’re not newscasts.”

In taking on the new program, King will have to give up Sundays, where his program has been gaining traction. “I hope to carry the passion over to five nights a week,” he said.

He will also have to give up many of his days on the road, a hard transition for a former national political reporter. Even for the Sunday show he has traveled to almost all the states in his 11 months on the job — Arkansas was his 45th — and the need to spend more time in Washington, D.C., will be a challenge, he said.

“One of the things I’m struggling with is how do I reach out and keep in touch with people when I can’t do it myself as much,” he said, adding that, by getting out Washington, he makes sure he’s asking the questions that viewers want to hear.

... to read the full article: John King Scrambles to Ready a CNN Primetime Show




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Monday, December 14, 2009

More on Cheating Death

Thanks to all who entered the Cheating Death book giveaway. We have notified the five winners.

CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta and Mads Gilbert in Tromso, Norway, on location during shooting of "Another Day: Cheating Death," based on Dr. Gupta's new book, "Cheating Death: the Doctors and Medical Miracles that Are Saving Lives." Dr. Gilbert is head of emergency medical services at the University Hospital of North Norway and a leading clinical expert in hypothermia. His medical team saved the life of Anna Bagenholm, a radiologist whose head was submerged in icy water for 40 minutes.

US News & World Report recently published an interview with Dr. Gupta on his book, Cheating Death. Here's the intro and a few of the questions and answers. To read more just follow the link.
Sanjay Gupta operates on Mondays and sees patients on Wednesdays. The rest of the week, he leads CNN's medical coverage. Gupta has to be the first (one hopes the last) news reporter to perform brain surgery while on the job in a war zone. He enjoys his weekly responsibilities so much that he turned down President Obama's offer of the surgeon general's position. Cheating Death: The Doctors and Medical Miracles That Are Saving Lives Against All Odds, Gupta's second book, takes a fresh, hard look at assumptions that doctors have accepted for decades: CPR works. You're dead when your heart stops. If your brain looks like mush and the top doctors at a top medical center say you're brain-dead, there's no possibility of coming back. I asked Gupta how the compelling stories he presents should change our ideas about modern medicine and what they might mean for healthcare reform.

Cheating Death and its accompanying CNN specials air some of medicine's basic deficiencies (like how we define death). What's your aim?

I've been thinking about this book since I was a medical student. The way that we pronounce people "dead" and the whole process of death is something that we know more about now than we have ever before. It's not a perfect system. I take some of these concepts that are usually more squarely in the realm of science and the journals and try to make them more approachable for a lay audience. I'm not trying to be controversial or to raise debates.

You write about Lance Becker, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Resuscitation Science, who says death occurs when doctors quit. That's pretty harsh. Do you agree with him?

If you're in the middle of a code and there's no response to the resuscitation attempts, at some point someone says, "OK, that's enough." I'm not saying that if we'd only tried another 10 seconds everything would be different. But the world that we live in, based on the assumption of what is alive and what is dead, does have a subjective nature to it. That, in and of itself, is surprising to people, and "death is when doctors quit" is one example.



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