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CNN Turns 32


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#1 ONLINE   Nick

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 04:16 PM

32 years ago today, cable history was made when CNN flickered to life. What started as a crazy idea in the mind of Ted Turner became a reality on June 1st, 1980 with David Walker and Lois Hart anchoring. The first story? President Jimmy Carter visiting civil rights leader Vernon Jordan in the hospital.

STORY & VIDEO: http://www.mediabist...urns-32_b130729

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#2 OFFLINE   oldschoolecw

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 05:23 PM

Holy snap, I feel old
Geez Louise, ESPN's 33 birthday is coming this September

Where has time gone?

And now we have the Zombie Apocalypse just starting :lol:

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#3 OFFLINE   Mark Holtz

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 06:19 PM

David Walker and Lois Hart were anchors at KCRA (Sacramento) until they retired in 2008.
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#4 OFFLINE   trainman

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 09:18 PM

The "now here's the news" in the intro reminds me of the announcement when radio station KFWB in Los Angeles switched from Top 40 to an all-news format in 1968: "We'll be back with more music right after the news."
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#5 OFFLINE   AntAltMike

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 11:23 PM

Slim Whitman, Zamfir, Roger Whittaker. Buchanan and Hayden. Evans and Novak. Bob Losure. Those are my earliest recollections.

I don't see how CNN can stay in business. As fate would have it, I clicked on their morning show today for the first time in maybe a decade. Soledad O'Brien. Very polite and deferential presentation of both sides of the "conventional wisdom". No confrontations, nothing novel. In other words, no reason for me to tune in tomorrow. "Piers" is stuffy and his shows are devoid of content.

For my money, you can't beat Al Jazerra for news. Where I live, in Washington, DC, it is broadcast over the air, as is Russia Today. I encourage everyone to watch Russia Today's evening "news" shows. Russia Today is basically a Communist version of Fox News channel, with hourly hosts making snide, demeaning remarks about capitalism.

Edited by AntAltMike, 02 June 2012 - 09:29 PM.


#6 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 11:21 AM

Lets not get into comparing news channels here. When the other channels have their 30th+ years their birthdays can be celebrated in their own threads. This thread is for CNN's 32nd birthday.

CNN pioneered the format and proved that being news 24/7/365 would work on television. They paved the way for other channels to come along. They were born at a time when cable itself was being born ... someone tried a weather channel, someone tried a sports channel, someone tried a music video channel, several turned their local TV stations into nationwide general entertainment channels. People like Ted Turner found their niche and pushed ahead.

I miss the 30 minute news cycle of CNN Headline News. Some days the stories in the crawl seem to be more interesting than the one the network is devoting most of its time to. (And I've noticed that on more than just CNN.) But going back 32 years to Ted Turner's grand idea who would have thought that 24/7/365 news would have lasted ... and expanded to several popular channels plus other less popular ones?

#7 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 11:52 AM

But going back 32 years to Ted Turner's grand idea who would have thought that 24/7/365 news would have lasted ... and expanded to several popular channels plus other less popular ones?


But it didn't last. None of them do that any more, certainly not CNN or what used to be HNN. Both are about half talk and opinion. Neither are really 'news' at all any more. The former HNN comes closer on Saturday daytime for a few hours.

CNN did not survive 32 years.


And yeah, they crawls are sometimes a lot more interesting. I've actually left a channel on for a while with the sound muted to read the crawls.
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#8 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 12:19 PM

The idea morphed ... Over time it was discovered that news junkies gravitated toward opinions that were either like minded or contrary - or at least a debate. The news/opinion networks have kept up with the marketplace for the day to day programming.

When news breaks the focus changes to what is going on. Major events get covered on these 24/7/365 news channels ... and people know where to turn to find out what is going on. And when news isn't breaking the channels transmit news/opinion shows.

#9 OFFLINE   mreposter

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 01:54 PM

My vague memories of the early days of CNN are that originally the news was the star of the show rather than the personalities. But over time the stars have taken over. Sorry, but I don't care what Anderson Cooper thinks (or anybody on Fox News or MSNBC) just give me the news.

It's especially bad during natural disasters with reporters going to hurricanes or earthquakes- they become the news. Look at me! I'm standing in 100mph winds! Aren't I brave! No, you're just on an ego trip. And any reporter that spends more time asking a question than silently listening to the answer should be fired.

It's unfortunate that CNN isn't doing well in the ratings, it's difficult to compete with two networks with such strong personalities. Maybe if they got back to the basics, they might find a new audience.

Oh, and would someone tell Wolf Blitzer to stop shouting through most of his program? He's much more interesting when he calms down and talks normally.
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#10 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 02:01 PM

My vague memories of the early days of CNN are that originally the news was the star of the show rather than the personalities.

<snip>

It's unfortunate that CNN isn't doing well in the ratings, it's difficult to compete with two networks with such strong personalities. Maybe if they got back to the basics, they might find a new audience.


That's just the point. Drop the personalities, get back to NEWS and they just might see the ratings improve.

I don't watch any show on any news network, CNN included where the name of the person is in the show title.
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#11 OFFLINE   Bobsacto

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 02:15 PM

TV news has been personality driven long before the advent of CNN. People watched CBS because they wanted the news from Walter Cronkite. Murrow had a distinctive style that appealed to many. The problem I find with the 24hr networks, heck the traditional networks too, is the lack of editing. I have told my kids they should become a producer-editor for a news outlet. You get paid for doing nothing. Throw anything on without checking because it is better to be first rather than to be right.

#12 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 02:36 PM

People watched CBS because they wanted the news from Walter Cronkite. Murrow had a distinctive style that appealed to many.


But it was still about the news primarily. Cronkite, Murrow, Reasoner, et al may have had their own personal style, but they still focused on the news.

The early days of CNN/HNN were about the news, not who was on camera.

The fairly recent departure of Chuck Roberts from HNN signaled the end of the era in my eyes.
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#13 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 03:26 PM

The fairly recent departure of Chuck Roberts from HNN signaled the end of the era in my eyes.

The end of "around the world in 30 minutes" a few years ago ended my viewing of Headline News.

When one of the complaints is that the personalities are not strong enough it is hard to argue in favor of personality free news cast. CNN and HLN get their day to day viewers from people who like the personalities they see (and possibly don't like the alternative networks for one reason or another). People who don't watch hardly any news might watch the broadcast networks or nothing at all until a news story breaks.

That is where CNN has a proven strength ... those moments when something happens that gets non-news viewers to change to "a news channel". Something big enough like the tsunami or Arab spring. Those are CNN's best days.

When there is no big story the "non-news viewers" leave. I do not believe that changing (back) to an "around the world in 30 minutes" format will bring them back. When nothing is happening the news channels fight over people who are looking for personality driven news presentation. No personality news doesn't sound like a winner.

That is part of the morph ... it is still the news but just like in the days of Cronkite and Murrow it matters to the viewers who is telling them the news. Can they trust the anchor? the network? When they heard "and that's the way it is" the viewers trusted that they had been told the way it is because they trusted the personality and the network. Now you can get the news from many sources the battle is over the presenters - just as it was when one could only get TV news from the networks once per evening.

#14 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 03:32 PM

Happy birthday to CNN. Too bad Turner's baby was born at the beginning of the end of traditional news reporting in the television industry.

:rant:
HNN was the last cable news channel I watched regularly and I quit it years ago, before 2000. I stopped watching broadcast network news about the same time.

As someone who's first real job was a newspaper reporter naively covering city hall, police, etc., at one time I supported the FCC's right to insist that a certain percentage of each broadcast week be devoted to what it termed "public use", imposing an obligation requiring the licensee to 'ascertain the needs of the community' and then provide program service to foster public understanding of those issues.

That ultimately became formalized as the Fairness Doctrine which in turn was repealed by Congress, coincidentally about the same time as Rupert Murdoch's News Corp launched the Fox network (yeah, I'm paranoid).

It is extremely difficult for a reporter to actually be "fair and balanced" is his/her reporting on events. It is reasonable to attempt to hold a reporter's feet to the fire about his/her reports being accurate and complete.

But whatever else one can say, "reporting" has not ever been the job of a talking head commenting on the news or exchanging comments with other talking heads. Commenting on the news is not news reporting. It is advocating a specific viewpoint. At one time, newspapers seriously attempted to limit this to specific writings called "editorials."

In the very early 1950's TV news struggled with this and briefly found its way out of the mire of political advocacy. Beginning in the 1960's political advocates began the struggle to drag TV news back into the mire, finally gaining some success in the late 1980's which was ironically the same decade that CNN first aired.

Now, of course, news is a profit center for media companies with a focus on entertainment appeal and/or focus on sharing opinions with like-minded (or narrow minded) viewers, either one of which avoids the real costs of news gathering and attracts advertisers.
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#15 OFFLINE   lyradd

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 03:38 PM

Happy Birthday CNN!

Ratings agency Nielsen show that America's most famous rolling news brand has just experienced its worst month for almost 20 years, parting company with more than 50 per cent of its audience in 12 months.

#16 ONLINE   Nick

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 03:46 PM

...Oh, and would someone tell Wolf Blitzer to stop shouting through most of his program? He's much more interesting when he calms down and talks normally.

They all have consultants who keep telling them to "punch it up", to talk louder and emphasize every other word.

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#17 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 04:43 PM

Happy Birthday CNN!

Ratings agency Nielsen show that America's most famous rolling news brand has just experienced its worst month for almost 20 years, parting company with more than 50 per cent of its audience in 12 months.

CNN could really use some hard news to report on ... last year they had the tsunami and Arab spring. This year ... not so much. The biggest news seems to be politics, which is where the "news" networks are already divided. No news for non-news viewers.

#18 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 05:14 PM

There are PLENTY of news stories currently if someone cared enough about news to cover them.
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#19 OFFLINE   AntAltMike

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 05:28 PM

...It's especially bad during natural disasters with reporters going to hurricanes or earthquakes- they become the news. Look at me! I'm standing in 100mph winds! Aren't I brave! No, you're just on an ego trip.

Whenever it is staged as Geraldo versus the disaster, I'm always rooting for the disaster.

It's unfortunate that CNN isn't doing well in the ratings, it's difficult to compete with two networks with such strong personalities. Maybe if they got back to the basics, they might find a new audience.


...Drop the personalities, get back to NEWS and they just might see the ratings improve...


Gong "back to basics" never works for anybody. That is why they left basics to begin with. In 2005, CNN Headline news was getting 200,000 viewers in the evening, so they replaced their news with Nancy "lizard eyes" Grace and get a guaranteed 400,000 a nite when nothing is happening, and a lot more than that whenever any attractive, blond female has been wronged.

#20 OFFLINE   runner861

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 11:00 PM

I'm trying to remember, did HNN start at the same time as the regular CNN? It seems like it did. I miss that format. The closest thing that I can get to that format is listening to KNX or KCBS radio on the hour. We have all these channels, yet no room for a channel like HNN used to be.




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