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CNN Turns 32

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by Nick, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. ajc68

    ajc68 Icon

    Jan 23, 2008

    HLN: Initially broadcast as CNN2 on January 1, 1982, the channel was renamed one year later to CNN Headline News. The use of "CNN" in the title of the channel has been intermittent throughout the channel's broadcast years until mid 2000s when it was dropped altogether for HLN.
  2. mreposter

    mreposter Hall Of Fame

    Jul 29, 2006
    Sad, but increasingly true. And with the rise of the internet, it is now easier and quicker for people interested in hard news to get it online. Maybe the hard-news audience is no longer large enough nor interested enough in a TV broadcast to maintain decent ratings.

    It reminds me a bit of our discussions about "reality" tv. Many of us rail against the rise of reality shows that have overtaken some of our favorite channels, and yet for every one of us that complain 2 or 3 others replace us as viewers. The History Channel's ratings have exploded in the last 2-3 years. Why? Because of reality programming. We may not like it, but everyone else sure does. And many of us may not like personality-driven news shows, but 100's of thousands of others sure do.

    Chuck Roberts quietly reading the news of the day may be interesting, but Nancy Grace being an "angry prophet denouncing the hypocrisies of our times" gets the ratings.
  3. SamC

    SamC Hall Of Fame

    Jan 20, 2003
    It was a response to Satellite News Channel. SNC was a joint venture between pre-Disney, pre-Cap Cities ABC, and pre-CBS Westinghouse. You got 18 minutes of ABC coverage and 4 minutes from your "local" (actually nearest ABC O&O or Group W station), often really not that local. Plus commercials.

    In those days cable often had 12, 20 or 32 channels, and it seemed like the industry was more based on dealmaking. A cable system had one or two of each type of channel. One religious channel. One or two superstations. A news channel. Etc. Even the movie channels were about the same. HBO, Showtime and the Movie Channel often had exactly the same movie on at the same time. Your cable op made the best deal (for himself). The industry was kind of like a resturant. It either had Coke, or Pepsi, or RC, but only one.

    Anyway Turner launched CNN2 and then bought SNC in order to shut it down. The staff had one of the all time drunken parties, live on air, on the last day. Never have been able to find a youtube or such of it. Right after that was when the industry changed and capacity started to grow to where multiple channels in the same genre, and then sub-genre, and niche sub-sub-sub-genres, were carried.

    IMHO, CNN had the oportunity to be ubiquitious. If it had followed its own path, decided to be a voice and not an echo, the other channels would have never made it. Rather, Turner, and later the coporate HQ at Time Warner, chose to just be a 24 hour version of the same point of view as the three networks and most newspapers, magagines (including Time itself), and it got passed and passed again. It no longer serves a purpose.

    HLN, is an entertainment type channel, it hypes a 4 level story like its a 9.5 level story, it cannot be taken seriously. Like the Weather Channel, which is showing documentaries about the Coast Guard or whatever when I want to know the weather, it would be nice if somebody returned to the HLN format.
  4. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

    Jun 6, 2009
    Live, as it happens, 24 hours a day, 365 days. Every half hour different, not recorded and re-run all day.

    Breaking news as the stories hit the wires. Switch to live local feeds around the world (no, not the overdone helicopter following a chase stuff) as stories break.
  5. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Apr 17, 2003
    The last few years before the "around the world in 30 minutes" ended it certainly was NOT live 24/7/365. If you watched for a couple of hours you could see the rotation of stories matched exactly and the anchor making the same minor speaking mistakes at the same point in the presentation. The same people walking through the background at the same time during the broadcast. Portions of the newscast would be updated as needed but it wasn't live hosted 24/7.

    The last year or so before the change CNN changed over to a digital playback system and the first few months were horrible. "Live" newscasts that would pause and then start up as if nothing was wrong and there were other playback glitches. They worked out the bugs and got the system running to the point where it wasn't obviously canned - and then left the 30 minute news format.

    HLN was run like a radio station with a playlist. Producers would pick the stories, anchors would record the intros and a playlist was built that put it all in the correct order. When the next anchor came to air they would record their own intros and the producer would use those in the playlist. When it was done well it seemed live.

    I'm not complaining ... as long as the stories were kept updated when facts changed having it on a playlist was not a bad thing. At least one could get the news without reading the crawl and hoping they would get to that story.
  6. trainman

    trainman Hall Of Fame

    Jan 9, 2008
    I was involved in producing the closed-captioning for Headline News while this was going on. It was...interesting.

    (Didn't help that we were a separate contracted company, working remotely, and CNN didn't tell us very much about what was happening.)
  7. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

    Nov 16, 2005
    Wylie, Texas
    32 years and I've never watched it.
  8. mreposter

    mreposter Hall Of Fame

    Jul 29, 2006
    I'd slightly disagree there. During it's first couple of years CNN was considered to speak with a rather conservative voice, echoing Ted Turner's political point of view at the time. Turner was called "The Mouth of the South," and he was active in business and politics. Especially in those early years, resources were limited, so yeah, they were following the same stories as the other major media outlets, but they often put a Southern Moderate spin on the reporting.

    But over time, as the network became more successful and a force in the industry (and Turner married Jane Fonda...) did they move closer to the "mainstream media" point of view. If anything, for many Americans CNN became the face of mainstream media by the late 80s.
  9. Paul Secic

    Paul Secic Hall Of Fame

    Dec 16, 2003
    CNN isn't what it was under Ted.
  10. Yes616

    Yes616 Legend

    Sep 5, 2006
    I was subscribed to Alan Gerry's CVI "Cablevision Industries" that at first added 16 - CNN, 17 - Nickelodeon (7AM-8PM) / ARTS (8PM-Midnight) / Superstation WTBS (Midnight-7AM) All Eastern Time, 18 - ESPN, 19 - USA was only on 5PM-Midnight / Catskill OTB other times and 21 was Cinemax.

    I still remember that original CNN music. They never played anything else. I am trying to remember all the weather guys. Mornings were Nick Gregory (in NYC for a very long time now), Dallas Raines (is he still in LA?) was the evening guy and I am ashamed to say I can't remember the afternoon guy's name.

    Just like some of you others, I seem to be older than dirt too. lol

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