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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Home and Away: A Tribute to Coalition Troops

This post started out like so many others, just a simple heads up about something new that CNN.com had added to its already extensive archives. But after taking some time to look through the newest addition I must say I'm not only blown away but the volume of work that went into this but also very moved by the touching tribute....and its timeliness. Please take a few minutes this Memorial Day weekend and navigate through the site as a way of honoring and paying tribute to those who have sacrificed their lives to protect our freedom.

CNN Pays Tribute to Coalition Casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq Wars with Launch of “Home and Away”

Continuing to develop innovative ways to present its audience with news and information, CNN is combining the unparalleled strengths of its on-air and online platforms to honor every Coalition Forces casualty in Afghanistan and Iraq.
CNN.com has launched
“Home and Away,” an immersive interactive which allows users to learn about and pay tribute to more than 6,000 fallen troops from more than 20 countries.
“Each of these casualties has an inspiring and moving story, and we wanted to find an exceptional way to honor the sacrifice every single one of them made,” said Susan Grant, executive vice president of CNN News Services. “We hope ‘Home and Away’ serves as an enduring memorial for those that made the ultimate sacrifice while also helping the CNN audience more personally connect with this deeply complex topic.”
“We were so moved by the powerful stories of these service members and those who loved them along the way,” said Michelle Jaconi, Executive Producer, John King, USA. “Our CNN.com colleagues have created a powerful tool that allows us to more deeply engage with our viewers, connecting them to personal tributes from the fallen's family and friends."
This extensive data visualization project began nearly 10 years ago at the start of the war in Afghanistan. A cross-divisional effort between the CNN Library and CNN.com, a team of researchers, producers, designers, user-experience specialists and developers have gathered information about the casualties of the wars. Evolving from two separate lists of casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq, “Home and Away” tells the story of where and how the lives of these troops began and ended, and is continually enhanced with personal memories from family and friends.
Users can search for casualties across several different criteria, including last name, age hometown, location of death and date of death. More detail about the life of each casualty is featured on a personal memorial page, as well as memories from family and friends shared through iReport, CNN’s user-generated news community. Users may share iReport tributes for any service member directly from their memorial page.

There are interactive maps of the US that list fatalities in both Afghanistan and Iraq. As you move your cursor over the States names of those who have passed are shown.
Here's the map for those that have died in Afghanistan:
And for those who lost their lives in Iraq:
There are also interactive maps of Afghanistan and Iraq that illustrate how many lives were lost in which districts/regions of the country.

Again, I urge you to take some time and navigate through 'Home and Away'. I don't think you will regret it. Have a safe Memorial Day weekend.


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Friday, May 28, 2010

Your Views on the News May 28, 2010



We've posted article after article that look at what is wrong with CNN and how to 'fix' it. But amid all the discussion I think we've lost track of how far CNN has come from its humble start. Earlier this week Richard Huff, NY Daily News.com, wrote an article that looks back:

CNN has taken its lumps lately.

Campbell Brown is giving up her nightly show because of low ratings, Larry King has on- and off-camera woes, and the Fox News Channel long ago overtook CNN as the cable-news ratings champ.

Troubles aside, it is important to note that three decades ago next week, CNN changed the face of news.

"You feel like we deserve a little credit for that," says Will King, senior director of news operations for CNN International.

"Even the phrase 'news on demand,' though it's a phrase that's associated with the Web - June 1, 1980 established the ability for consumers to have news on demand," says King.

Think about it: Before 1980, the notion of news around the clock, delivered around the world, was unheard of. But a cable maverick from Atlanta named Ted Turner wanted to try. He did, barely succeeding at times, but he built the basic model for cable news.

King is one of the 14 staffers hired in 1980 who are still with CNN. He remembers the tough times early on, when payday was a concern.

"'You better get your check and go down to the bank and cash it early,'" he recalls the whispers. "'We hear the company doesn't have enough money to make payroll.' And sure enough, you could see people lined up at a nearby bank branch."

He laughs now, but King was a believer in the 2-4/7 news network from the start.

"I knew that was going to be a revolutionary idea. How many people in the profession they want to work in can do something that's truly revolutionary? It's like working in [Thomas] Edison's workshop."

So he left a job in Memphis for CNN in Atlanta to find a newsroom with some equipment still wrapped in plastic, and no indoor bathrooms. "Outside one of the exit doors were some Port-APotties," he says.

When CNN launched, it stood alone in the cable news arena. It took years before CNN staffers were treated on the same level as those of other news outlets.

But after continuous coverage of big stories like the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion; the 1987 coverage of the rescue of Jessica McClure, a toddler trapped for 59 hours in a well, and the start of the Gulf War in 1991, which King calls a "game changer" - CNN became a major player.

CNN launched CNN2, which eventually became HLN in 1982. Now CNN is seen in more than 200 countries and has paved the way for Fox News Channel, MSNBC and, one might argue, the Weather Channel.

"I'm very blessed to have been part of a company that has not only invented the genre," King says, "but has continued to set the bar for others to follow."

And they have.

"One of the jokes at the time was, 'What's the difference between CNN and the Hindenberg?'" King says, looking back to the network's launch. "The Hindenberg got off the ground."

The connection, while a joke in 1980, is notable. The Hindenberg disaster changed aviation history.

CNN, of course, changed TV history.



Yesterday Alex Weprin of TVNewser posted some facts and opinion about CNN's meeting on Thursday with their investors:

.....Time Warner hosted an "investor day" where CEO Jeff Bewkes and the various division chiefs gave updates on the state of the business. The above slide is from the presentation delivered by Phil Kent, the chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting System, which oversees CNN.
(Note that this slide includes CNN U.S., CNN International, HLN and CNN Digital, so it is the combined revenue of three television networks and their respective online properties.)

Kent said that operating income for 2009 was approximately $500 million, slightly higher than the estimates made by SNL Kagan. CNN says this is the first time Time Warner has broken out financial numbers for its news division.

As you can see in the chart, and as we explained earlier this week, the heart of the CNN (and cable) business is subscription fees, which account for around 50% of total revenue. Advertising and ancillary revenue streams account for the other 50%.

CNN's pitch to investors and the press is that its business is healthy despite declining ratings in primetime. While it is true that CNN U.S. primetime only accounts for about 10% of revenue, it is still responsible for a disproportionate amount of advertising revenue on the flagship network. CNN as a whole can thrive financially even if its primetime stumbles, but it has to work harder to make up for it through the other two channels or its digital division.

Primetime -- across all television networks, not just CNN -- is still the most valuable real estate for media companies and advertisers, because of its reach and the ease of monetizing it. It is also an important factor in carriage negotiations. If CNN's carriage agreement with Cablevision is up for renewal, poor performance in primetime would be one of the cable company's arguments against a higher fee, which SNL Kagan estimates is currently $0.48 cents. Considering that carriage fees are the heart of CNN's business, it is not a fact to be taken lightly. Cablevision, Comcast or DirecTV are not interested in how well CNN.com is doing, because they are paying for the right to televise the channel and the rights to use CNN content on on-demand platforms, etc.

( Update: CNN says that when it renegotiates carriage fees the most important factors are total reach and the brand of the channel. In the case of CNN, the network's 30 year history and track record of covering breaking news events would play a significant role.)

The good news is that the company seems to be having success in driving new revenue streams. Digital advertising and sales (like the CNN iPhone app) account for about 10% of total revenue, the same as CNN U.S. primetime, and the company is looking to grow its wire service this year and next, selling CNN and CNN.com content to affiliates in need of content.

In the pie chart, the service is represented as "Domestic Linear Content" and "International Linear Content." It is also one of the four pillars for growing the news division, according to Kent's presentation. Kent refers to the wire service when he spoke of monetizing "content ownership." The other pillars: continued investment in journalism, managing costs, and extending its multi-platform reach.

The information revealed by CNN serves to confirm the fact that, at least for now, the dual revenue stream cable business model is strong enough to drive profits at a network, even if the programming isn't working. But as we argued, that cannot continue forever. CNN can do well even with primetime ratings troubles, but it will have a much easier time generating advertising revenue and negotiating for higher sub fees if its programming connects. Especially if the programming is from 8-11 p.m.








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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Jeffrey Toobin: CNN Legal Analyst Lectures in Syracuse

These are busy times for Jeffrey Toobin, the nation's most visible U.S. Supreme Court reporter.


The author, journalist and CNN legal analyst has been pressed into service more than usual since Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement last month.

Toobin comes to Syracuse Tuesday to speak at the Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series. His most recent book, the best-seller, "The Nine," in 2007, was a detailed look behind the rarely pierced veil of the Supreme Court. It's an ensemble profile of the court set against the backdrop of the court's major rulings.

"The Nine" was Toobin's fifth book. He has also written about Oliver North, O.J. Simpson, the Clinton sex scandal and the presidential recount in the 2000. The Bush v. Gore case that ultimately decided the election is also explored in "The Nine."


Toobin won an Emmy award in 2001 for coverage of the Elian Gonzalez custody dispute in Florida. He has written for The New Yorker magazine since 1993. Before becoming a journalist, Toobin served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Brooklyn and as associate counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh.

Post-Standard staff writer Glenn Coin interviewed Toobin in late April, just days after the Stevens announcement. Despite his reluctance to predict because he hates to be wrong, he did correctly predict that President Obama would name Solicitor General Elana Kagan to replace Stevens.

To view the interview and complete article, please click here.


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Donna Brazile interviews Nancy Pelosi



Dismissed by some as an accidental candidate for Congress when she first ran for political office in 1987, Nancy Pelosi is one of the most powerful leaders serving the country today. Raised in a political family—her father, Thomas J. D'Alesandro Jr., was a former member of Congress and both her dad and brother served as mayor of Baltimore— she became the first female speaker of the House of Representatives in 2007.


I sat down for a chat with Speaker Pelosi in her office overlooking the National Mall during one of Congress' busiest weeks—just prior to its passage of landmark healthcare legislation. We spoke about personal beliefs, partisan politics and her hopes for America.

DONNA BRAZILE: You come from a very politically astute family, yet you didn't get the political bug until you were married with children. Tell us about your career and the influence your father had on you.

NANCY PELOSI: I didn't get the political bug to run for office myself. I don't know if I even had that until after I came to Congress—I thought I was doing my civic duty when I came. But my whole family was instilled with a responsibility for our community. Public service was a noble calling. I was born when my father was in Congress. After that he was elected mayor of Baltimore... and then my brother was mayor after him. So that was the only life we knew, helping people. We lived in the same neighborhood that my parents grew up in—Little Italy in Baltimore—and we were surrounded by people who had moved to this country. Many of them needed help and we had an opportunity to help them.
That was always part of who we were as a family. Having a political manifestation of that, that's a different thing. That was for my father and for my brother. I didn't even have the slightest interest in being a public person. But one thing led to another after my children were grown in California. And as fate would have it... [California Congresswoman] Sala Burton died.

DB: I read that when Sala Burton was getting sick, she made a point of telling you that she wanted you to run.

NP: She said, "I want to endorse you. I want you to run for this seat and I'm going to announce that I'm not going to seek reelection next year and that I'm going to support you. Will you accept my endorsement?" I responded by saying, "Sala, you'll be fine." And she said, "I know, I'm going to spend time with my grandchildren and I'll be fine." I thought, Maybe she'll change her mind, she'll run again. This was 1987, in January. She died February 1 of that year and had already made the announcement. I had no idea how sick she was and then she left us, which was very sad. And I promised her I would run, so I had to win.

DB: And what about your husband, Paul, and your five kids? How did they take it when you told them that you were running for office?

NP: Well, I didn't tell them; mostly, I asked them. Paul and I talked about it, and he said, "Do it if you want to do it." Four of my children were already in college, or else I couldn't have even considered it. The youngest, Alexandra, was going to be a senior in high school. So before I told Sala I would do it, I went to Alexandra and said, "Sala has asked me to run for her seat but it probably won't be until next year. You'll probably be in college by then." Then when Sala died, I went back to her and said, "Well now it looks as though it's going to happen now. I don't know whether I'll win, but I have a chance to run and I'm determined to win. But it would be better if it were next year because you'd be in college. I could be happy either way. If you want me to stay here with you, that's fine. If I do go to Congress I'll be here on the weekends..." And she looked at me and said, "Mother, get a life." What teenage girl doesn't want her mother out of town for a few days? It was quite a dismissal. She was kicking me out the door. She and Paul are very close so that was fine. But it was quite jarring in terms of how quickly everything happened.

DB: You came to Congress in '87, when President Reagan was still in office. Some would say it was a difficult time to help lead the country, but you came in and you figured out right away what you had to do.

NP: Everybody told me, "You will love it because you love the issues." The reason I was involved in politics was not because I enjoyed sitting at committee meetings for seven hours on a Saturday afternoon. You know that. It was because I loved the issues. I really liked it and thought, I'll stay for maybe 10 years or something like that, and then head home. I was a perfectly content person. I never had any intention to run for leadership. Not even the remotest intention or ambition. But I became motivated to do that after we lost, and then we lost and then we lost again. And I thought, You know, I don't like losing. I really don't like it at all being in the minority. And I had a plan for how we can win.

DB: Do you have any ambitions to run for the presidency?

NP: No. First of all, I have the greatest job as House speaker. I'm thrilled that we have a Democratic president—that is always important to me. I'm a little beyond that point anyway. [Laughs] One of the reasons I think I have been successful here is that I did whatever I did solidly. When I was doing appropriations, I knew my issues, I knew the policy and knew it solidly. I have to say that about myself. I really master whatever it is I set my mind to. Then, of course, that enables you, whether you plan it or not, to go to the next step. But the reason, I think, that I was able to succeed with my colleagues is they knew that whatever I was doing, whether it was whip, or leader or now speaker, was about them. It wasn't about, "One of these days I want to run for president." This is it. It's about this caucus and our success. I do think some of our leaders before—Mr. Daschle and Mr. Gephardt—were magnificent leaders, but some people thought they were running for president.


DB:I know you're quite passionate about helping ordinary people, especially in this economy. I think one issue that's important to raise is the level of partisanship in this city. Is partisan politics hurting America's progress right now?

NP: Last night as I was going through my files that I'd been meaning to go through, I was watching [a TV show about] Dolly Madison. In it they talk about when James Madison went to Congress. I mean, they were having fist fights in the House of Representatives—fist fights! And canings and everything. So passion about issues is something that is a part of ourc ountry's tradition. But let me say this: I think that people tell the story that they want to tell. Who was partisan when President Bush came to us for help to take the country from the brink of financial crisis? Our members did not like voting for the TARP bill, but they did because it was necessary for our country. It was President Bush's problem that he created with his reckless policies; it was the solution that he chose and his own party abandoned him in terms of passing legislation to pull our financial institutions from the brink. It was probably the most unpopular vote that anybody could have taken—the bailout. But who did it? The Democrats, because it was the responsible thing to do for our country. We don't like the way they began to implement it. It's better now, and we're getting our money back. So when people say that [there's too much partisanship], I think, Wait a minute, what are we talking about here? When it really mattered, when a Republican president needed something... we cooperated. We have a lot of areas where we are able to come together.

DB: Your colleagues have taken some pretty tough votes, and they're getting pounced on by the Republicans, who appear to be more popular than the Democrats right now.

NP:Well, I don't know if they're more popular. I think that nobody likes Washington, period. But they do like our positions. They just don't like that we haven't gotten it done. That's how I see it.

So when people talk about partisanship, to both parties' credit, we vote the way we believe. We have a responsibility to find our common ground. If the Republicans believe in insurance companies and protecting them, they're never going to be in support of our [healthcare]bill, which regulates insurance companies. We believe that there are market-oriented solutions but there has to be some regulation to protect the consumer.

DB: Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said that he thought President Obama had put too much before the American people in terms of healthcare legislation, financial regulatory authority and climate change. Do you agree?

NP: I love him, but I don't agree with him on this score. The fact is these are all connected. They're all about the financial well-being of our country. President Obama was dealt a terrible mess, whether it was with the financial institutions or the state of the economy; whether it was the state of the environment or the budget, distinct from the economy. And so all of these are connected. The recovery package was an immediate jolt to create jobs. The budget was a blueprint for job creation centered around climate/energy, education and healthcare. The three of them were the three pillars of recovery and job creation. They related to reducing taxes, lowering the deficit and regulatory reform. There's integrity to it, a oneness to it, that creates jobs and builds stability in the future and moves the leverage to working people instead of the elites in our country. I think that where I might agree with General Powell is that perhaps this has not been explained fully enough to the American people. This is about one thing: growing the economy of America. Healthcare is an economic issue, and a health issue, too, of course. Climate change is a national security issue but also a jobs and economic issue. Education is the source of all innovation for us, and it begins in the classroom. So, no, I think the president went out there to get done what had to get done.

DB: Given the colossal failures of the Bush administration—the wars, the economy, the reversal from budget surplus to deficit—what explains the low poll numbers for Democrats?

NP: It's because we haven't gotten the job done. And one of the reasons we haven't is because of the requirement by the Senate Republicans to have 60 votes. I put it right there at their doorstep. And if that sounds partisan, so be it. Requiring 60 votes—an extraordinary majority—on every issue that comes up, that really says, "We are going to delay." They have been very clear that they don't want anything to happen. Now, we—and particularly I, as speaker—have a responsibility to find our common ground. To look for it, to strive for it, to reach out for it. But when we don't find that common ground, we have to stand our ground and focus on why we came here. Or else why are we here, to make nice-nice to each other to make people think that we're cooperating with each other? I mean, there are big differences between our two parties in terms of who has the leverage—is it working families in our country or is it the "haves"?

DB: I read recently that you were finding common ground with Tea Partiers over a mutual distaste for special interest in Washington. How would you describe the tone and relationship between elected officials and lobbyists right now in Washington?

NP: The forces of the status quo in Washington operate in a couple of different ways. And any day that [special interest groups] can keep the status quo is money in their pocket. One tactic is to delay. That's a big operating principle for them and that's what they have tried to do with healthcare. So what we have said to them is, "Hey, public advocacy is an important part of our democracy, and people are welcome to come and make their voices heard. But when undue money weighs into the political and governmental process—there are millions and millions of dollars being lobbied to keep the status quo when it comes to health, pharmaceuticals, insurance, energy and the rest—we have to change that." Because that is not in the public's interest. That is in the special interest. The fact is, they've had it their way for a very long time and that has to change because the American people are not well served by that..

DB: What are your hopes for the future of America?

NP: My hope is that it will be a place where our children can reach their fulfillment. And they can't do that unless every child in America has the same opportunity. When I say our children, I mean all of our children. Those of us who can provide all the support and love and care for our children do them no favor by having them grow up in an atmosphere where other children are deprived of opportunity. So my goal for the 21st century is that all children and their families have the opportunity to participate in the greatness and the prosperity of America.

DB: How do you unwind after a busy week?

NP: I go to church wherever I can, as that's really important to me. That is a real renewal for me each week. On a daily basis, I indulge in a very dark chocolate candy and the New York Times crossword puzzle—an absolute must—and I read. Right now I'm reading a book about Frances Perkins, the woman behind The New Deal. The first female Cabinet member. It's just fascinating.

DB: What's on your bucket list?

NP: Oh, I'm not ready to die! [Laughs] But I would love to go to Tibet. And… first I just wanted to see my grandchildren, and now that one of them has turned 13, I say I would like to see them go to college. And anything with my dear, sweet husband. Anything he wants to do.

DB: Do you have an iPod?

NP: Oh, yes.

DB: Tell me what you're listening to. Your favorites.

NP: I'm big on U2. I have eclectic musical tastes, from the classics to rock. I usually like to keep away from the music of my children so that they don't feel like I'm intruding. But what do we have? My children, my grandchildren and us, all going to the same concerts.

Interview Copyright Capitol File Magazine.
Soucre, click here.





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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ratings For The Week Of May 17th


1 - Based on four nights of regular programming.

Rating calculations are weekly averages based on nightly ratings provided by TVNewser with data by Nielsen Media Research. Numbers reflect Live and same day (DVR) data.



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Big time politicos join Gig Harbor company

Two of the country’s leading media heavyweights – Democrat James Carville and Republican Frank Luntz – have joined Gig Harbor-based Vote iQ, the nation’s first major social networking site expressly designed for politics.


The two political and media luminaries will help the nonpartisan technology company bring a new level of interaction between the elected and the electorate.

Vote iQ, which will debut in early June, gives voters a one-stop site to find out where candidates stand on the issues. Until now, the political system has been designed for the benefit of politicians. Vote iQ reverses the equation, placing the interests of voters first.


James Carville, who appears regularly on CNN’s Situation Room and other news programs, began building his reputation as a brilliant campaign strategist in the mid-1980s. His leading role in Clinton’s winning campaign of 1992 was documented in the Academy Award–nominated film, The War Room. He currently is a professor of politics at Tulane University.

For full article,click here.


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Don Lemon at Brooklyn College Commencement


CNN's Don Lemon and novelist Sapphire are scheduled to be the commencement speakers at Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, New York.
Sapphire, ’97, whose novel Push served as an inspiration for the movie Precious, one of this year’s Oscar nominees, will speak at the Master’s ceremony on May 26 in Whitman Auditorium, in the first-ever indoor ceremony in the College’s history. The next morning, Don Lemon, ’96, an Emmy Award–winning journalist who anchors the weekend CNN Newsroom, will address the baccalaureates on the Central Quadrangle. Both will receive Distinguished Alumni Honors. For more information follow the link.






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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Journalist Jeffrey Toobin to speak at William Jewell College

Jeffrey Toobin, a staff writer at The New Yorker and the senior legal analyst for CNN, will offer a free public lecture at 7 p.m. May 27 in John Gano Memorial Chapel on the William Jewell College campus in Liberty, Mo. The public is invited to attend; tickets or reservations are not required.

Toobin is one of the most recognized and admired legal journalists in the country. His most recent book, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, was published in the fall of 2007. The book spent more than four months on the New York Times best-seller list and was named one of the ten best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review, Time, Newsweek, Fortune, Entertainment Weekly and the Economist. The Nine also received the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize for Non-fiction and the Silver Gavel Award of the American Bar Association.

Toobin joined CNN in 2002 after six years with ABC News. In 2000, he received an Emmy Award for his coverage of the Elian Gonzalez case. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Guests may greet Toobin at a reception and book signing in Yates-Gill College Union immediately following the lecture. Toobin will be on the William Jewell campus as part of a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Truman Scholars Leadership Week, held annually on the campus in Liberty. Truman Scholars from across the country gather to discuss leadership and personal development issues. The prestigious Truman Scholarship is awarded each year to college students seeking careers in public service. Toobin was a Truman Scholar recipient in 1980.

For full article, please click here.





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Donna Brazile Serves as 26th Commencement Speaker

Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is proud to celebrate its 26th commencement exercises, Saturday, May 15, 2010 in the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel on the campus of Morehouse College from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Veteran Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile who is an adjunct professor, author, syndicated columnist, television political commentator, vice chair of Voter Registration and Participation at the Democratic National Committee, and former chair of the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute will serve as the speaker for Morehouse School of Medicine’s 26th commencement exercises.

Founder and managing director of Brazile and Associates, a general consulting, grassroots advocacy, and training firm based in Washington, DC, and a New Orleans native, Brazile began her political career at the age of nine when she worked to elect a City Council candidate who had promised to build a playground in her neighborhood; the candidate won, the playground was installed, igniting a lifelong passion for political progress.

Four decades and innumerable state and local campaigns later, Brazile has worked on every presidential campaign from 1976 through 2000, when she served as campaign manager for former Vice President Al Gore, becoming the first African-American woman to manage a presidential campaign.

MSM will confer an honorary doctor of humane letters upon Brazile. Additionally, Daisy L. Harris, president and CEO of West End Medical Centers Inc. in Atlanta also will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters. Walter W. Sullivan Jr., Ph.D., retired vice president of Operations and Planning for MSM will receive an honorary doctor of science.


For more information, please click here.




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Monday, May 24, 2010

An Evening with Roland Martin

Nationally award-winning and multifaceted journalist Roland Martin will host an evening chat on race, politics and empowerment hosted by the Urban League of Middle Tennessee and Coffee Talk Nashville on June 24th.

Ticket prices are $50 for regular admission and $75 for VIP, which includes a reception, networking hour and book signing with Martin beginning at 4:30 p.m and the event beginning at 6:30 p.m.

An insightful and provocative analyst from CNN, TV One and Tom Joyner Morning Show, Martin is the author of the recently published book, "The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House as originally reported by Roland S. Martin."

An Evening With Roland Martin will be an open dialogue on current issues impacting communities across America. Presented in conjunction with Coffee Talk Nashville, the event is part of the Urban League's Empowerment Agenda Series - an initiative in celebration of the organization's centennial year designed to support the I Am Empowered campaign in the areas of education, employment, housing, and healthcare and offer opportunities for enlightenment, inspiration and action.


For further information on this event, please click here.



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Larry King Collects Some Swag

Photographer: Peter "Hopper" Stone
© 2010 Cable News Network. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
I must confess I had no idea who TI was but I did know that it was generating a lot of buzz for Larry King Live. The rapper (real name Clifford Harris) joined King on May 13th for his first interview since his release from prison for firearms possession. TI also owns a clothing line called AKOO and he hooked King up with a few items.

The entire interview is posted on YouTube, just follow the link.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

CNN Thrives...Except in Prime Time




This from National Journal Magazine:

Away From Prime Time, CNN Thrives
CNN sticks to its guns on news without opinion, except on the HLN channel.
by Erin McPike (The author is a reporter for CongressDaily)


Smack in the middle of the worst economic decline since the Great Depression, when businesses everywhere are hemorrhaging money and news organizations are suffering through an especially rough job-shedding crisis, CNN enjoyed its most profitable year ever in 2009. And almost midway through 2010, company executives say that the cable network is on track to improve on that performance.

Although it is in last place among the cable networks in prime-time ratings, CNN has achieved six consecutive years of growth, spokeswoman Christa Robinson said. Each year since 2003, when Jim Walton became president of CNN Worldwide, the network's profits have risen at least 10 percent, CNN says, but it declined to provide cash figures.

For months, the world's original cable news network has been hit with painful press coverage of its plummeting primetime audiences. CNN earns only about 10 percent of its revenue from prime-time programming in the United States, however. Competitors MSNBC and Fox News have moved deep into opinion on prime time and have boosted their ratings as a consequence. CNN refuses to join the trend, believing that it has a niche and that news consumption extends far beyond the evening hours.

The network has been talking in recent months with CBS News about combining reporting efforts, but no announcements have been made. Jeff Bewkes, president and CEO of Time Warner, CNN's parent company, told investors on a May 5 conference call that although there is no news yet on a potential CNN-CBS merger or partnership, the motivation for such a deal comes mostly from the needs of the "big three" broadcast networks. "CNN has a very strong financial performance," Bewkes said. "It is the fastest earning growth in the Warner network portfolio over the last five years."

In a note to staff on April 12, Walton said, "We are experiencing a down period in one segment of our business, CNN U.S. prime time. Critics have taken note and are offering all manner of suggestions for how to 'fix' CNN. What's missing from these reports is an essential component of our journalism: context."

The first prime-time shake-up came this week, when Campbell Brown announced she is leaving the network because of poor ratings for her 8 p.m. show.

Walton's communiqué noted that aside from prime-time revenue, "the remaining 90 percent comes from non-prime-time programming on the network, as well as HLN [Headline News], CNN.com, CNN International, CNN en Español, CNN Airport Network, and all of the other CNN-branded news and information platforms that together deliver more news to more people than any other news organization in the world."

Despite the prime-time slippage, CNN continues to attract more unique viewers than its competitors overall, according to Nielsen surveys. In April, its 90.2 million viewers topped the 82.3 million who watched Fox News and MSNBC's 74.8 million. And HLN's 79.5 million viewers add to CNN's bottom line.

Brad Adgate, a New York City-based media analyst and the director of research for Horizon Media, said of CNN's success, "It's kind of a conundrum." The network has suffered in ratings since Fox changed prime-time news into a personality-driven medium, but CNN has been around a lot longer than its competitors. "It's a great brand," he said.

CNN's strength, Adgate said, is with "casual news viewers" who tune in when news happens. "You can't really control that spike in viewing," but there will always be late-breaking news. He called the network more of "a destination channel" for that kind of content compared with the other networks.

When it comes to advertising, he contended, CNN has a more difficult job because it doesn't guarantee the consistency that Fox News and MSNBC offer with their "appointment viewing" in prime time. "For years, CNN used to say that 'news is the star,' " Adgate said. But Fox has changed that with such personalities as Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly. "MSNBC has copied that with some success," he noted, citing Keith Olbermann as an example. For its part, CNN has tried the personality game with names such as Brown and Paula Zahn, but it hasn't worked too well.

HLN posted another record-setting year in 2009, leaping 15 percent in total prime-time viewers. The Joy Behar Show, with its mix of political and pop guests, is gaining popularity and seems to be CNN's answer to the "infotainment" that has begun to overtake prime-time news programming. Because the show is on HLN, it has not compromised the vaunted CNN brand.

In a series of recent corporate memos, presentations, and in interviews with National Journal, CNN executives reiterated what they believe will keep them on top in the long term even as the news business undergoes radical change: the network's commitment to unbiased journalism.

Walton told the advertising community at a presentation in New York City recently, "We're the only credible, nonpartisan voice left, and that matters." The network's news-gathering capacity remains unparalleled. CNN offers longer, more in-depth packages throughout the day, when its competitors fill the hours with a variety of political strategists, bloggers, and academics.

When it comes to technology, CNN leaders note, they have always been first: The cable network was the first to launch; CNN.com was the first affiliated website out of the blocks 15 years ago; iReport, its website for citizen journalism, debuted four years ago. In the presentation to advertisers, CNN U.S. President Jonathan Klein pointed out that CNN was integrating Twitter into its programming and news gathering "before most people even heard of Twitter."

"We're going to continue to innovate; innovation is in our DNA," Klein declared. "We'll continue to push the envelope, but we will never abandon our core faith in being the sole, nonpartisan cable network in this country."

To that end, CNN.com has become increasingly important to the news organization's business model over the past five years and currently ranks No. 1 among news websites. Although MSNBC.com has become its toughest competitor, CNN.com remained on top with 38.7 million users in March, compared with MSNBC.com's 33.8 million and Foxnews.com's 17 million, according to the Neilsen NetRatings. CNN.com averages 38.2 million users per month.

The website has other impressive "best" numbers: 1.7 billion average monthly page views; 1.4 billion total minutes spent by users on the site; and 25.7 average minutes per user.

The company supplies its online advertisers with a host of other metrics that confirm its No 1 status. In emerging technologies, it boasts that, according to a March Nielsen VideoCensus, CNN's 130 million video streams topped MSNBC's online by 11 million.

On mobile applications, CNN again leads the pack. Data mined from Nielsen's Mobile MediaView in February and trumpeted by CNN include this statement: "With 14.8 million unique visitors to its mobile site in February, CNN Digital beat the nearest competitor, Yahoo News, by 174 percent. This is the 38th consecutive month that CNN Digital has topped the news and current events category."

Being out front on the Web and on mobile technologies -- particularly as television programming becomes more specialized and compartmentalized -- is the root of CNN's continued success.

Greg D'Alba, executive vice president and chief operating officer for CNN ad sales and marketing, told National Journal that 80 percent of the deals it makes with advertisers are targeted to reach consumers on more than one platform. So the network's profitability, he said, results directly from driving advertisers "to spend more money across the board" as news consumers draw information from multiple places throughout the day. Not surprisingly, he said, "we find ourselves making more money across the board."

In the New York presentation, D'Alba explained that for CNN's brands, the availability of its news across many kinds of technological platforms "means primetime is all the time.... Clearly there's more news on more screens than ever before, but we believe there's less journalism, and that's the real difference. So for you, our valued advertising partners," he added, "a continued relationship with our brands will allow your message to get to the right person in the right place at the right time and when they're most engaged."

Network sources said that advertisers want to place more ads than the network has space. D'Alba, not wanting to chase away business, denied that assertion. "We don't put ourselves in a position where we can't accommodate advertisers." From its airport services, to HLN, to weekend and weekday programming, the network has plenty of room for ads, he said.

For now, CNN's model may not be getting the network great headlines, but it is keeping its employees happy. While some competitors are enduring layoffs and hiring freezes, Robinson pointed out, "CNN Worldwide ended the year 2009 with more employees than it started
with -- as we had the year before."





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Friday, May 21, 2010

Your Views on the News, May 21, 2010


There have been some very interesting ideas for replacing Campbell Brown bouncing around the Internet. One has CNN hiring Eliot Spitzer and bringing back Crossfire. Another has Katie Couric taking over for Larry King when (and if) the CNN/CBS merger happens.

I also found a poll on polldaddy.com that listed these choices for what to do with Campbell's hour:

•Anderson Cooper Talk Show
•Late Edition with Katie Couric
•NewsNight with Eliot Spitzer
•Sanjay Gupta Live
•Jake Tapper Tonight
•Nancy Grace
•Crossfire with James Carville and Mary Matalin
•Another debate program with CNN contributors/analysts
•Ali Velshi Now
•David Shuster: No Bias, No Bull
•Rick's List
•None of the above

This morning Mediaite posted odds on some of the possible replacements:

• Crossfire-type show – 5:1 : A program like Crossfire would contradict some of what Klein has said in the past, but it’s a different time and as the election approaches, it could be a popular choice. While the masses of TV critics lent suggestions to the network recently, Crossfire kept coming up. This would also allow CNN to say it’s continuing its approach of representing both sides – in the way it show FNC and MSNBC do not. Some possibilities for the program could be Mary Matalin and James Carville, Roland Martin, Erick Erickson, Alex Castellanos, Gloria Borger, Donna Brazile and John Avlon. Side note – this choice is currently leading TVNewser’s poll.

• Current anchor, temporary – 10:1 : What if CNN puts in an anchor from another program with the promise it will just be through the November election. This allows a temporary solution – and the potential to completely revamp the line-up down the road. Possible anchors could be Rick Sanchez, John Roberts, Ali Velshi or Candy Crowley. But if this was for current anchor, permanent, the odds would leap up to 80:1. Don’t think that would happen at this point.

• Eliot Spitzer – 12:1 : This was floated by the Washington Examiner, and has been picked up elsewhere. It doesn’t sound likely – Spitzer is currently an MSNBC contributor – but it’s not getting shot down by CNN either. He’s a compelling selection, but is he really ready to anchor his own show? Maybe with another former GOP politician.

• Ed Henry – 15:1 : The White House correspondent was up for the Sunday show gig when John King left, so he could be slotted in for a D.C.-based show. This could be a temporary show as well, like above.

• Two major bomb-throwers – 16:1 : Similar to the Crossfire suggestion, but further. Like Crossfire on steroids. Think Ann Coulter paired with Michael Moore. Oh, you wouldn’t watch that?

• Alexis Glick – 24:1 : We’ve heard the name floated before, and the former FBN anchor and exec has shown up a few times on CNN since she’s left FOX. If she is picked, she could be paired with someone else as well, and you could theoretically make the hour business-focused. Does it draw the viewers though?

• Anderson Cooper – 35:1 : A suggestion of Glynnis MacNicol’s, this would put Cooper in the driver’s seat of CNN prime time. It could be interesting, but then re-opens another prime time hour. CNN could go the MSNBC route and replay Cooper at 10pmET, but that would most certainly look like a band-aid solution (or lack thereof).

• An HLN host – 36:1 : It would go against the grain – and against the mission statement recently of CNN. But couldn’t Nancy Grace or Joy Behar provide a spark the network needs in the prime time hour?

• Bill Maher – 60:1 : My pick – but certainly a longshot. He was great recently with Cooper, but it would cost CNN a lot to woo him from his cushy, and uncensored, home on HBO Friday nights.

• David Shuster – 75:1 : He’s already been in the building – and has felt the effects of the move at his current home, MSNBC. We haven’t heard this is a possibility, plus it would present more complications, like a buyout.



Personally I'd like to see CNN give Wolf Blitzer back his third hour of The Situation Room that earlier this year was whacked to give Rick Sanchez a regular slot. Or maybe bring back Aaron Brown.....of course I realize that that will never happen with Jon Klein at the helm of CNN, but that's a discussion for another day. Time will tell, but if you have a scenario for shaking up CNN's evening lineup we'd love to hear it.



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Alina Cho At The Movies

Last month, CNN's Alina Cho was spotted at several New York City events. She attended The Cinema Society screening of Multiple Sarcasms at AMC Loews 19th Street on April 19, 2010.


On April 30, 2010, she attended Tribeca Talks Ultrasuede In Search Of Halsoton during the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival at the School of Visual Arts Theater.




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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ted Turner Honored by Lupus Foundation of America

More than 600 people turned out tonight for the Lupus Foundation of America’s (LFA) National Butterfly Gala, which recognized Ted Turner, Chairman, Turner Enterprises, Inc., Senator, Daniel K. Inouye (HI), Human Genome Sciences and GlaxoSmithKline for their contributions to advancing the science and medicine of lupus, and supporting the millions of people around the world affected by lupus.

During the Butterfly Gala, the LFA and singer/songwriter Julian Lennon announced the establishment of The Lucy Vodden Research Grant Award. The research initiative is named after Lucy Vodden, Julian’s childhood friend who lost her battle with lupus in September of 2009 at the age of 46. Lucy was the subject of a drawing that Julian created which inspired his father to write the classic Beatles song, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”

Dr. Gary Gilkeson, Medical University of South Carolina and Chair, LFA’s Medical-Scientific Advisory Council, and Julian Lennon presented the award to Lucy Vodden’s husband, Ross Vodden, and her sister, Fran O’Donnell.

Throughout the evening, the LFA recognized each of the honorees for their unique contributions to overcoming this serious and life-threatening illness. Larry King, host of CNN’s Larry King Live, delivered a special congratulatory video message to honoree Ted Turner, who received The Cooper Family Foundation Leadership Award for his long-standing interest in and support of lupus research, and lifetime of philanthropic works.

Senator Daniel K. Inouye (HI), Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations, received the National Leadership in Biomedical Research Award for his leadership in advancing federal research at the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, and other federal institutions, for better treatments and a cure for lupus.

Human Genome Sciences (HGS) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) were recognized with the Corporate Leadership in Lupus Award for their commitment to and innovation in lupus research, resulting in two positive phase III clinical trials for a potential new lupus treatment. H. Thomas Watkins, President and Chief Executive Officer, HGS, and Peter Hare, Vice President, Immunology Business Unit, GSK, accepted the awards on behalf of the companies.

“On behalf of the LFA, I would like to congratulate all of our honorees,” said Sandra C. Raymond, President and CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America. “I know each of the honorees will continue to bring national attention and resources to lupus and play a significant role in helping us to usher in a new era in lupus, as we build upon the recent progress we’ve seen over the past year.”

Julian Lennon and singer/songwriter James Scott Cook also treated the crowd to a special performance of the tribute song “Lucy.” Last year, Julian Lennon and James Scott Cook released the song “Lucy” in honor of LucyVodden. Proceeds from the song “Lucy” will support The Lucy Vodden Research Grant Award. The grant will fund lupus research through the LFA’s National Research Program, Bringing Down the Barriers, which is part of the LFA’s ongoing commitment to advancing the science and medicine of lupus and finding a cure.

CNN Anchor and Special Correspondent Soledad O’Brien served as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Other notable guests and presenters included Congressman James P. Moran (D-VA, 8th); LFA Board member Dr. Annette Shelby; Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD, 8th); Elliott Sigal, M.D. Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer and President, Research & Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; Carol Ann Petren, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, CIGNA Corporation and LFA Board member; Kalenna of the musical group DirtyMoney; and LFA National Spokespersons Mercedes Yvette, Tomiko Fraser Hines, and Kelly Jean Drury.

Source: Entertainment, Government, and Industry Leaders Shine Light on Lupus at the Lupus Foundation of America’s National Butterfly Gala



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CNN Launches Belief Blog


CNN.com today announced the launch of the Belief Blog, which explores the faith angles of the day's biggest stories – from breaking news to politics to entertainment to foreign affairs.
Aimed at covering a subject matter that will inform, inspire and delight the CNN.com audience, the Belief Blog fosters a global conversation about the role of religion and faith in the news – and in users’ lives. Found online at www.CNN.com/belief, the blog is co-edited by award-winning religion blogger, author and CNN Wire news editor Dan Gilgoff and CNN producer Eric Marrapodi, who is pursuing a master’s degree in religious studies from Georgetown University.
“A topic as personal and global as faith is woven into the daily news cycle in so many compelling ways,” said Meredith Artley, vice president and managing editor of CNN.com. “CNN.com's Belief Blog will be newsy and conversational, hitting hard topics and also having some fun. We're looking forward to the smart thinking and discussions that our talented editors will bring to this important beat, along with our deep bench of guest bloggers, producers, correspondents and iReporters."
Uniquely leveraging CNN’s global news gathering resources, the blog presents fresh looks and multiple perspectives at how faith drives the news, from the arrest of Baptist missionaries in Haiti to the debut of the first known Miss USA to be Muslim. Going beyond the news, each week the Belief Blog also will feature different influencers in the faith community, from Joel Osteen to Deepak Chopra. Additionally, Stephen Prothero, the New York Times bestselling author of Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know, and Doesn't, will be a regular contributor to the Belief Blog.
CNN also is inviting users to share their perspectives on faith by submitting photos and videos through iReport, the network’s user-generated online news community. The blog’s first iReport assignment asks users to share the often eye-catching, offbeat or controversial messages featured on signs in front of their hometown churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship. The “Church Signs” assignment can be found at this link.Twitter users also can keep up with the blog’s latest postings by following @CNNbelief.
CNN.com is the No. 1 destination for online and wireless news according to Nielsen, garnering the greatest audience in online video, total minutes and page views and the most mobile usage among current events and global news sites. Launched in 1995, CNN.com draws from the resources of CNN Worldwide and its many partners to provide consumers with the most enriching, immediate interaction with news anywhere, seamlessly combining articles, videos, images, interactive features and user-generated content. CNN.com’s news video offering – both live and on-demand – is unparalleled on the Web. CNN.com’s recent awards include a Peabody Award, two EPpy awards, four CableFAX Best of the Web awards, a National Headliner award, and the 2009 Edward R. Murrow award for best website.

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Frederik Pleitgen interviews al Qaeda in Iraq leader

Frederik Pleitgen is currently doing a rotation in Baghdad, and recently interviewed Munaf al-Rawi, a captured leader of al Qaeda in Iraq:


(By the way, the photo of Frederik at the top of the page was not taken in Baghdad, but in NOLA during the Katrina coverage.)


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Soledad O'Brien To Host CHCI 33rd Annual Awards Gala

[The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI)] 33rd Annual Awards Gala will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on September 15, 2010, and is the largest and most prestigious gathering of Hispanic bipartisan, public and private sector leaders in the nation. Join national leaders, elected officials, corporate executives, educators, and entertainers as we gather to celebrate the achievements of the Latino community. As the hallmark event of Hispanic Heritage Month, the evening provides supporters and friends of CHCI an opportunity to network while honoring the annual Chair's Award(s) and the CHCI Medallion of Excellence honorees.

CNN Anchor and special correspondent Soledad O'Brien will celebrity host the 33rd Annual Awards Gala. O'Brien is a recipient of CHCI's 2009 Medallion of Excellence Award for Leadership and Community Service. She joined CNN in 2003 and has reported breaking news from around the globe and award-winning, celebrated documentaries on the most important stories and issues facing the world today. Last October CNN aired O'Brien's groundbreaking documentary series, Latino in America, exploring the cultural contributions and impact of Latinos. Her documentary, Rescued, about orphans in Haiti recently aired May 8th.

For more information visit CHCI's website.




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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

ratings For The Week Of May 10th


1 - Based on four nights of regular programming

Rating calculations are weekly averages based on nightly ratings provided by TVNewser with data by Nielsen Media Research. Numbers reflect Live and same day (DVR) data.


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Sanjay Gupta at Lynn University

Earlier this month, Sanjay Gupta spoke at the graduation ceremony at Lynn University. WPTV interviewed Gupta.

It was a special graduation ceremony Saturday for many students at Lynn University.

CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta spoke to the graduates. Gupta has made trips to Haiti both before and after the massive earthquake that struck months ago.

The university was deeply affected after losing four students and two faculty members in the tragedy.

"A lot of people died and a lot of people lived, but there were also tens of thousands of people truly stuck right between. They were alive but they were dying with no help in sight, and I think that was part of our duty," said Gupta.>

Gupta says it will take at least 4 years to get Haiti back to where it was prior to the disaster.





Source: Dr. Gupta speaks to Lynn grads





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Campbell Brown Follow Up


Jon Klein's Statement:
18 May 2010
“Today is about Campbell. We want to wish her well as she begins the next phase of her life. We respect her decision to leave. We will announce our programming plans in the coming weeks.”

Campbell Brown Statement:- 18 May 2010
I knew on the day that I accepted my job at CNN that a ratings victory at 8pm was going to be a formidable challenge. As I have been told over and over, this is the toughest time slot in cable news. That is obviously due to the incredible talents of my 8pm competitors. I have also always marveled whenever a television anchor says that he or she pays no attention to ratings. I'm pretty sure the last time any anchor could honestly ignore ratings was well before I was born. Of course I pay attention to ratings. And simply put, the ratings for my program are not where I would like them to be. It is largely for this reason that I am stepping down as anchor of CNN's "Campbell Brown".

To be clear: this is my decision, and one that I have been thinking about for some time. As for why, I could have said, that I am stepping down to spend more time with my children (which I truly want to do). Or that I am leaving to pursue other opportunities (which I also truly want to do). But I have never had much tolerance for others' spin, so I can't imagine trying to stomach my own. The simple fact is that not enough people want to watch my program, and I owe it to myself and to CNN to get out of the way so that CNN can try something else.

CNN will have to figure out what that is. The 8pm hour in cable news world is currently driven by the indomitable Bill O'Reilly, Nancy Grace and Keith Olbermann. Shedding my own journalistic skin to try to inhabit the kind of persona that might co-exist in that line up is simply impossible for me. It is not who I am or who I want to be; nor is it who CNN asked me to be at any point. This is the right decision for me and I hope it will be a great opportunity for CNN.

Since its launch three decades ago CNN has strived to be an independent, credible and enduring source of news. While the rest of the cable news world moved to opinion, CNN allowed me to stay true to my hard-news roots and supported me with a true commitment to old-school journalism. There is plenty of debate now about whether real journalism even has a place in primetime. I may be taking myself out of that debate on a nightly basis, but I am truly proud of the work we have done on this program and I do still believe that journalism has an essential place in primetime and at all times. I am also especially proud of the people who put this show on the air every night. They are an amazing, dedicated, loyal and caring team. To them, I will be forever grateful.

My plan right now is to help CNN through any transition, and then to enjoy, for the very first time, the nightly ritual of "Good Night Moon"and goodnight kisses with my two little boys. I wish my CNN colleagues all the best. And as long as bedtime doesn't conflict with primetime, I will be watching and pulling for them.


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Soledad O'Brien's "Latino in America" Excerpt

CNN recently posted an excerpt from Soledad O'Brien's book, Latino in America:

When you have a name like María de la Soledad Teresa O'Brien, you have a lot of explaining to do. My mother is black and also Latina, more specifically Cuban. She is a devout Catholic who credits the Virgin Mary with any success she's had in this country. But it was my father, a man who spoke no Spanish, who chose the name María de la Soledad to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary of Solitude ("solitude" in Spanish is soledad).

My name is altogether too long for Americans, who've always struggled with it. It's even too long for a driver's license. African-Americans assume I'm named after the notorious Soledad prison or Mount Soledad in California. Latinos want to know if I'm lonely. That doesn't fit because I grew up with five siblings and I have four kids of my own, so I'm not lonely at all, though I do often seek solitude, the actual meaning of my name.

...

... to read the full excerpt: Soledad O'Brien explores mixed-race heritage




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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Campbell Brown Leaving CNN?


Mediaite's Steve Krakauer is reporting that CNN has given Campbell Brown permission to be let out of her contract early. Reportedly Brown will remain as primetime anchor of her show until a replacement is named.
Krakauer went on to say "A source with knowledge of the situation tells Mediaite Brown made the request months ago -- and before all the 'how to fix CNN' articles began rolling out. We hear she originally lobbied for the 7pmET opening, with the thinking the show would work better at an earlier hour (and without the Bill O'Reilly/Keith Olbermann competition). The plan was denied by CNN, she asked for her release."
A CNN spokesperson would not confirm the report and told TVNewser, "A lot has been written and said about CNN lately. We don't comment on speculation."

The NYTimes' Brian Stelter confirmed the news with an unnamed source.

Brown joined CNN in 2007 after 11 years at NBC News. At the time, Brown told TVNewser, "What I am doing carries risk, but I wanted the challenge."




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Ed Henry: WHCA Board Member

Last month, Politico spoke with the Board Members of the White House Correspondents' Association about why they took on the responsibility.

...

Ed Henry, CNN

CNN’s Ed Henry began shooting his stand-ups in front of the White House in 2006. And he ran for the board’s TV seat a year later. “I wanted to give something back, not just show up and punch the clock,” he said.

Henry jokes that, like a good politician, he listens to his constituents. He’s fought the White House press office for more access, questioning a recent decision to bar cameras from a critical foreign policy meeting.

But he also succeeded in replacing the microwave — which had stains dating back to the first Bush administration — in the press break room. As chairman of the microwave subcommittee, Henry navigated the perplexing process of ordering a new appliance through the General Services Administration and getting it through White House security. “Nothing is easy in government,” he said.

... to read the full article: Urge to 'give back' drives WHCA leadership




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Soledad O'Brien at Salvation Army's Book Club Luncheon

Soledad O'Brien attended the Salvation Army's Book Club Luncheon Series for If It Takes a Village, Build One by author Malaak Compton-Rock at 21 Club on May 12, 2010 in New York City.


















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Monday, May 17, 2010

Primary Tuesday Tomorrow


CNN Puts Boots on the Ground as Part of 2010’s “Super Primary Tuesday” Coverage


Lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer and CNN’s Best Political Team on Television will be on-air throughout the day on Tuesday, May 18, covering the state primary races and their impact on the political landscape in a year where a number of incumbents already have lost in primary challenges. Senior political analyst Gloria Borger will be on hand to explain the significance of the results, while chief national correspondent John King will man the Magic Wall to breakdown results county by county. Chief political correspondent Candy Crowley will travel to Pennsylvania to cover the contentious Democratic senate primary race between Representative Joe Sestak and Sen. Arlen Specter, both of whom she interviewed Sunday on State of the Union with Candy Crowley. Senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash and national political correspondent Jessica Yellin head to Arkansas and Kentucky, respectively, to cover the tight state races.
Stay tuned to CNN throughout the day and night on 2010’s “Super Primary Tuesday” for the latest results and analysis of how the day’s races impact the balance of power. The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. will extensively cover the primaries, as will John King, USA at 7 p.m., when first returns are expected. Coverage will continue during primetime as the results come in to CNN’s Election Center.


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Jeffrey Toobin to Speak at 2010 Burton Awards

CNN's Senior Legal Analyst, Jeffrey Toobin is scheduled to speak at the 2010 Burton Awards for Legal Achievement on June 14, 2010. The awards program will be held at the Library of Congress. More information can be found on the Burton Awards for Legal Achievement website.






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Soledad O'Brien At Cielo Latino Gala

On May 11, 2010, Soledad O'Brien hosted The Latino Commission on AIDS' 15th Annual Cielo Latino Gala at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.




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