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Thursday, November 29, 2007

CNN/YouTube Republican Debate

I must state that all the opinions expressed in this post are mine and mine alone. As Ms. Phebe said in her post last night, all of us ladies have differing opinions on politics and it seems as the only non voting member of this blog team I can look at both side and be the non partisan voice.

Last night CNN and YouTube teamed up again for their second debate. This time it was the Republicans turn to face the people. All eight Republican candidates were in attendance and right from the get go it was, what’s the word I am looking for here……interesting.

I have to admit that I am very glad that I did not have to write this post last night because some of the bickering really got to me. I am glad to have a night to sleep on it. I honestly have to say that Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani got on my nerves during their argument about immigration at the beginning of the debate. The nastiness just does not do anything for me other then turn me off to a candidate.

I personally feel bad for anyone who moderates these debates and Anderson Cooper is no exception. I think they need to throw the honor system out the window and bring in some bells and whistles. I was getting really tired of hearing Anderson say time and the candidates continue talking over him. The problem is at this point there are just too many voices trying to get their points across. Poor Anderson just got run over during most of the bickering but he did a phenomenal job during the debate.

I have to say the questions chosen were an interesting selection. As Erica Hill pointed out while with the group of undecided voters, I too was very disappointed that no questions about health care, education, Iran and energy were used. It is hard for me to believe that in almost 5000 submitted questions none of these topics were even questioned. At this point I must applaud the 5000 people who submitted entries. Thank you for getting involved in the political process.

I feel like I have seen 2 Republican debates and 100 Democratic ones. I know most of the country has had it with the Republicans but it just seems like an unfair balance to me. After watching the debate I personally was very impressed by the lower tier candidates and highly disappointed by the front runners. My picks for who did the best last night, Mike Huckabee and John McCain. My picks for who did the worst, Mitt Romney followed by Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani.

Well enough about my opinions. After the debate Anderson Cooper was joined by the best political team on television. John King, Gloria Bergen, John Roberts, Campbell Brown, Jeffrey Toobin, David Gergen, Erica Hill (who I was so glad to see involved), William Bennett andJamal Simmons to discuss the debate. I really enjoyed the post debate discussion.

And with out further adieu as promised, some more hi resolution photos.

CNN Worldwide – All Rights Reserved 2007©

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Republican's YouTube Debates & Last Week at a Glance

Wednesday's Republican YouTube Debate has come and gone, and with few glitches. Sapphire will be covering the content of the debate in her post on Thursday night. She'll also have more of the wonderful high res photos. I must say we aren't a very balanced blog team when it comes to politics so we'll leave it to our Canadian blogger to do the analysis of the Republicans.

The Realities of the Ratings: What Makes Our Eyes Glaze Over…

It would be so nice if the media companies would get real when they issue press releases for the month performance (considering the November sweep isn’t even over yet and everyone eliminates Thanksgiving Day from their ratings analysis).

“It may have only been by 2,000 viewers but MSNBC topped CNN in the A25-54 demo in sales prime (7pmET-2amET) for the month. That includes CNN's huge night Nov. 15 airing the Democratic debate in Las Vegas.”

Big boast by MSNBC, yes? The only trouble is:
The ad industry doesn’t recognize MSNBC’s “sales prime” time period of 7PM – 2AM.
2,000 Adults 25-54 is completely within Nielsen’s margin of error.
The real audience figure that counts is 8-11PM, Monday - Sunday*

CNN: 629,000 Adults 25-54 +29% advantage over MSNBC
MSNBC: 449,000 Adults 25-54
CNN: 756,000 2+ Total Audience +27% advantage over MSNBC
MSNBC: 555,000 2+ Total Audience

*Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Basic Cable Ranking Channels; 10/29/07 – 11/25/07; Live + Same Day.

Can I also say that I checked in on a Bill O’Reilly program just to see what his reruns were up to (he took the week off after visiting the troops over the weekend in Afghanistan). It was startling and troubling to say the least. He said, and I quote, “I just report the news; I just tell the news here.” Excuse me? Bill O’Reilly’s program is classified as informational/commentary. It is never classified as news unless the program is taken over by a breaking news story such as the California fires. The only Fox News programs in the evening which remotely qualify as news is Shepard Smith’s (7PM) and Brit Hume’s (6PM). Both programs still are considered by the industry to be very slanted in their positioning of the news, but in fairness, they are considered news programming. Not the case for Hannity & Colmes, John Gibson and his new side-kick, Heather Nauert and on several occasions, GRETA. Tucker, Hardball or Abrams on MSNBC are also not considered news programming. One would have to give COUNTDOWN an emphasis on news, but there are several satirical features, mud-slinging at Fox News and special commentaries by Keith Olbermann. Real “hard news” - hard to find on cable…

Okay, so can we now start with the ratings analysis now that I pointed that huge, over the top statement released to the media by MSNBC.

Not too much to say as programming on all the channels was very weak due to many repeats and substitutions. We’re only going to look at Monday – Wednesday on everyone as Thursday – Thanksgiving was mostly rebroadcast long form programming, repeats of programs and substitute anchors. The only exception was Rick Sanchez’s look at Ellis Island in a special OUT IN THE OPEN about his family’s journey to the U.S. from Cuba.

So many regulars were not on the air that you have to look at this week as completely unrepresentative of any programming typically in the time period. No O’Reilly, Joy Behar for Larry King one night, no Lou Dobbs, no Wolf Blitzer, and no Anderson Cooper in some combination of MIA for the three days we are covering. There won’t be any reason to give you a percentage comparison of whether the program is up or down, they are all down. And LKL with Dr. Jan Adams dramatically walking off the set must have aired at least five times over the week and weekend.

8PM: **

Fox News: 401,000
CNN: 149,000
MSNBC: 299.000

Fox News: 314,000
CNN: 227,000
MSNBC: 177,000

10PM: **

Fox News: 352,000
CNN: 155,000
MSNBC: 217,000

What can I say? Lots of re-runs, rebroadcast long form programming and substitute anchors along with very low hut levels (homes using television) due to the holiday made for a very marginal week in cable programming. And yes, combining all hours of primetime, other than LKL, MSNBC and FOX News did beat CNN in primetime 8-11PM, Monday – Wednesday**:

Fox News: 356,000
CNN: 177,000
MSNBC: 231,000

It would have been worse for CNN if I included Thursday and Friday programming. The cable channel had some of its lowest audience performances on those days.

Optimistically, this week we have everyone back on their game, and the YouTube Republican Debate.

Ratings Guru

P.S. And if you have been over at ATA – you might have seen my post that 60 MINUTES was the 7th ranked broadcast program for the week, delivering over 16,000,000 total viewers – it’s been a long time since the program ranked in the Top Ten programs for the week. As Anderson Cooper has said, they are the best in the business.

**Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Adults 25-54 Live + Same Day (LS) Fast Track Nationals.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Heroes & Campaign Killers

Reminder: 8pm Wednesday, November 28th is the YouTube Debate with the Republican presidential candidates.

At 11pm, Campbell Brown's report on Political Attack Ads will premiere. Below is an excerpt from the CNN Press Release:

As the 2008 presidential campaign heats up, CNN anchor Campbell Brown reports on the rising temperatures – and the pugilistic punches – that come with the territory of running for the nation’s highest political office. Following the CNN/YouTube GOP debate, CNN will premiere Broken Government – “Campaign Killers” on Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 11 p.m., with replays on Friday, Nov. 30, at 8 p.m., 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. on CNN/U.S. All times Eastern.

Although Americans say they are turned off by negative political campaigning, attack ads have can have enormous impact on elections. Brown interviews former Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis and adman Floyd Brown about one of the most infamous campaign ads of all time: the Willie Horton ad used to shattering effect in the 1988 presidential race.

In her first documentary for CNN, Brown also goes behind the scenes with the guerrilla warriors of this season’s presidential campaign to see what they're plotting. From the left, Eli Pariser of talks candidly about the “General Betray-us” ad; from the right, the “Hillary hunters” – David Bossie of Citizens United and the “Stop Her Now” team of cartoonists – discuss the effects of lampooning the Democratic frontrunner.

Senior CNN political analyst Bill Schneider and political marketing consultants Mark McKinnon and Bill Hillsman comment on the impact of attack ads for the 2008 presidential race and the latest evolution in negative campaigning – the anonymous Internet viral attack.


CNN has released the names of the finalists for the CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute. The finalists in each of the six categories include:

Peter Kithene
Ann McGee
S. Ramakrishnan

Kayla Cornale
Dallas Jessup
Josh Miller

Dr. Rick Hodes
Scott Loeff
Steve Peifer

Sgt. Maj. James McDowell
Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe
Julie Rems-Smario

Florence Cassassuce
Irania Martinez Garcia
Mark Maksimowicz

Pablo Fajardo
Rangina Hamidi
Lynwood Hughes

The following is an excerpt from the CNN Press Release:

CNN today revealed the names of 18 finalists for “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute,” the culmination of a five-month audience nomination process through which ordinary people will be recognized for accomplishing extraordinary things. Hosted by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Christiane Amanpour, “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute” will air live globally on CNN/U.S., CNN International and CNN en Español on Thursday, Dec. 6, at 9 p.m. (ET).

In its first year of the CNN Heroes initiative, CNN received more than 7,000 nominations from viewers in 80 countries, nominating people from more than 90 countries.

Honorees will be announced at the Dec. 6 gala at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, which will include performances from Grammy Award winners Mary J. Blige and Sheryl Crow and a duet by Grammy Award winner Norah Jones and acclaimed performer-producer Wyclef Jean. Presenters will include Tyra Banks, Glenn Close, Harry Connick, Jr., Rosario Dawson, LL Cool J, Kyra Sedgwick and Jimmy Smits.

“We’re honored to shine the spotlight on some of the world’s lesser known heroes with the help of an esteemed slate of performers and presenters,” said Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide. “While other awards programs venerate those who are already celebrated, we are recognizing the unheralded, the ones who accomplish great things without the benefit of recognition.”

From May 1 through September, CNN Worldwide has featured everyday heroes across its television networks, digital services and at, encouraging viewers to nominate local heroes they deem deserving of recognition as a CNN Hero.

Additional information about the nominees can be found on CNN's website at:

Do you know who will be selecting the winners? CNN has established a Blue Ribbon Panel who will make the final selection in each of the six categories. The members are:

  • Lance Armstrong
  • Deepak Chopra
  • Philippe Cousteau
  • Bo Derek
  • Sylvia Earle
  • Marian Wright Edelman
  • Peter Gabriel
  • Carolina Herrera
  • T.D. Jakes
  • Jewel Singer
  • Téa Leoni
  • Dikembe Mutombo
  • Zainab Salbi
  • Jerry Yang
  • Muhammad Yunus

Monday, November 26, 2007

The You Tube Debates

Wednesday, Nov. 28
8 p.m.-10 p.m. CNN/YouTube/RPOF Presidential Primary Debate in St. Petersburg with a simulcast on Headline News of Erica Hill reporting live from Tampa, Fla., with a focus group of undecided voters
10 p.m.-11 p.m. Special Anderson Cooper 360° post-debate program with Anderson Cooper live from St. Petersburg and Wolf Blitzer and the rest of the Best Political Team reporting
11 p.m.-12 a.m. Documentary Broken Government: Campaign Killers featuring Campbell Brown
12 a.m.-1 a.m. Replay of CNN/YouTube/RPOF Presidential Primary Debate
Thursday, Nov. 29
6 a.m.-9 a.m. American Morning with John Roberts live on location in St. Petersburg
And this from 360 Associate Producer Jack Gray:
We're hunkered down going over the submissions in the state-of-the-art (and, thankfully, air conditioned) CNN Election Express Bus outside the Mahaffey Theater at the University of Southern Florida. Inside, crews are working feverishly to finish construction on what I must say is a very cool stage from which the eight candidates will answer your questions. Meantime, other news media have started to arrive, demonstrators have set up camp on the street outside, and security is being ratcheted up.
Anderson arrives tomorrow and the candidates arrive on Wednesday. In the rest of the country it might be beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but here in St. Petersburg, it's beginning to look a lot like debate time.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

YouTube Debates - Round 2

Many of you have noticed that our sister blog, All Things Anderson, has not been accessible this afternoon. We needed to take the blog off line for a few hours, but the site will be open to the public again later tonight (Sunday). We apologize for any inconvenience.


Wednesday will bring us the second installment of the CNN's YouTube debates. This time, it will be the Republican Presidential candidates that will be facing the questions posted in YouTube videos. The Republicans have had an extra two months to prepare for this debate which was originally scheduled for September. In addition to the additional time, they also have the benefit of having seen Democrats face YouTuber's in July.

Sunday, November 25th is the last day to submit videos for the debate. Unlike the last YouTube debate where questions were accepted right up to the night before, it looks like CNN is going to leave themselves a couple of days to review the videos and make their final decisions on which questions they'll fire at the candidates. The extra time is probably a good thing, since the July 23rd Democrat YouTube debate had 2,989 video submissions and as of the writing of this post, there have been 4,372 videos submitted for Wednesday's debate.

I've taken a look at some of the video that have been submitted and here are a few that caught my eye.

Many of the folks that submitted videos for the last YouTube debate returned for an opportunity to grill the Republican candidates. Billiam the Snowman is back with several questions about global warming. (Entry #3595).

Billiam the Snowman isn't the only one questioning climate change, even Santa is raising the question in this video submitted by quietboy. (Entry #1331)

This next video caught my eye not only because of the great animation, but also because it was submitted by a member of the media. The question comes an from editorial cartoonist for The Houston Chronicle. (Entry #1435)

I was expecting to see a few questions about the rising price of gasoline, but this question from Travature addresses the broader issue of transportation. (Entry #2573)

You can't seem to have a primary debate anymore without asking questions about the other party. This next video was submitted by harriswhistles. The animated video questions have received a variety of criticisms. In this video, the animated character shows a picture of the person who is voicing the question.(Entry #3282)

Can't create animated video? How about using a puppet? I like Mojo, but his eyes can be just a bit distracting. (Entry #497)

The production quality of many of the videos is phenomenal. TeamGaia submitted a question in the form of an original rap. (Entry #1296)

With puppets, animated characters, and snowmen you start to think that there aren't very many real people in the videos. A video from filmakr1 poses a question from Joe (a Republican) and Joe (a Democrat). (Entry #153).

Our last video, what's politics without pork? (Entry #3619 from Dewquix)

With a pool of over 4,000 videos to select the questions, Wednesday night's debate should be quite interesting. Anderson Cooper will moderate the Republican YouTube Debate from St. Petersburg, Florida which will air on CNN at 8pm ET on Wednesday, November 28.


Mystery Journalist

This week's Mystery Journalist was TJ Holmes.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Updates on past stories

According to People magazine, Nancy Grace's twins have been able to go home this week.

Nancy Grace will take her daughter Lucy Elizabeth home from the hospital on Saturday to join her twin brother John David who was released on Thursday, her rep Patty Caruso tells PEOPLE

The CNN Headline News anchor "is thrilled" at her daughter Lucy's progress. "She is over four pounds and doing extremely well. Nancy is so happy to have both her children home with her," says Caruso.

Grace, 48, gave birth early to the twins Nov. 4 having suffered a pulmonary edema during pregnancy and developing fluid in her lungs that prompted doctors to perform a C-section. She was released from the hospital on Nov. 16 and remains on medication.

On Monday, Grace, who is married to investment banker David Linch, told PEOPLE she was "torn up" about leaving her twins in the hospital. She expects to bring the twins home to New York next month


From Inside Cable News, Former CNN anchor Marina Kolbe's discrimination case has come to a conclusion:

A U.S. District Court jury deliberated for five hours before deciding Wednesday in favor of CNN, which claimed that Marina Kolbe’s contract was not renewed because of her average performance and failure to improve.

Kolbe had worked in Atlanta for CNN’s International division for four years when in 2003 the network failed to renew her contract. Kolbe, then 42, was replaced by a South Asian anchor.

“We are obviously pleased with the jury’s verdict. It not only shows that CNN does not discriminate, but also validates CNN’s commitment to diversity,” the network said in a statement.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Ladies Night

Suzanne Malveaux filled in for Wolf Blitzer today on The Situation Room. It was ladies night for tonight's political round table discussion. Panelists included:

  • Lisa Desjardins, Congressional Correspondent for CNN Radio
  • Gloria Borger, CNN Senior Political Analyst
  • Amy Walter, CNN political contributor
Lisa Desjardins
Gloria Borger
Amy Walter

The panel discussed:

  • Fred Thompson's criticism of Rudy Giuliani using his tenure as New York mayor as the basis for his campaign.
  • A new campaign ad for Hillary Clinton where someone else does all the speaking.
  • A Rudy Giuliani campaign ad where he talks about dealing with "crisis".
  • A new study that implies the Republican party may no longer be the party of the rich.

The full transcript of the discussion is available at:


The Republican YouTube debate won't be the only special programming on CNN next week.

Wednesday night, November 28th at 11pm ET, Campbell Brown reports on Broken Government: Campaign Killers.

Friday night, November 30th at 11pm ET, Christiane Amanpour's Special Investigations Unit, Czar Putin will air.


Mystery Journalist

Can you name this CNN journalist?

Let us know who you think it is and we'll reveal this journalist's identity in Sunday's post.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Rick Sanchez and The Ratings Guru

I've got some real treats for you today. First up is a clip from Thursday morning's American Morning. This crew was having way too much fun for having to work on Thanksgiving Day.

Next we have a clip of Rick Sanchez interviewing the Red Mountain Boys of You Tube fame. Speaking of Rick I really hate to see Out in the Open be replaced by Campbell Brown's new program. Nothing against Brown but Rick is doing a fabulous job and is a great balance to Lou Dobbs. Thanks to Annie Kate for the clip.

And yes, we’ll look at the rest of the week…Nov. 12-16, 2007^

CNN had a stellar performance in its November 15, 2007 debate for all age groups – quite a feat as Adults 18-34 typically don’t watch a lot of main stream television channels, let alone political debates. But the event did well with all ages for a number of reasons:
• It was in November and television viewership is high with the new season in full swing (well, at least until the networks run out of scripts due to the writer’s strike, then things will get really interesting, and maybe pretty boring…how does 5 days a week of American Idol sound?).
• Eastern Standard Time is back, and yes, believe it or not it spurs television viewership.
• The primary season is upon us (60+ days) and US audiences are more interested in the candidates and what they have to say.
• There has started to be a real defining dialog that is pointing out differences in the candidates and people clearly want to hear more.
• Polls are showing there are great concerns about the direction of the country, and now is the time to start paying attention to what the candidates are saying – polls as well as economic reports do drive interest.
How well did CNN do? The best debate of 2007 so far. There have been 17 debates so far on all networks and cable channels combined, and this past one beat the number two debate by +20%. That is A LOT when the #2 debate on Fox was a republican debate, and although it aired in early September (lower viewing levels) it aired an hour later which can offset the November television viewing levels (called HUTS – Homes Using Television) somewhat.
• CNN has four out of the top 10 debates airing so far in 2007. All three Fox News debates have also ranked in the top 10, but CNN has had both repubs and dems. Democrats have not agreed to this point to do a debate on Fox News citing they believe the channel would be biased. MSNBC has two in the top 10, their third knocked out by a well viewed one on ABC in August.
• It will be very interesting to see if the republican YouTube debate delivers the same young audience the democratic version did. This latest debate is almost a statistical dead heat in Adults 18-34 delivery in comparison to the July YouTube debate, which is pretty astounding. July television viewership levels are very low, but young adults tuned in. We’ll see what happens with a debate format that clearly appeals to young viewers airing in the high viewing levels of November. It is the last day of the November Sweep, but luckily a Wednesday – not up against GREY’S ANATOMY and CSI on the networks.

Okay, now let’s see what else happened last week. Next to the audience figures is the percent increase or decrease from last week:


Fox News: 510,000 -11%
CNN: 231,000* +37%
MSNBC: 284,000 -2%

The only real point of note is Bill O’Reilly keeps topping his best performance at least one night a week – and it was Monday for him last week – 691,000 Adults 25-54. He fell steadily for the rest of the week winding up losing 43% of his audience on Friday versus Monday – go figure…He was then off to Afghanistan for the weekend to see the troops. His audience average is off from last week due to a weak performance against the CNN debate and his usual Friday fall off of audience. OUT IN THE OPEN is up nicely even applying the 4 day average to five days to eliminate the debate audience. It is the program, on a percentage basis, improving the most from last week. COUNTDOWN is basically statistically even with last week as 2% falls within Nielsen’s margin of error.


Fox News: 361,000 -20%
CNN: 330,000** +0%
MSNBC: 142,000*** -7%

Again, because of the strong debate performance, HANNITY & COLMES is down from its prior week’s performance. Even though we have subtracted the debate out of LKL’s numbers, the weakness on Thursday night greatly affected H&C’s performance for the week. LKL’s audience is flat from last week, which is not a bad thing since the other two programs are down. Again, CNN had such an enormous impact for the week with the debate, it severely stunted other programming across the board – a real plus!


Fox News: 345,000 -4%
CNN: 367,000 +34%
MSNBC: 193,000 +0%

Now don’t get too excited here. Yes, it is a win for 360 over GRETA – the first in a long, long time, but there is a BIG qualifier. I used the debate analysis audience on Thursday night as CNN smartly coded it a 360 broadcast and therefore Nielsen had to report it as a true 360 broadcast. We all know that program never comes close to doing 727,000 Adults 25-54 (even fire coverage was in the 500,000 range – and that was very high for the program). But, fair is fair, and if it is coded and labeled by Nielsen as 360, we have the right to average it with the other nights. Friday night, “Cooperless” dropped dramatically to 242,000, a -34% decline from the week’s average. MSNBC investigations were basically equal to last week’s performance.

So, overall a good week for CNN, but they can give a big thank you for the help from the debate. Let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll see you next week.
Ratings Guru

*4 day average applied to 5 days because of the debate pre-empting programming on one day.
**4 day average applied to 5 days because of the debate pre-empting programming on one day.
***4 day average applied to five days. Dan Abrams does not air on Fridays.
^Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Adults 25-54 LIVE + SAME DAY (LS) Fast Track Nationals.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Cross Over

The great thing about a sister network is you have the great opportunity to have your personalities appear on other shows besides their own. With CNN and Headline News we get to see many of the anchors and reporters appear on various shows. Whether it is Erica Hill on AC 360 or Nancy Grace on Larry King Live, the cross over is a great tool CNN takes advantage of often.

In case you missed it, Anderson Cooper was on Glenn Beck’s show tonight interviewing Glenn for the full hour about his life, his career and his new book, "An Inconvenient Book." If you did miss tonight’s episode, never fear. Headline News will be re airing the episode on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7 and 9 p.m. ET

Here is a clip from tonight’s show.

ATC wants to wish all our American readers a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

2007 Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting of Congress

Drew Griffin will be the recipient of the The National Press Foundation's 2007 Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting of Congress.

The Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting of Congress recognizes one print journalist and one broadcast journalist individuals whose work shows thoughtful appraisal and insight into the workings of the U.S. Congress. The two winning print and broadcast journalists win prizes of $5,000 each. The award is presented at the 25th Annual Awards Dinner on Thursday, February 28, 2008 at the Hilton Washington Hotel.

Some past CNN winners have included: Ed Henry (2005), Candy Crowley (2003, 1998), Dana Bash (2002), and Jonathan Karl (2001).

Monday, November 19, 2007

Holiday Programming Schedule

If you are looking for something to watch while you're cooking your Thanksgiving feast, tune to CNN for a Special Investigations Unit and CNN Presents Marathon. So put your turkey in the oven and tune into CNN for five great documentaries. But please, don't forget to check on Tom Turkey in between programs! (Please click title for full text.)

On Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 22, CNN will broadcast five of its most popular CNN: Special Investigations Unit and CNN Presents documentaries, featuring anchors Larry King, Sanjay Gupta, Soledad O’Brien and Don Lemon.

The 12-hour marathon begins at 1 p.m. with all times Eastern:

· CNN: Special Investigations Unit – Growing Up Diana – (Airs 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.; 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and on Friday, Nov. 23, from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m.) – CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien investigates the lesser-known early life of one of the most famous women of all time – through rare interviews with Princess Diana’s childhood nannies, friends and family members.

· CNN: Special Investigations Unit – James Brown – Say it Proud – (Airs 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.; 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.; and on Friday, Nov. 23, from 4 a.m. to 5 a.m.) – CNN Newsroom anchor Don Lemon unravels the multiple paradoxes of James Brown, who rose from abject poverty to the heights of fame and wealth. Brown’s career and life reflected the culture and politics of the times in which he lived.

· CNN: Special Investigations Unit – Fed Up: America’s Killer Diet – (Airs 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.; 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and on Friday, Nov. 23, from midnight to 1 a.m.) – Just in time for the holiday of excessive eating, CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on the surprising science behind how nutrition affects the body and brain – and how unhealthy food remains central to the American diet despite growing consumer awareness about health.

· CNN: Special Investigations Unit – Chasing Life – (Airs 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.; and on Friday, Nov. 23, from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m.) – In a documentary based upon his book also called Chasing Life, Gupta reveals whether there is a longevity gene; whether cutting calories or exercise contributes more to a longer life; if anti-aging supplements are a waste of money; if stem cell therapy can reverse or stop the aging process and much more.

· CNN Presents: Larry King – 50 Years of Pop Culture – (Airs 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Friday, Nov. 23 from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.) – CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest guide viewers on a two-hour tribute to Larry King. King’s family, icons, pals and celebrities – including former President George H.W. Bush, Mariah Carey, Walter Cronkite, Mark Geragos, Jon Bon Jovi, Kermit the Frog and Dolly Parton – offer insights into King’s life and his place as an American institution.

· CNN: Special Investigations Unit – Danger: Poisoned Food – (Airs 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.) Gupta journeys from the fields to the dinner table to diagnose how tainted spinach, lettuce, chicken and other foods enter the food supply, how the dangers can be avoided and how federal interventions and guidelines currently under debate offer protection.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! I hope your holiday is filled with love, happiness, friendship and fun! ~Sheryn

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Candy Crowley

In February, 2007, posted an interview CNN's Senior Political Correspondent, Candy Crowley. Below are a few excerpts from the interview:

Did you always want to be a journalist?

I always wanted to be a writer. But the problem with being a writer is, unless you've written your first book, they don't pay you a whole lot to sit at your house and write. So this fulfilled the need to have a paycheck. And since then I've grown to love journalism.

How'd you get your foot in the door?

My first job was at WASH-FM when it was a MetroMedia station in Washington. I just worked this minimum wage split shift thing. Basic gopher work, calling around to find out what happened the night before.

I went from there to AP, but I had an interim with UPI for about six minutes. You work with the wires when you're a local station. It's easy to get to know those people. So I had accepted a job at UPI, and then I quickly got a job with AP.

Then I went from AP to Mutual Broadcasting. And then I went from Mutual back to AP. And I had children. Then I went from AP to NBC. And then to CNN.

Take me through a typical week, if one exists.

There's really not a typical week, which is the best part of it. I love the travel. I love that the '08 election has started so early, because it gets me out and gets me going.

In an election year, there's a lot of being away from home. This is sort of an election year, even though this isn't THE election year. So there's travel several times a month. So in that week, it's airports – Cleveland, Des Moines, Columbus, Nashua.

When I'm home for the week, sometimes there are things coming up that I know will be a story, so there are things I'll work on. Like ahead of the State of the Union –- what's the political dynamic as Bush gives his speech?

Other times the story will come to you – someone will literally run into your office and say something like 'John Kerry's not running in '08.'

And then you try to pick up a little news. You make as many phone calls as you can in the morning to pick up what's out there and generate a little news.

Who do you look up to?

One of my all-time favorites is Tom Brokaw. I think he is terrific. Peter Jennings, same thing. I just thought they were consummate reporters and anchors. In terms of reporters, Lord, I can't start, because there are a lot of them out there that are really good, that are poets in their own light, and are really good reporters.

And you're in that category now, too.

I've never tried to stand out or make a name for myself. I always just wanted to do the story. If you do stand out and make a name for yourself, that's great. But I don't know anybody – well, yeah, I do – most people I know are in this because they love to find things out. They love to report, they love to tell things, they love to relay things to people. I'm consistently startled when people come up to me.


Yeah, I still am. It's just me walking through the airport. I don't think 'Wow, this is Candy Crowley walking through the airport.' It's hard to see yourself as anything other than the mom or the friend, because that's who you really are.


Monday, November 19th is the birthday of two CNN legends, founder, Ted Turner, and Larry King.


Mystery Journalist

This week's Mystery Journalist was Newsroom anchor, Heidi Collins.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ratings and James Carville

The ratings for last Thursday's debate were unbelievable! CNN not only scored the highest ratings of any debate but they also claim it was the highest ratings to date of any primary debate on record.

The total viewing audience was well over 4 million. On an average night CNN's prime time can bring in 800,000 to over a million. Way to go CNN!


According to TVNewser:

CNN To Do Better Job of Disclosing Carville-Clinton Connection

In the hangover of what was the highest-rated debate of the primary season, CNN execs are admitting they need to do a better job of disclosing that one of the members of their "Best Political Team on Television" is a friend and "maxed-out" donor to the Presidential campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Speaking about the Clintons, political strategist and CNN contributor James Carville tells the NYTimes he is "close to them" but has "never been paid a nickel by her."
CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein says going forward CNN anchors will be explicit about the Carville-Clinton connection. "He's not on the Hillary payroll, but he's on the Hillary bandwagon, and that should be disclosed as much as we can," Klein told The Times. "I wasn't comfortable with it myself as I watched it."

Friday, November 16, 2007

Behind The Scenes in Las Vegas

Wolf Blitzer & Bill Schneider
photo: CNN

Did you miss last night's CNN debate? The debate will be rebroadcast on CNN several times this weekend. (All times listed are ET.)

  • Saturday: 6p, 10p
  • Sunday: 1a, 4a, 6p, 10p
  • Monday: 1a, 4a

Gloria Borger & Wolf Blitzer
photo: CNN

Want to watch the debate right now? The debate is also available for download from CNN's website at:

The debate is available in both iPod compatible and Microsoft Windows Media formats.

photo: CNN

This week's CNN All Access podcast takes a behind the scenes look at the Las Vegas debate.

The podcast is available for download at:

Campbell Brown & John Roberts
photo: CNN

The behind the scenes look includes insights from:

  • Sam Feist, CNN's Political Director
  • Wolf Blitzer
  • Campbell Brown
  • John Roberts.

You can also view the clip below.

While browsing through CNN's debate web page, I came across this cartoon by Mike Mikula. Don't you just love the dealer?


In a press release, CNN announced a new assignment for correspondent Kyung Lah. Below are a few excerpts:

CNN Newsource correspondent Kyung Lah has been appointed as a Tokyo-based international correspondent assigned to cover Japan and other regional assignments; it was announced today by Parisa Khosravi, senior vice president of international newsgathering for CNN.

Lah recently worked on assignment in Tokyo for CNN International covering a broad range of business, technology and sporting stories including the dramatic China Air plane crash in Okinawa and growing concern over the safety of nuclear facilities situated in earth quake zones.

“To be able to recruit such a strong candidate for an international assignment from within CNN shows the depth of skills and talent that we have across our networks,” Khosravi said. “Kyung has a real passion for international news, and her Newsource experience will be invaluable as she serves the demands of CNN’s many networks and services.”


Mystery Journalist

Can you name this CNN journalist?

Let us know who you think it is and we'll reveal this journalist's identity in Sunday's post.