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Saturday, December 29, 2007

What they do best...

I wanted to start with some clean-up items from early in the week: above is an interesting view from behind the anchor desk at CNN Atlanta. Rob Marciano was in the chair; directly in front of him you can see the large screen for the remote of the people he was interviewing. To the left and right of that screen are the cameras (#2 on the left), with TelePromptrs above the screen showing what is being broadcast. (It's been a few years since I was on a broadcast floor, but it looks to me that CNN utilizes the view-thru TPs set directly in front of the camera lens so that the reader is looking straight into the camera. If anyone has better info on that, please let me know.) At Rob's right elbow is his laptop, and don't you always wonder what they are checking on those?

Everybody's been joking about John King and his tendency to not wear weather-appropriate clothing... but here we have Dana Bash (in Des Moines, Iowa) asking TJ Holmes (in Atlanta) to check whether John (in Manchester, NH) has his gloves on. And getting to see that he really does.

During American Morning on Thursday, the news about Benazir Bhutto's assassination started slowly. Kiran Chetry and Rob Marciano were hosting (John Roberts was off) and the early reports were that there had been an explosion but that she was safe. Kiran was speaking with John King about the political scene when the news of her death broke. Nearly immediately they had telephone interviews with Zain Verjee and other International correspondents. And John, as you can see above, was utilizing his BlackBerry to contact sources at the White House and State Department for comment.

Throughout the past three days, CNN was constantly updating the fast-changing details of the story. By Friday night, Anderson Cooper and Peter Bergen were in Karachi to do a live broadcast. This is what CNN does better than anyone. And they are full-on with the commitment to international bureaus and to the technology that allows their reporters to get the story to us.

Which brings us to...

Where In The World...?

The week started with thoughts on politics and finishing the Christmas shopping. Dana Bash reported from Des Moines the first half of the week, including Christmas Day. John King was in Manchester on Sunday and Monday, took Christmas off, and was in NYC Wednesday to host AC360; Thursday he was the go-to guy in the NY studio from American Morning right through to 360. Meanwhile, John Roberts worked the holiday but clearly went home right afterwards, hosting AM from DC on Wednesday and then taking Thursday off. Arwa Damon reported from London all week, covering everything from post-Christmas shopping to the reaction to the Bhutto murder. Wolf Blitzer may have planned to take a few days off, since he hosted the Thursday and Friday editions of The Situation Room from New York. Nic Robertson was reporting on the Pakistan crisis from various cities in Switzerland; no indication as to why he is there. And as mentioned, Anderson Cooper and Peter Bergen were in Karachi, Pakistan on Friday, although an announced Saturday edition of 360 did not happen.

This is a clip from last year on another piece of technology: Nic Robertson's awesome cellphone:

That's a wrap for 2007... 2008 promises to start out at a gallop, with the crisis in Pakistan still at a full boil and the Iowa caucuses on Thursday. (CNN will have live coverage "all night" of the caucus results.) See you on the other side.


Phebe said...

Nic's camera is amazing.

It was fortuitous that JK was in the NYC studios when the Pakistan news broke. I really don't want to turn to Rob Marciano for my serious news.

Pati Mc said...

Hi Cyn,

Awesome post! Thank you!

As to CNN using the view-thru TelePrompTers, you are correct. I toured the newsroom in Atlanta, the very one pictured here and that is what they use. As part of the tour, I was chosen to sit behind the anchor desk and read. It was a blast! The view-thru's work so well too, because you really don't notice the camera in your face quite as much as you are too busy reading. LOL. Quite cool.

Phebe, I agree with you. Love Rob, but cannot adjust to him delivering serious news. Just does not seem to be his forte, as it were.

As to no AC 360 special last night, it was disappointing, but I would truly rather have Anderson safe and back in time to rest and have fun in Times Square. Frankly I believe that it was too dangerous for him and just not worth the risk. If that is the case - sincere thanks to CNN for having the foresight to bring him home.

Sapphire said...

Yea JK put gloves on.....he is improving.

I did not get to see American Morning Thursday but I am glad JK was there to cover the Bhutto assassination.