January 18th, 2013
07:12 PM ET

A close shave for Alex Castellanos: David's boss already took my shirt, now David's taking my mustache

Today on CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Republican strategist and CNN contributor Alex Castellanos shaved the mustache he has had for over 40 years - all in the name of charity for CURE.  Castellanos said, "Well, my wife has just informed me that she's been waiting to see me without a mustache since we've been married..." he continued, "David's boss already took my shirt, now David's taking my mustache."

Video from the December challenge issued by David Axelrod to Alex Castellanos for  SlashTheStache: http://on.cnn.com/Rfmxb9

Before and after photo:  http://ow.ly/i/1omNq

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CNN Political Ticker: Another mustache razed for charity
January 18th, 2013
05:29 PM ET

CNN Films Announces Acquisitions, Production Deals at Sundance

Collaborations with Directors Steve James, Andrew Rossi, and Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein with Executive Producers Justine Nagan, Martin Scorsese, Gordon Quinn, Steve Zaillian

CNN Films, a production and acquisition unit of CNN Worldwide, will announce three new projects from filmmakers Andrew Rossi, the co-directorial team of Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein, as well as a third project directed by Steve James to be executive produced by Justine Nagan, Gordon Quinn, Martin Scorsese, Steve Zaillian, at a reception co-hosted tonight by CNN Films and the Sundance Institute in Park City on Friday, Jan. 18.

CNN is acquiring the U.S. broadcast rights to a documentary about the life of Roger Ebert, the Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, film critic and screenwriter, based upon Ebert’s own memoir, Life Itself.  The film is being produced by Kartemquin Films and Film Rites with James directing and Nagan, Scorsese, Quinn and Zaillian as executive producers.  It will be theatrically released prior to the CNN airing in 2014.

The projects associated with Tucker/Epperlein and Rossi are expected to air on CNN in 2013.  The untitled Tucker/Epperlein-directed project uses the prism of still photography to reconstruct the events at Ground Zero, and around the country, in the days immediately after the September 11th attacks.  The film reveals secret stories behind some of the most extraordinary pictures from that horrific day, and examines how images help us heal and understand.

The yet untitled film to be directed by Rossi examines the historic transformation underway in higher education. Told through the stories of students, educators, and administrators, from the Ivy League to community colleges across the country, the film looks at the costs – and questions of relevance and innovation – that are shaping the future of college as we know it in America.

“CNN is proud to announce these production agreements at this festival which has done so much to support independent storytelling,” says Mark Whitaker, managing editor for CNN Worldwide.  “Our aim at CNN Films is to showcase the work of exceptional documentary filmmakers and to build conversations around the issues they raise across our global platforms.”

CNN Films acquired “Girl Rising” in spring 2012.  The documentary is directed by Richard E. Robbins and executive produced by Tom Yellin and Holly Gordon of the Documentary Group and Paul G. Allen of Vulcan Productions.  A sneak peek of a segment of “Girl Rising” will take place at Sundance on Monday evening, Jan. 21.  The film portrays the inspiring stories of nine girls from around the world, struggling to overcome incredible odds to achieve an education.  Vocal performances by Academy Award winner Meryl Streep, Academy Award nominee Anne Hathaway, and actresses Selena Gomez and Kerry Washington for the film were announced in October.  At Sundance, it was also announced that Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett, actress Priyanka Chopra, Academy Award winner Salma Hayek, musician Alicia Keys, actresses Freida Pinto and Chloë Moretz, and actor Liam Neeson will also contribute vocal performances to the documentary.  The film’s theatrical debut in March and broadcast premiere on CNN in June 2013 will follow the Sundance sneak preview.

About CNN Films

CNN Films brings documentaries beyond the small screen by developing strategic partnerships to leverage distribution opportunities at film festivals and in theaters.  Amy Entelis, senior vice president of talent and content development for CNN Worldwide, and Vinnie Malhotra, senior vice president of development and acquisitions for CNN Worldwide, oversee the acquisition strategy of documentaries for CNN Films.  Malhotra manages the day-to-day operation of CNN Films, and works directly with filmmakers to develop original projects.

CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively-syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.

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Topics: CNN • CNN Films • Press Releases
January 18th, 2013
04:19 PM ET

CNN’s Gloria Borger Secures Exclusive Inauguration Interview with Vice President Biden

On the occasion of President Barack Obama’s second inauguration, CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger sits down for an exclusive interview with Vice President Joe Biden at the White House. This will be his first network interview since the election. The vice president talks with Borger about the administration’s key agenda items in the second term, his relationship with the president and his role going forward.

This interview is scheduled to air on Monday, Jan. 21 during the network’s The Presidential Inauguration coverage. Visit http://www.CNNPressroom.com for video and additional information.

CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.

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CONTACT:
Jennifer Scoggins    Washington, DC            202.515.2947    jennifer.scoggins@cnn.com
Megan Grant         Washington, DC         202.515.2920         megan.grant@cnn.com

Video and Transcript: Vice President Biden to CNN’s Gloria Borger on relationship with Pres. Obama: "We're totally simpatico"
January 18th, 2013
04:11 PM ET

O'Brien interviews Justice Sotomayor

Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor opens up to Starting Point Anchor Soledad O’Brien about what it feels like to have her job and swear in Vice President Biden.

On being a SCOTUS Justice and swearing in Biden, Sotomayor says, “I was thinking just a couple of days ago, if I think back when I was a kid which of the two would seem more improbable to me I realized each one was so far fetched that I couldn’t have imagine either.”

On giving the oath, she continues, “When you read my book you know that I practice everything I do over and over again, and so I have been saying the oath out loud for a couple of weeks now a couple of times a day but I won’t be relying on my memory either. I’ll have a card with me.”

The full interview airs on Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien on Monday, Jan. 21 at 7am ET during CNN’s The Presidential Inauguration coverage.

January 18th, 2013
02:06 PM ET

Christine Brennan on Lance Armstrong: "We can retire the gold medal for cheating"

Last night,  Piers Morgan welcomed journalist Buzz Bissinger and USA Today's Christine Brennan to the program to react to the Lance Armstrong  breaking news story:

"Sensational revelations," said Bissinger. "As we all know, no one is really shocked by them.  At least he was somewhat forthcoming. What I do want to hear more about is his justification for lying, literally, up to the final moment."

While Bissinger and Morgan further discussed Armstrong's all-encompassing confession, celebrated sports columnist Christine Brennan sat in a nearby "Green Room," and weighed in on the breaking story.

"Wow, that was a wild minute of television, wasn't it. The 'Yes, Yes, Yes,'" Brennan quoted, repeating Armstrong's series of answers to Winfrey's opening questions. "This man lied with ease, Piers, for over a decade. And he came clean – if we want to call it coming clean, I guess it's coming clean, if we can believe this now – with that same kind of ease. Ruthless. You almost wonder if he has a heart or a soul to be able to completely do a 180 so quickly on something that he has stood by forever. That was breathtaking." Watch more here.


Topics: CNN • Piers Morgan
January 18th, 2013
10:17 AM ET

CNN Digital Maintains Top Spot for 2012

CNN Leads Competition Via Web, Mobile and Social Media

CNN maintained its digital leadership position in 2012, beating nearly every news and information website in both unique viewers and page views. Holding its spot behind only the combined Yahoo!-ABC News Network, CNN Digital averaged 62 million unique visitors per month.  For 2012 CNN’s average monthly visitors doubled Fox News Digital (31 million) and The New York Times Brand (29 million) and CNN topped the Huffington Post Media Group by 2 million, NBC News Digital by 5 million and CBS News by 22 million.

FULL POST


Topics: CNN Digital • Ratings
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