March 6th, 2015
10:28 AM ET

CNN's first-ever FAA-authorized use of drone for news gathering

See the first ever FAA-authorized use of drone for news-gathering with CNN's drone shots of Selma's Edmund Pettis Bridge.

Topics: CNN
Preview: CNN International Programme Information Weeks 11 & 12
‘Open Court’ follows Serena Williams return to Indian Wells after 14 years (credit: Getty Images)
March 5th, 2015
07:56 AM ET

Preview: CNN International Programme Information Weeks 11 & 12

Open Court

Serena Williams’ playing at the 2001 Indian Wells (credit: Getty Images)

Serena Williams playing at the 2001 Indian Wells (credit: Getty Images)

Thursday 19 March at 0930 GMT / 1030 CET and 1630 GMT / 1730 CET

Saturday 21 March at 0630 GMT / 0730 CET and 2130 GMT / 2230 CET

Sunday 22 March at 1630 GMT / 1730 CET

Saturday 28 March at 1630 GMT / 1730 CET

Sunday 29 March at 0730 BST / 0830 CET and 2230 BST / 2330 CET

Duration: 30 minutes

The Indian Wells Masters 1000 tournament attracts more than 400,000 fans to the desert in Southern California. It’s not one of the tennis world’s grand slam events, but it draws crowds on par with Wimbledon and Roland Garros.

Hosted by Pat Cash, ‘Open Court’ in March explores why American tennis fans are attending this event in record numbers, and why it’s growing while other U.S. tournaments have closed their doors. FULL POST

Topics: CNN
CNN Garners 5 Gracie Allen Awards
March 4th, 2015
01:22 PM ET

CNN Garners 5 Gracie Allen Awards

It was announced today that CNN has been honored by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation with five Gracie Allen Awards. CNN's recognitions include:

Elizabeth Cohen

Outstanding Original Online Programming – Series for The Empowered Patient

Patricia DiCarlo

Outstanding Director – News

Rachel Nichols

Outstanding On-Air Talent: Sports Program

Isha Sesay

Outstanding Anchor – News or News Magazine

Every Day in Cambodia: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary

Outstanding Documentary

A complete list of Gracie Allen Award winners can be found here: 2015 Gracie Award Winners



Jeff Zeleny Joins CNN
March 3rd, 2015
09:36 AM ET

Jeff Zeleny Joins CNN

Pre-eminent political journalist Jeff Zeleny has been named CNN senior Washington correspondent, it was announced today by Sam Feist, CNN senior vice president and Washington bureau chief.  Zeleny, based in Washington, D.C., will report on air and will frequently write for CNN Politics Digital.  He joins CNN this month.

 “As we move into the upcoming presidential election year, having a reporter of Jeff’s stature and caliber joining our powerhouse team of D.C. correspondents is a tremendous asset to our network and our audience,” said Feist.  “Jeff is one of the nation’s most premier political journalists and we are thrilled to have him join the CNN family.”

 Zeleny joins CNN from ABC News where he was their senior Washington correspondent since 2013.  He reported extensively on the 2014 midterm elections and the Republican Party as it gained control of the U.S. Senate.  He also reported from Ferguson, Missouri, covering the protests in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting.

 Said Zeleny: “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work for a world class news organization like CNN, and excited to be part of such a strong, dynamic and enterprising team of reporters and producers."

 Prior to ABC News, Zeleny was the esteemed national political correspondent for The New York Times.  He was the paper’s lead reporter during the 2012 presidential election and covered Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign to the White House.  Zeleny also covered the first two years of the Obama administration as a White House correspondent, traveling across the country and the world.  He also covered Congress for the Times.

Before The New York Times, Zeleny was the national political correspondent for the Chicago Tribune where he covered the 2004 presidential campaign and the early years of the George W. Bush administration.  He joined the Tribune in 2000 as a reporter on the Metropolitan desk in Chicago, where he was a member of the reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize in explanatory journalism for documenting gridlock in the nation's air traffic system.

 Zeleny began his journalism career at the Des Moines Register and is a native of Exeter, Nebraska.

 Press Contact:  Barbara Levin, CNN News Communications 212-275-8152


Topics: CNN
March 2nd, 2015
03:05 PM ET


Finding Jesus:  Faith, Fact, Forgery and The Wonder List with Bill Weir Both Rank #1 in Total Viewers and the Demo

CNN Outperforms the Combined Delivery of Fox News and MSNBC

According to Nielsen Fast National Data, CNN’s two new Original Series Finding Jesus:  Faith, Fact, Forgery and The Wonder List with Bill Weir both debuted as No. 1 in cable news in their respective time period in both total viewers and the demo 25-54 last night (Sunday, March 1).

At 9pm, Finding Jesus (Shroud of Turin) was top-rated, averaging 1.139 million total viewers, +80% more than Fox News’ 634k and a +314% advantage over MSNBC’s 275k.  In the key demo 25-54 Finding Jesus posted 371k, while Fox News and MSNBC both trailed with 111k.  Finding Jesus outperformed the combined delivery of Fox News and MSNBC in both demos.  Finding Jesus is the second highest rated CNN Original Series premiere ever in total viewers (behind The Sixties/1.390m) and the second highest rated in the demo 25-54 (behind Mike Rowe’s SGDI/537k).

At 10pm, The Wonder List with Bill Weir (Vanuatu: Landlords of Paradise) was also #1 in total viewers last night with 706k; Fox News trailed with 603k and MSNBC had 312k.  Among adults 25-54 the Weir-led program also ranked first with 294k, +99% more than Fox News’ 148k and a +133% advantage over MSNBC’s 126k.  It outperformed the combined delivery of Fox News and MSNBC in the key demo.  The Wonder List also saw the most growth among cable news in the time period vs. prior four Sundays, increasing +122% in total viewers (706k vs. 318k) and +160% in adults 25-54 (294k vs. 113k). FULL POST

Topics: CNN • CNN Press Releases • Ratings
TV Exclusive: John Gotti, Jr. sits down with CNN host Michael Smerconish
February 28th, 2015
11:00 AM ET

TV Exclusive: John Gotti, Jr. sits down with CNN host Michael Smerconish

In a TV exclusive, John Gotti, Jr. sits down with CNN host Michael Smerconish to discuss his new memoir Shadow of My Father. In this self-published book, the son of the notorious John Gotti – who headed the country’s largest organized crime family – reveals how he entered the life of crime, and then with his father's permission, left it for a legitimate one.

Smerconish discusses these revelations and gets a rare look inside the mafia with John Gotti, Jr., who has largely remained silent as he withstood four trials and a parole violation hearing in four years.


Topics: CNN
February 27th, 2015
11:41 AM ET

CNN International Commercial Names Sebastian Laver Director of Content Sales and Partnerships for Latin America


February 27, 2015 – CNN International Commercial has hired industry veteran Sebastian Laver as its new Director of Content Sales for Latin America.  Laver joins CNN International Commercial from Reuters News Agency to oversee the Company’s pan-regional content sales business across broadcast (radio) and digital platforms.  Laver will be based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, reporting directly to Greg Beitchman, Vice President of Content Sales and Partnerships for CNN International. FULL POST

Topics: CNN
CNN serves up a menu of top chefs to taste  the wonders of world cuisine
The first episode features Italian chef Massimo Bottura
February 26th, 2015
06:26 AM ET

CNN serves up a menu of top chefs to taste the wonders of world cuisine

~ Episode #1 of Culinary Journeys follows Massimo Bottura on a quest to London for a new twist on a traditional Italian dish  ~

CNN International is celebrating world cuisine with a new series that explores a different destination each month through the dish that has helped put it on the map.

Starting on March 6, each episode of Culinary Journeys will feature a different world-renowned, respected chef on a journey to explore the cuisine of one of the world’s food hotspots. In each 30-minute show, this cookery travelogue broadcast on CNN International will see a chef leave the bustle of their own kitchen to discover the ingredients, techniques and heritage that contribute to a culinary experience in another country.

First up is Massimo Bottura, the three Michelin-star chef from Modena, Northern Italy, who combines inspiration from contemporary art with Italy’s rich gastronomic heritage to create dishes that play with Italian traditions. Bottura travels to London to explore the British art scene and visit one of the city’s most famous restaurants, St John, to meet the renowned chef Fergus Henderson. His ‘nose-to-tail’ approach to cooking – using as much of every animal as possible – has helped to shape the British capital’s dining scene. Together, they will visit the ancient Smithfield meat market and cook one of St John’s most iconic dishes, ‘Roasted Bone Marrow & Parsley’ before Bottura returns home to Modena inspired to add a new twist to one of the region’s most-loved dishes, ‘Passatelli in Broth’  FULL POST

Topics: CNN
CNN's Ratings Momentum Continues; Network Posts Big Gains Over Last Year
February 24th, 2015
02:28 PM ET

CNN's Ratings Momentum Continues; Network Posts Big Gains Over Last Year

CNN Beats MSNBC for Eighth Straight Month 

New Day Outperforms MSNBC’s Morning Joe Again; Tops by Largest Demo Margin Ever 

MSNBC Sheds Viewers by Large Margins; Hits Decade Lows; 

Lost 55% of Primetime and 66% of Daytime Audience

CNN’s ratings momentum continued in February, with the network ranking #2 in cable news in total day in both total viewers and the demo 25-54, easily topping MSNBC. CNN also beat MSNBC once again in both M-Su and M-F primetime (demo 25-54) this month.  The network has now outperformed MSNBC for eight straight months in total day (among both viewers and demo) and in M-Su/M-F prime (demo) - the longest streak across these dayparts in over six years (since November 2008).

CNN had big ratings gains this month, with all dayparts up significantly from year-ago levels, posting the largest growth in cable news.  MSNBC continued to shed viewers, decreasing double-digits in all three key dayparts among P2+ and 25-54, posting the largest declines.  CNN also posted the largest increases in daytime (9a-4p) among both total viewers and demo, while MSNBC daytime is down a whopping -66% to 36k in the demo, its lowest delivery in over 15 years.


(click graph above to view full size)

CNN’s weekday primetime programs all ranked second in cable news (demo), registering impressive growth this month especially in the demo (Erin Burnett Outfront  up +102%,  AC 360 up +58%, CNN 9pm programming up +111% and 10pm programming (mostly CNN Tonight) up +66%); while MSNBC lost a staggering -55% of its weekday primetime audience.  CNN has now topped MSNBC across the M-F 7p, 8p, 9p and 10p hours in the demo 25-54 for seven straight months.  CNN’s D.C.-based and Sunday morning programming all posted significant growth and easily topped MSNBC this month.

Over its five Thursday 9-10pm premieres-to-date (1/22-2/19/15) in season three, the CNN Original Series Morgan Spurlock: Inside Man ranks #2 among 25-54 across cable news in its time period, ahead of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow ShowInside Man is tracking to have its strongest season yet among both total viewers and the demo 25-54.

CNN Program Highlights:

  • CNN’s New Day (6-9am) beat Morning Joe once again this month in both total viewers (388k vs. MSNBC’s 327k) and the demo 25-54 (132k vs. MSNBC’s 79k).  New Day has now topped Morning Joe for the 5th straight month in both demos, the 8th straight month in 25-54 and the 5th straight month in total viewers.  These are the longest streaks since the program’s debut in June 2013.  New Day is also posting its largest monthly demo advantage on record over Morning Joe. While New Day is up +67% in both demos, Morning Joe ranked 3rd in total viewers (declining -14% from a year ago) and placed 4th in the demo (down -38%).
  • The Lead with Jake Tapper (4pm) ranked #2 in cable news at 4pm, easily topping MSNBC in both total viewers (592k vs. MSNBC’s 312k) and the demo 25-54 (145k vs. 49k).  The Lead also posted significant growth this month, increasing +67% in total viewers and +56% in the demo.  MSNBC was down -25%/-55% respectively.
  • The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer (5-7pm) also had a very strong February, easily topping MSNBC in both total viewers and the demo.  The Blitzer-led program was also up +72% in total viewers and up +94% in the demo 25-54 vs. a year ago.  MSNBC’s The Ed Show (5pm) was down -59% and Politics Nation (6pm) declined -55% in the demo from a year ago.
  • Erin Burnett Outfront (7pm) easily beat MSNBC’s Hardball in the demo (202k vs. 128k).  EBOF grew triple digits in both total viewers (+109%) and the demo (+102%) vs. last year.  Hardball was down -46% in the demo and -25% in total viewers.
  • Anderson Cooper 360 (8pm) ranked #2 in cable news, topping MSNBC’s All in with Chris Hayes in both total viewers (637k vs. 602k) and in the demo (202k vs. 113k). AC 360 also posted significant growth vs. a year ago, increasing +51% in total viewers and +58% in the demo. MSNBC’s Hayes decreased -24%/-53% from a year ago.
  • CNN programming at 9pm ranked #2 in the demo in cable news this month, increasing +71% in total viewers (597k) and +111% in the demo (213k) from a year ago.  MSNBC’s flagship primetime program The Rachel Maddow Show trailed CNN again this month, ranking #3 in the demo (147k), shedding -51% of its audience from a year ago.
  • CNN programming at 10pm (mostly CNN Tonight) topped MSNBC in the demo this month (176k vs. MSNBC’s 106k).  At 10pm, CNN increased +57% in total viewers and +66% in the demo – while MSNBC declined -26%/-51%.
  • Smerconish ranked #2 in total viewers and the demo – increasing +83% in total viewers and +66% in the demo on Saturdays at 9am.  At 6pm, the program ranked #1 in the demo with 154k, Fox News followed with 131k and MSNBC had 125k.
  • Fareed Zakaria GPS ranked #2 in both total viewers and the demo 25-54 at 10am and 1pm.  GPS grew double-digits in both demos, both hours; while MSNBC declined double-digits.
  • Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter ranked #2 this month in both total viewers (603k) and among 25-54 (170k) at 11am.  RS increased +66% in total viewers and +59% in the demo vs. last year. 

MSNBC Monthly Lows:

  • In Total Day, MSNBC’s demo delivery (81k) is its lowest since May 2005 and total viewer delivery (313k) is the lowest since December 2007;
  • In M-Su Primetime, MSNBC’s demo delivery (122k) is the lowest since July 2005;
  • In M-F Primetime, MSNBC’s demo delivery (120k) is the second lowest since July 2005;
  • In Dayside (9a-4p), MSNBC’s demo delivery (36k) is its lowest in over 15 years (since October 1999) and total viewer performance (232k) is the lowest since December 2007;
  • Weekday mornings (6-9am), MSNBC’s Morning Joe had its second lowest demo delivery (79k)  in over seven years (since November 2007) and fourth lowest in total viewers (327k) since August 2008;
  • All in with Chris Hayes, which debuted in April 2013, had its second lowest monthly demo delivery (113k) on record (after October 2014).  In the M-F 8pm hour, MSNBC had its second lowest demo delivery since August 2005 (after October 2014);
  • The Rachel Maddow Show had its second lowest monthly demo delivery (147k) on record (after October 2014) this month.
  • The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, also averaged its second lowest monthly delivery (109k) on record (after October 2014) and the network’s lowest 10pm delivery since May 2005.

Data is a blend of Nielsen Live+SD and the more inclusive Live+3 and final Live+7 data when available.


Topics: Ratings
February 23rd, 2015
02:41 PM ET

CNN Announces Acquisition of GLEN CAMPBELL…I’LL BE ME from PCH Films

CNN Films Presents broadcasts planned for June and November 2015 through exclusive sponsorship with Eli Lilly and Company

CNN announced today the exclusive acquisition of the domestic broadcast rights for the critically-acclaimed feature documentary GLEN CAMPBELL…I'LL BE ME from PCH Films.

Featuring the Grammy Award®-winning and Academy Award®-nominated song, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” sung by Glen Campbell himself, the heartbreakingly beautiful, funny, inspiring film directed by James Keach and produced by Trevor Albert and Keach follows the long goodbye that is Alzheimer’s disease as Campbell, and his family, struggle with the diagnosis and progression of the illness through his poignant “Goodbye Tour” in 2011 to 2012.

The network intends the CNN Films Presents broadcast of GLEN CAMPBELL…I'LL BE ME to premiere on CNN in June, and then encore in November of 2015.

“We look forward to having the Campbells’ brave story – unfortunately familiar to too many American families – on CNN. This partnership will guarantee that millions of people will have the opportunity to see our movie and understand just how important it is to both raise awareness – and find an end – to Alzheimer’s disease,” said producer Trevor Albert.

“Eli Lilly and Company has been committed to advancing Alzheimer’s research and treatment for over 25 years,” said Katrina Cukaj, executive vice president, CNN Ad Sales. “Through this thoughtful partnership, we are proud to align our efforts around this powerful film.”

Director/producer James Keach added, “Here’s a guy, an iconic musician, who was faced with having to hang up his guitar, his career over, but instead, he says, ‘I ain’t done yet. I’m going out to show what this disease is,’ because he wants to change the conversation. If that ain’t a hero, I don’t know what is.”

In 2011, Campbell set out on an unprecedented tour across America. Having just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Glen Campbell went public about his diagnosis, and together with his wife Kim, launched the Goodbye Tour. Originally planned for a five week run, his health – and popular demand – enabled the tour to expand to 151 spectacular sold out shows over the next year and a half. The Campbell family also together lobbied Congress for more funding for a cure. The film documents this amazing journey as Campbell and his family and friends attempt to navigate the wildly unpredictable nature of Campbell’s progressing disease using love, laughter, and music.

The five-time Grammy Award®-winning artist sold more than 50 million albums in a singular career that includes extraordinary vocals and music like “Gentle on My Mind,” “Southern Nights,” and “Rhinestone Cowboy.” Campbell also artistically collaborated with Elvis Presley, Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys, and so many others, using his renowned perfect pitch and flawless guitar skills to help usher country music into the mainstream. Artists including Bruce Springsteen, Blake Shelton, Paul McCartney, The Edge, Kathy Mattea, Sheryl Crow, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, and many others including President Bill Clinton, contribute their memories of Campbell to the film.

The acquisition deal between CNN Films and PCH Films was negotiated by Courtney Sexton and Stacey Wolf of CNN, and by Lisa Callif of Donaldson+Callif on behalf of the filmmakers.

The soundtrack for the film is available on Big Machine Records.

Recent CNN Films broadcast premieres include WHITEY: United States of America v James J. Bulger, directed by Joe Berlinger; IVORY TOWER, an exploration of the value of a traditional college education, directed by Andrew Rossi; DINOSAUR 13, about paleontologist Peter Larson’s multi-year odyssey to bring his history-making find of the Tyrannosaurus rex “Sue” to the world, directed by Todd Miller; and LIFE ITSELF, a biographical profile of renowned, Pulitzer prize-winning film critic, Roger Ebert, directed by Steve James.

About CNN Films

CNN Films produces and acquires documentary feature films for theatrical exhibition and distribution across CNN’s multiple platforms.  Amy Entelis, svp of talent and content development and Vinnie Malhotra, svp of development and acquisitions, oversee the strategy for CNN Films.  For more information about CNN Films, please visit and follow @CNNFilms via Twitter.


About CNN

CNN Worldwide is a portfolio of two dozen news and information services across cable, satellite, radio, wireless devices and the Internet in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Domestically, CNN reaches more individuals on television, the web and mobile devices than any other cable TV news organization in the United States; internationally, CNN is the most widely distributed news channel reaching more than 271 million households abroad; and CNN Digital is a top network for online news, mobile news and social media. Additionally, CNN Newsource is the world’s most extensively utilized news service partnering with hundreds of local and international news organizations around the world. CNN is division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company.


About PCH Films

PCH Films, based in Los Angeles, California, is a multimedia company founded by James Keach, Jane Seymour, and Trevor Albert in 2007. The company develops, produces, and finances feature film, TV, documentaries, animation and music. The partners’ extensive credits include Walk The Line, Groundhog Day, League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Because Of Winn Dixie, National Lampoons Vacation, Dr Quinn Medicine Woman, award-winning documentary Disease Of the Wind and many others.  PCH has numerous projects in development including an animated feature adaptation of the best-selling children’s book Skippyjon Jones written by Judy Schachner and adapted by Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stoleberg. They are also developing an adaptation of the Bram Stoker award-winning author Peter Straub’s short story “Mr. Clubb and Mr. Cuff,” which is being written by Bill Fitzhugh.


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