Time Warner Center Update – Note from CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker
The Time Warner Center – CNN’s New York City bureau – has been evacuated. CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker sent the following notes to staff.
Watch CNN for developments and follow @CNNPR.
Statement from CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker:
“There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media. The President, and especially the White House Press Secretary, should understand their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that.” Jeff Zucker, President CNN Worldwide
OCTOBER 29, 2018:
10:00 AM ET
This morning, another suspicious packaged addressed to CNN was intercepted at an Atlanta post office. There is no imminent danger to the CNN Center. All mail, at all CNN domestic bureaus, is being screened at off-site facilities as of last Wednesday, so this package would NOT have come directly to the CNN Center, even if it hadn’t been intercepted first. Our screening process is working and we will keep you updated as we learn more.
OCTOBER 26, 2018:
3:30 PM ET – THANK YOU
As we close out what has been an extraordinary week in many ways, I just want to repeat something I have said to you all a number of times already. I want to thank you for your courage, your patience, your professionalism and your relentless commitment to informing the public when they need us most.
This week we were in the unique position of both covering a story and also being a central part of it. That is a difficult place for a news organization to be. Our teams not only managed it, they excelled.
Literally, minutes after the news about the Time Warner Center broke on Wednesday, as our own employees were still evacuating the building, Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto’s reporting was carried live from the sidewalk, shot with a crew member’s cell phone. Our digital reporting teams immediately set up makeshift office space in a diner up the street. Control rooms and studios in Atlanta and DC were on alert and helped keep us on the air. A colleague offered Poppy a comfortable pair of shoes and warmer clothes. And our security teams remained in constant communication with federal and local authorities to make sure everyone was safe.
This is CNN. And I could not be more proud.
Security remains our number one priority. I have complete confidence in our experts that make up to the moment decisions about security in all of our locations, and I have been in constant contact with them. We are focused on every location, every minute of the day, seven days a week. And that will continue. Earlier today, we sent detailed information about where to call or email if you have any concerns – please use them.
It has been a long week. We are headed into midterm election coverage in the days ahead, and it will continue to be as busy as ever. I want to thank you in advance for what I know will be tireless work, against a backdrop that presents unprecedented challenge. Please do try to find some time to rest.
As I said earlier this week, words matter. Please take mine to heart, and know that I appreciate everything you do. Thank you.
10:00 AM ET
Another suspicious packaged addressed to CNN was intercepted this morning at a NY post office at 52nd Street in Manhattan. There is no imminent danger to the Time Warner Center. As we announced yesterday, all mail to CNN domestic offices is being screened at off-site facilities, so this package would NOT have come directly to the TWC, even if it hadn’t been intercepted first. We will keep you updated as we learn more.
OCTOBER 24, 2018:
3:30 PM ET – FINAL UPDATE
The NYPD has concluded its security sweep, and it is now safe to return to the building. I so appreciate your patience, as I know what a long day this has been for all of you.
1:30 PM ET
The investigation in the building continues, and we are working closely with local and federal authorities as they do their work. We still do not have any update as to when we may be able to reopen the building, but I will continue to keep you updated. As a result, if you have the ability to work from home for the rest of the day, I encourage you to do so.
We also know that there are a number of you who may have left personal belongings in the building. We are working with security to figure out how we may be able to be helpful with that.
Again, I want to thank all of you for your amazing work today — in New York and around the world.
1:00 PM ET
The security sweep of our building continues. There was some powder found within the package that was sent, and that powder now needs to be examined to determine what it is. As a result, it will take some time until we know more about the safety of the building. I will continue to keep you all posted as we know anything more about timing.
I want to commend all of our colleagues in New York, in particular, and elsewhere, who have helped keep us on the air as this crisis has unfolded. I am really proud of all of you. Thank you.
12:00 PM ET
As of a short time ago, the device has been removed from the Time Warner Center. We are grateful to the NYPD for all of their assistance. They are currently doing another sweep of the building, and will update us once that is done. It is unclear how long it will take, but I promise to keep you posted.
I know that a lot of you are wondering about returning to work today. We are waiting for more information about the safety and security of the building, and will know more soon. As I have said, if you feel like you would like to leave the area, it is perfectly fine. We just want to be sure you keep in touch with colleagues for the sake of regular communication.
11:30 AM ET
Our NY Bureau remains evacuated, with the NYPD on the scene. In Atlanta at the CNN Center, a facility that is open to the public, we are putting up magnetometers at the entrances to the building. We remain vigilant regarding security concerns across all of our global locations.
As you communicate via social media, out of an abundance of caution, please refrain from sharing any images or geo tags that would reveal your location. We have no particular reason to be concerned, but just think it would be the most cautious approach.
I also want to say a special thank you to David Rhodes and CBS News for graciously offering their assistance while we deal with this…really nice to see from our fellow journalists.
11:00 AM ET
As a follow up to my earlier note, we continue to remain on alert in New York. The NYPD is currently in the building assessing the situation. I can confirm that we have checked all of our bureaus worldwide, and have found no other devices at this time.
I promise to keep you updated on a regular basis with any new information. Please do your best to remain calm and patient. As I mentioned earlier, if you would feel more comfortable leaving the area, please do. If you do, please keep up communications with your colleagues.
10:39 AM ET
To All NY Based Employees –
The Time Warner Center has been evacuated out of an abundance of caution, as a result of a suspicious package having been received in the mailroom. We are working with authorities to determine the severity of the situation. The NYPD is on scene, and we’re working closely with them to take every precaution. We are also checking all bureaus around the world, out of a complete abundance of caution.
We expect more information very soon, and we ask that you remain calm and patient. If you would feel more comfortable leaving the premises, please do. Your safety is our top priority, and we will communicate again shortly.