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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ratings At A Glance

Ratings for the week SEPTEMBER 22 - SEPTEMBER 26, 2008

Campbell Brown Election Center CNN September 26, 2008
Adults 25-54
Larry King Live CNN September 25, 2008
Adults 25-54
FOX889,500 1
CNN735,500 1
MSNBC593,500 1
Anderson Cooper AC360 CNN September 25, 2008
Adults 25-54
MSNBC472,000 2

The news was full of scary headlines last week with the economic problems and financial institute failures becoming worse. The ratings for the week also saw a bit of a shake up. FOX had the highest average of viewers Adult 25 - 54 during both the 8PM and 10PM hours. During the 8PM hour MSNBC took the second highest average ratings with CNN following in third. During the 9PM hour, CNN reclaimed the second highest average ratings over MSNBC.

The 10PM found CNN with the highest average demo for the week with FOX trailing close behind. Anderson Cooper 360 had the highest demo rating four out of five nights at 10PM.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2008
Adults 25-54
Presidential Debate CNN September 26, 2008

Friday night was the first Presidential Debate between Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama. CNN had the highest Adults 25 - 54 demographic during the debate with FOX coming in second and MSNBC third.

1 4 day average. Friday Presidential Debate excluded.

2 4 day average. MSNBC aired additional Presidential Debate coverage during the 10PM hour.

^ Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Demographics where noted; Live + Same Day (LS) Fast Track Nationals.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Morning Meetings

Recently, Kyra Phillips has been giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the morning meetings where program content is decided. What do you get when you fill a room of news junkies (and their Blackberrys!) and ask what stories need to be covered? Well, these clips will give you an idea.

This first clip is a discussion about about Governor Palin's excellent UN adventure:

The next clip focuses on the economic meltdown:

Will the debate happen or not?

The Katie Couric interview of Palin:

Citizen protests nationwide over the planned Wall Street bailout:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Baghdad Correspondent Michael Ware was part of "The Best Political Team in the World" (nod to Jeffrey Toobin) following Friday night's debate, but got far more air time on Saturday, when both Roland Martin and John King had him on their respective specials looking back at what was and wasn't said.

On John's special, Michael spoke first about Iraq:

...and then about Iran:

(Michael's segment on Roland's show also delved into Afghanistan; you can head over to my site if you want to check that out, since I neglected to split it in two before trying to entice Blogger into uploading it...)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This press release came out today -- great idea to have the General on board for more than just the hurricanes:
Lt. Gen. Honoré Joins CNN as Emergency Preparedness Contributor
Retired Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré, best known for his service as commander of Joint Task Force Katrina in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina three years ago, has joined CNN as the emergency preparedness contributor to CNN Worldwide, it was announced by Nancy Lane, senior vice president of newsgathering for CNN/U.S.  He appeared on CNN most recently amid the network’s coverage of Hurricane Ike.
In this role, Honoré lends his expertise and inside knowledge while assessing government efforts amid crises and recovery efforts. Through his reports and assistance, CNN will continue to keep government officials accountable in those situations.
He also contributes his expertise on disaster preparedness, response and recovery activities to CNN’s leading reports throughout the hurricane season and other potential crisis situations.  His reports appear across CNN’s numerous networks and services including CNN/U.S., CNN International,, Live, CNN Radio and CNN Newsource. They provide viewers with practical tips for preparing for and surviving disasters as well as keep government officials and agencies honest when it comes to dealing with large disasters and crisis’s.
 “General Honoré brings to CNN’s global audience an intimate knowledge of managing crises and executing emergency preparedness,” Lane said. “After Katrina, the general was universally viewed as a hero, and our viewers will no doubt trust and connect with him as he contributes to our up-to-the-minute coverage.”
As commander of Joint Task Force Katrina, Honoré led the Department of Defense’s response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita across Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, which included the operations of more than 22,000 military personnel, 200 aircraft and 20 ships.  Additionally, as vice director for operations for the Joint Staff and as commander of the Standing Joint Force Headquarters-Homeland Security, U.S. Northern Command, Honoré’s focused his work on defense support to civil authorities and homeland defense. For four of the past six hurricane seasons, he supported the Department of Defense’s planning and response for hurricanes on domestic and international soil.
“I’m delighted to be able to join CNN and take advantage of the network’s vast resources and services and be able to address the audience in those areas affected,” Honoré said. “Everyone needs to be prepared for unexpected and uncontrollable events, and CNN is an ideal platform to inform and educate.”
In a previous role as commander of First Army – the command responsible for mobilizing and training National Guard and Reserve troops – Honoré oversaw the training and deployment of more than 500,000 military personnel across all services.  This effort comprised the largest military deployment since World War II and focused on the Army’s combat medical capability, as well as the overall medical readiness of all personnel mobilized in support of operations in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Egypt, Guantanamo Bay and Iraq.  
After retiring from the Army earlier this year with 37 years of active service, Honoré now speaks and consults nationally about emergency preparedness.
A native of Lakeland, La., Honoré was commissioned as a second lieutenant of infantry after earning his bachelor’s degree in vocational agriculture from Southern University and A&M College.  He also holds a master’s degree in human resources from Troy State University and honorary doctorates from Southern University and A&M College and Stillman College.
That's it for me this week. Our Keeper of the Calendar, Ms. Sapphire, alerted me that tomorrow is CNN International's Anniversary, so a big shout-out to all the CNN/I staff, and I hope you guys get cake! 

Also, today is Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) so I'd like to wish all observers Shana Tova

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and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Best Political Team in Jeopardy?

Friday on American Morning, John Roberts interviewed Bono about his experience at the United Nations last week. I've clipped the interview in two parts and also posted the text from the CNN transcript:

ROBERTS: Welcome back to the most news in the morning. And time now for an AMERICAN MORNING exclusive.

U2 front man Bono was one of the most recognizable faces at the United Nations general assembly this week. As leaders from countries around the world attended the general assembly, Bono and his ONE Foundation were lobbying for aid to fight disease, hunger and poverty in developing nations and quite successfully as well.

He joins us now for an exclusive interview. It's great to see you this morning. Thanks for joining us.

BONO: Good to be here.

ROBERTS: So, you know, all this talk has been about the economy collapsing, $700 billion bailout. Congress is absolutely absorbed with that.

Did that, in any way, affect what you were trying to do this week? Are people more focused on this economy than in helping out developing nations?

BONO: Well, we got good news this week. I know normally I'm on your program you have bad news, the wingie (ph) rock star, but it's great. You know the disease malaria, it's 3,000 African kids die every day of mosquito bites. Sounds mad, but it's true.

And people have committed and looks like the funds are on the table so that disease will be no more by 2015. That makes people like me punch the air and everyone who wears the ONE T-shirts and all our white band campaign in college campuses all over the country.

They -- it was a great day for them yesterday. So we're celebrating that. I know it's extraordinary, that while you're having this meltdown on the markets that this -- you know that people could even concentrate on this stuff, but I'm really grateful that they did.

We have both candidates make, you know, very powerful statements about the necessity for, you know, nonmilitary tools, for instance, in foreign policy. And that this is an America that both candidates want to show to the rest of the world, the greatness of America.

ROBERTS: So you're hearing what you want to hear from these candidates?

BONO: Yes. And you couldn't imagine a few years ago that you would have candidates so close to the election talking about this stuff, so yes.

ROBERTS: Yes. You were talking to Christine Romans outside the studio, who just did that piece for us a few minutes ago on what else could you do with $700 billion?

What could you do with $700 billion?

BONO: We wouldn't be asking for that kind of money. I mean these are serious matters. People lost their jobs. But for -- I think the world, the bill for the whole world so America would be like about a third of it.

For $25 billion, you could absolutely change the world. So you could put kids in school, most kids in school. You could eradicate diseases like malaria, as we're saying. We could change the water supplies.

But what's important is -- you know, is that people who want to change the world want to see their country -- want to be -- they see it as a patriotic act to show the world the -- you know, innovation of America, technology of America, pharmacology of America.

ROBERTS: You -- for $25 billion, you could put every kid who's out of school in the world into school?

BONO: Yes.

ROBERTS: That seems like a lot of people for $25 billion.

BONO: Yes. Well...

ROBERTS: That's a pretty good return on your investment.

BONO: It's a great return on investment. You heard me on your program before talking about debt cancellation? Strangely Americans don't know that because of debt cancellation there are already an extra 29 million African children in the school.

That's unbelievable. And because people got out on the streets in the Red campaign and stuff like that, there's now, I think, 2.5 million Africans on AIDS drugs, which are expensive.

So your country's -- it's turning for me in the right direction on these issues.

ROBERTS: So you're hearing some of what you want to hear, particularly on malaria issues.

BONO: Yes.

ROBERTS: But European Union had promised to increase aid by $50 billion between 2005 and 2010. Looks like they're going to fall $40 billion short.

BONO: They are, but they're still ahead of America. That's the bad news. You don't want to get me into the ring.

ROBERTS: Oh yes, absolutely. Come on. That's why you're here.

BONO: No, no, no. We've meeting with Sarkozy this week, as well as, you know, talking with the McCain and Palin and as well as always talking with the Obama campaign.

We do keep up the pressure on the Europeans, but the Europeans are way ahead of America on these aid -- on aids, so just to put it in context. But you're right. They're not coming through on all of it. And we will torture them, too. That's our job. ROBERTS: You talk a lot about these United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

BONO: Yes.

ROBERTS: Let me just go over a couple of those. It was supposed to cut global poverty in half by the year 2015, universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment by 2015, begin to reverse the incidence of malaria by 2015.

How far along that road are we?

BONO: The Millennium Development Goals are in a bit of trouble. And it is astonishing to me...

ROBERTS: And whose fault is that?

BONO: Well, you know, politicians, they love signing checks, but they don't love cashing them. They love the photographs. And, you know, these G8 meetings, you'll see myself and my partner Bob Geldof, you know, arm wrestling and, you know, politicians up against the wall.

ROBERTS: You're really effective in doing that.

BONO: Yes.

ROBERTS: You get access to a lot of places.

BONO: Yes, it's true. And...

ROBERTS: I remember that I was on a -- I was on a trip with President Bush once, and you walked on Air Force One, and the (INAUDIBLE) watching you do it.

BONO: Well, it's the absurdity of celebrity. You know I don't consider myself a celebrity in this sense, I think I'm an activist who knows what he's talking about.

But yes, we get access, and we use it. And it's true that there was a very ambitious plan signed up in 2005 that further committed what was decided in the year 2000, that we could actually, across eight goals, completely change the face of poverty and hunger in the world.

And there was a $25 billion bill by 2010 that would enable them to do that. They haven't come through on that. And another day I'll tell you why, but today I'm punching the air because malaria will be no more by 2015.

And it's Americans, people from the private sector, Peter Chernan there, you know, Ray Chambers -- all kinds of people, Bill Gates. Your mayor of this city, you know...

ROBERTS: Bloomberg, yes. BONO: Bloomberg is an amazing guy. He's working on this stuff. I just want Americans to know that side of their country because I'm a fan of America. And, again, that you have candidates, you know, like John McCain taking time out this week to talk to us. Barack Obama before. This is fantastic.

ROBERTS: I was reading your blog on

BONO: Yes, I'm a reporter as well as you right now.

ROBERTS: You've been writing all week, doing a great job, too. You mentioned in one of your pieces that you've been writing some lyrics. And I'm wondering where the lyrics are going.

BONO: The lyrics. Statistics don't rhyme. I -- you know, songwriting comes from such a different part of my brain and such a different part of my -- just who I am.

ROBERTS: And are you writing about all this?

BONO: No, it's strange. It's very strange. I used to work in a garage when I was a kid, you know, pumping gas, and I used to dream when I was -- pumping the gas about getting to rehearsals on a Saturday, you know, so I could be with my band and write songs.

The work that I'm doing now, as we say, we're working like a dog, living like a Shih Tzu. We're like spoiled people. We travel well, but we work on these issues.


BONO: Because you're working for the world's poor, we work like dogs. But I find myself at times, sometimes, I just wake up in the morning, and I just want to be back with my band in a rehearsal room.

ROBERTS: Right. And you will be soon. New CD coming out next year.

BONO: I'm not complaining about the work. This is the most inspiring thing I've ever been involved in my life, and it's working. It really is working. And that's why I'm on your show this morning. I just want to thank Americans really.

ROBERTS: And we want to thank you for coming in this morning.

BONO: Thank you.

ROBERTS: It's really great to see you. Good luck on the new CD coming out next year, right?.

BONO: Thanks.

ROBERTS: Looking forward to it.

Bono, good to see you. Thanks for coming in.

BONO: Thank you.

If you are a frequent viewer of CNN, you may have developed the impression that the Best Political Team On Television has all of the answers. Well, on Thursday night, they will have the answers as they provide the clues on Jeopardy.

Anderson Cooper CNN Jeopardy September 2008Bill Schneider CNN Jeopardy September 2008Campbell Brown CNN Jeopardy September 2008Candy Crowley CNN Jeopardy September 2008Wolf Blitzer CNN Jeopardy September 2008

It looks like Anderson Cooper, Bill Schneider, Campbell Brown, Candy Crowley, and Wolf Blitzer are among those delivering answers. Here's a look at promo that ran yesterday afternoon on CNN:

The Metro ran an article by Tom Forman on Friday: Selling off the rest of the Wall St. rubble. No surprise that this week's article would be about the impending bailout.

Let’s say you walk into an office building filled with busy people doing all those things that people in offices do, and suddenly a guy appears with a big fat wallet.

"Listen,” he says in a money-filled drawl, “I’ve got $10 million for you if you can just make sure nothing bad happens here in the next 30 minutes.”

You start walking the floors, and 29 minutes later you smell smoke. What do you do? If you are a caring human being, you pull the fire alarm and say goodbye to your almost fortune.

Or, if you bear no direct blood ties to Mother Teresa, you say nothing, collect the money and tell the fire crews, “Hey, it wasn’t burning when I was in charge!”

That’s why Congress spent much of this week arguing for limits on CEO pay as part of the bailout package. For decades now, Wall Street has been moving deeper into a realm where rewards are based on fast bucks and blind eyes toward future problems.

In the 1970s, the average CEO made only 35 times as much as the average worker, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Back then, the big boss still had to keep the place running, the income flowing, the widgets selling for 15 or 20 years before he could safely afford three houses, six cars, and a year-round vacation schedule. Today, that same CEO makes about 275 times as much as his employee. At a paltry $25 million a year, he can work two weeks and retire with as much money as the average American family will make in 20 years.

That trend promotes, by the reckoning of many analysts, a really weird way of looking at business. Long-term survival of a company? Who cares? Being a good corporate citizen interested in the stability of your workers’ lives or careers, their neighborhoods, or your country? Are you kidding?

If we were talking about just the dealings of private businesses, perhaps we could all shrug and go back to hemorrhaging our own money at the gas pumps. But what we are talking about now is us, the American taxpayers, picking up the tab for the bad decisions these highly paid professionals have made. A $700-billion tab.

The funny thing is, everyone on Wall Street could smell the smoke years ago. So even the slowest politician knows, voters are not going to be very happy if part of the payout goes to the guys and gals who did not pull the fire alarm. | Catch Tom Foreman on CNN every Saturday at 6 p.m. on This Week in Politics for a look back at the presidential campaign trail.

The Election Express Bus is on the move! Here's the latest on where it will be stopping:

10/2Vice Presidential Debate
St. Louis, MO
10/3 – 10/4Oktoberfest
St. Louis, MO
10/7Presidential Debate
Nashville, TN

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Help for Haiti

We have had so much coverage of the damage done to the American Gulf Coast by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, but the country of Haiti has been ravaged by four hurricanes. The devastation there is just incredible. People have been without food for days, clean water is practically non-existent, and getting help to the desperate population is very, very difficult.

Last weekend, Don Lemon interviewed Wyclef Jean and Matt Damon, who have recently returned from a trip there with an organization delivering aid. The interview was presented in two parts.

Part 1:

Part 2:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tuesday, Dan Rivers did a follow-up regarding the Marriott bombing in Islamabad:

Wednesday, Kiran Chetry interviewed Lance Armstrong about his planned return to the Tour de France:

Last Saturday, Miles O'Brien called in to discuss the unusual preparations for the next shuttle launch. For the first time in many years, a second shuttle is also on the launch pad; but for the first time, the reason is that it may be needed for a rescue mission should anything go wrong:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Where in the World...?

SATURDAY: Miles O'Brien was in New York and reported on the upcoming shuttle launch; Suzanne Malveaux was in Jacksonville, Florida with the Obama campaign; Nic Robertson was in Jalalabad, Pakistan, where he reported on the bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad.

SUNDAY: Ed Lavendera was in Galveston, Texas as evacuated residents began to return; Suzanne was in Charlotte, North Carolina with the Obama campaign; Dan Rivers was in Islamabad, Pakistan to report about the Marriott bombing.

Jeffrey Toobin was in Greensboro, North Carolina; Dana Bash was in Washington in the morning but in Media, Pennsylvania with the McCain campaign in the afternoon; Zain Verjee was in New York for the UN General Assembly meeting; Wolf Blitzer and Larry King also did their programs from New York.

TUESDAY: Christiane Amanpour reported from the UN; Candy Crowley was in Tampa and Clearwater, Florida with the Obama campaign; Dana was in Middleburg Heights, Ohio with the McCain campaign; John King was in Aurora, Colorado to focus on that Battleground State.

WEDNESDAY: Suzanne was in Miami with the Obama campaign; Candy was in Clearwater, Florida with the Obama campaign; Dana was in New York; John King was in Helena, Montana to focus on that Battleground State.

THURSDAY: Suzanne was in Oxford, Mississippi in preparation for the presidential debate; Dana was in New York in the morning and Washington in the afternoon to cover the financial bailout meeting on Capitol Hill; John King was in Marysville, Montana (above); John Roberts hosted Election Center.

FRIDAY: Candy and Dana were in Oxford, Mississippi for the debate; Soledad O'Brien was in Columbus, Ohio with a panel of debate-viewers grading the debate; John King, Michael Ware, and Christiane Amanpour were part of the panel discussing the debate in New York.

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and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Other Side of the Debate

Tonight, we saw the first debate between the 2008 Presidential Candidates. CNN covered the debate, but did you realize that TV wasn’t the only place that you could watch it? LIVE had full coverage of the debate including a pre and post debate program. Their debate analysis was anchored by Nicole Lapin and Melissa Long.

Prior to the debate CNN Contributors Amy Holmes and Paul Begala discussed the impact of this debate and the expectations of the candidates.

Soledad O’Brien was with a group of voters in Ohio to get their immediate reaction to the debate using metering.

Once the debate started, you had a choice to make. The debate was being broadcast on two streaming live channels on One was very similar to what you would see if you were watching it on TV. The second stream had an enhanced look at the reaction from the group of voters in Ohio. He’s a close up look at the reaction … think of this as the entire debate in under 90 seconds…

During the post debate analysis, Melissa Long followed up with Amy Holmes and Paul Begala. Nicole Lapin spoke with another member of the Best Political Team Online (& on TV), Dana Bash.

If you missed the debate, have no fear. CNN has posted the video to their website (Part 1, 2, & 3) as well as a transcript.

The next debate (this one between the VP candidates) will be on Thursday at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

CNN News and Conventions Revisited

CNN’s Global Audience to Debate the Debates on ‘The Forum’ Provides Destination for Live, Interactive Dialogue During Upcoming Presidential and VP Debates

CNN today announced a cross-platform initiative that enables its global audience to engage in a real-time online dialogue with other viewers and users as well as with select CNN contributors as they watch the upcoming presidential and vice presidential debates. These live, interactive conversations called “Debate the Debate with CNN” kicks off during the first presidential debate on Friday, Sept. 26, and will take place on The Forum,’s recently launched platform for social and political self-expression.

“The Forum is quickly evolving into a community whose members are actively engaging in conversations about today’s hottest topics, in particular the fast-approaching presidential election,” said Rena Golden, senior vice president and executive producer of “The opportunity to host a real-time conversation among viewers during each of the upcoming debates is thrilling, and we look forward to more Internet users joining the thousands already active on The Forum for its first live, interactive dialogue.”

To participate in “Debate the Debate,” online users must register as a member of The Forum at Upon registration, users are provided with simple tools for self-identification, social networking and community-building, including the ability to design a personalized virtual “badge” that graphically depicts their political passions and positions on top issues. Then, on Friday, Sept. 26, beginning at 4 p.m. (ET) with CNN’s special coverage of the first presidential debate, registered users of The Forum can go to to comment on the debate in real time as they watch it simultaneously on CNN or online at Live, the network’s multi-stream, live video news service.

In addition to discussing the debate with other users, registered members of The Forum will have the opportunity to sound off with CNN contributors participating in the live, online conversation. CNN correspondent Candy Crowley, senior political analyst Bill Schneider, political analyst Mark Preston and political contributors Roland Martin and Leslie Sanchez are scheduled to engage in the community during the first presidential debate on Sept. 26.

The Forum provides practical, convenient access to the most current election information, including detailed candidate profiles and platforms; examination of salient issues; an extensive video archive allowing users to hear from the candidates in their own words – raw and uncensored; and links to relevant political Web sites and other resources

CNN Digital Sets Multiple Records in August as Race for White House Intensifies
As Internet users sought up-to-the-minute news and information during the month of August, the CNN Digital Network had the highest average time per person – 35.8 minutes – among the Top 5 news and information sites. Additionally, CNN Digital registered a record 38.8 million unique users in August, securing a 22 percent increase in reach over this time last year. (Source: Nielsen Online Home/Work Panel)

In particular,’s reporting and analysis of the road to the White House kept users turning to the news and information site in record numbers, driving, the online gateway to the site’s up-to-the-minute political coverage, to garner its one billionth page view since launching less than a year ago.

During the Democratic National Convention, CNN Digital attracted more users than any other competitor, making it the No. 1 news and information site for the convention based on total minutes. As the most used online news entity for all four days of the convention, CNN Digital racked up 182.7 million usage minutes, 8.7 million more than MSNBC Digital and 28.7 million more than Yahoo! News. During the convention, served a total of 15.2 million video streams, including 2.5 million live streams from Live, the site’s live, multi-stream video news service. Compared to the 2004 Democratic National Convention, the CNN Digital Network showed growth in average daily unique users garnering a 66 percent increase. (Source: Nielsen Online Custom Data and Nielsen Online, NetView)

On Friday, Aug. 29 – the day after Sen. Barack Obama’s acceptance speech and the day of the highly anticipated announcement of Sen. John McCain’s running mate – a record number of users turned to the CNN Digital Network, breaking multiple records including:
· had its highest traffic day ever with 16.1 million page views.
· CNN Political Ticker – the No. 1 political news blog according to Nielsen Online – also reported its highest trafficked day ever with 2.96 million page views
· received 845 submissions in response to McCain’s selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate – a record number of submissions for a single news event in a 24-hour period
· Nearly 6,000 new contributors registered on
(Source: Nielsen Online and Omniture SiteCatalyst, Global)

In August, CNN Digital set other records as it served 127 million video streams, making August the highest month ever for the network’s video streams served, representing an increase in usage of 88 percent year to date. Live served more than 6.3 million live streams during the month, quadrupling the amount of live video streams served over the prior four-week period. (Source: Nielsen Online and Omniture SiteCatalyst)

Traffic to totaled more than 21 million page views, and the user-generated content destination served 4.2 million videos during the month of August. In addition to politics, other popular topics in the community during August included hurricane-related submissions and contributions from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. First-hand accounts of the Georgia-Russia conflict, which numbered more than 1,200 contributions, added depth, context and detail to CNN's coverage of that on-going international story. (Source: Omniture SiteCatalyst, Global)

As a key component of CNN’s dedicated “Issue #1” coverage of the economy, – CNN’s exclusive business site and the online home of FORTUNE, MONEY and FSB: FORTUNE Small Business magazines – also set a record with 818 thousand unique viewers for the month of August, which is’s highest unique viewer count ever. Also, saw users spend an average of 16.2 minutes per visit on the site in August, a 16 percent increase over last year. Additionally, saw a 28 percent increase in page views over the same time last year.

CNN Mobile remains the No. 1 mobile Internet news provider with 5.8 million unique users, maintaining its top ranking for the 22nd month in a row. CNN Digital Network mobile usage has increased 45 percent since last year. (Source: Nielsen Mobile).

"What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" is a great saying but it could be used just about anywhere. Well maybe not if you appear on the Conan O’Brien show. Anderson Cooper was on Conan’s show last week and shared a story about John Roberts and himself. Well of course the following morning John got an earful from Kiran Chetry and Rob Marciano.

I came across this clip I uploaded of Jessica Yellin talking to Campbell Brown about preparations being doing in St. Paul for the Republican Convention. Things can defiantly happen on live TV but thankfully someone had their eyes open.

All Things CNN wants to send belated birthday wishes to "Mr. Independent", Lou Dobbs who celebrated his birthday on September 24.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fareed Zakaria One-On-One

I was thrilled to discover last Sunday that Fareed Zakaria was doing a one-on-one interview with Lee Kuan Yew, the former Prime Minister and current Minister Mentor, of Singapore. Having lived in Singapore for several years I am not only familiar with Lee, but I am a huge fan. When I first arrived in Singapore I was horrified by the highly controlled society. It was, a first glance, as close to a dictatorship as I'd ever seen. I, as an American, found it all a little stifling. But the longer I lived there the more I appreciated Lee's strong leadership. Without his vision and his strict control who knows if Singapore would be the success story it is today. I think that Lee was one of the few men who could bring prosperity and peace to Singapore after British rule ended in the 1950's.
By way of introduction Fareed Zakaria opened the interview with:

"When I first met Lee Kuan Yew in 1994, I was absolutely struck by him. Richard Nixon once compared him to legendary statesmen like Disraeli, Bismarck and Churchill. But, Nixon said, he occupies a small stage. That stage doesn't look so small anymore.Lee Quan (sic)Yew took a small spit of land in Southeast Asia, which became independent in 1965 after great struggle and anguish, with no resources and a polyglot population of Chinese, Malaysian and Indian workers, and turned it into one of the economic centers of the world.To do this, Lee had to have smart economic policies, but also a shrewd foreign policy that, allied with America, kept China happy, kept Russia and Japan at bay. .....I was struck by the depth of his understanding of the world -- China, Russia and the United States -- all at age 85."

Singapore is composed of 3 divergent factions, the Chinese, the Malays and those of Indian decent. They are Buddhists, Muslims, Christians and Hindus who have learned to celebrate and embrace each others ethnicity, not try to destroy those who don't share the same beliefs. I'm convinced that Singapore would have suffered a similar fate as Iraq or Afghanistan if not for their strong Prime Minister. Detractors point to Lee's heavy hand in leading his country but it is this heavy handedness that put order in a country that could have just as easily dissolved in chaos.
Lee Kuan Yew on our American elections:

Lee on Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan:

This Sunday's Fareed Zakaria GPS has a rare and exclusive interview with the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. Topics will include the worldwide economic crisis as well as diplomatic relations between the United States and China. This marks Wen’s first interview with the American news media in five years.

Fareed Zakaria’s interview with Hamid Karzai, the President of Afghanistan will also be aired during GPS on Sunday. Among the many topics discussed were President Karzai’s impressions after his recent meeting with Republican Vice President candidate Governor Sarah Palin. (interview excerpts courtesy of Fareed Zakaria)

Fareed Zakaria: Mr. President you’ve met many world leaders this week in New York, and you also met a potential world leader, Sarah Palin. What did you make of her?
President Hamid Karzai: Very good impression. Um, a fine person. Informed about issues in Afghanistan. Asked me the right questions and listened very carefully to what I had to say and was not in a hurry. We sat and discussed things. Had a good impression.
Zakaria: But a lot of people here feel that Governor Palin is not well-versed in international affairs.
Karzai: Well, nobody is when you begin a job. I was not well-versed in any such affairs when I took over as the president of Afghanistan and those before us were not. People get onto a stage and begin with that and get onto the next stage. Whoever wins in the United States I’m sure they have a lot to do and they will do it well.

The News and Documentary Emmy's were held this past Monday night at the Frederick P. Rose Hall, located in the Time Warner Center in New York City. Anderson Cooper attended the event as did John Roberts, who presented an award. Unfortunately CNN was not the recipient of any Emmy's this time around.

CNN had mobilized the entire team for coverage of the first Presidential Debates on Friday, but with McCain's suspension of his campaign things are still up in the air at the time of my posting. Here was the plan...who knows if it will hold.

Anchors Wolf Blitzer, Campbell Brown and Anderson Cooper will preside over coverage from New York. The day’s coverage will kick-off with special debate-focused editions of The Situation Room from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., followed by Lou Dobbs Tonight from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Campbell Brown: Election Center from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. The first presidential debate will air from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., with a special edition of Anderson Cooper 360° following from 10:30 p.m. to midnight which will provide analysis and commentary on the evening’s developments. Chief national correspondent John King will be in the studio with the “Magic Wall” to provide in-depth analysis on demographic and delegate data. As the first presidential debate will be focused on foreign affairs, chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour and Baghdad-based correspondent Michael Ware will contribute their analysis from a global perspective.
Throughout the special coverage, senior political analyst Gloria Borger, senior political analyst David Gergen and senior analyst Jeffrey Toobin will be on hand to offer their analysis. Additionally, CNN political contributors Paul Begala, Bill Bennett, Donna Brazile, James Carville, Alex Castellanos, Roland Martin and Leslie Sanchez will provide insight from their perspectives across the ideological spectrum.
CNN correspondents Dana Bash, Candy Crowley, Ed Henry, Suzanne Malveaux, Jessica Yellin and senior political analyst Bill Schneider will be live on location at the debate site with the CNN Election Express in Oxford, Miss. The Election Express will serve not only as an on-the-ground broadcast location, but also as a production facility and newsroom for the CNN political unit.
CNN special correspondent Soledad O’Brien will moderate a focus group in Columbus, Ohio. The group will be comprised of a selection of voters from the hotly contested state. During the debate, the participants will operate electronic dial testers that will allow television viewers to see the group’s reactions in real time. In addition, viewers watching the broadcast in high-definition will see exclusive editorial information and commentary appearing on the side panels of their screens throughout the debate.

That's it for me this week. ~Phebe

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ratings At A Glance

Ratings for the week SEPTEMBER 15, 2008 - SEPTEMBER 19, 2008

Adults 25-54
Adults 25-54
Adults 25-54

FOX had the top average demographic ratings (Adults 25 - 54) in all three time slots this week. Actually, they had the highest numbers in the demographics each day in all three time slots except for Monday, 10PM when CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 took the top spot and Thursday, 8PM when MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show had the highest demographic rating of the time slot.

It should also be noted that MSNBC came in second in both the average demographic ratings for the week in the 9PM time slot and beat CNN four out of five nights.

CNN Headline News does very well in the percentage of Adults 25 - 54 compared to their total viewing audience. Nancy Grace at both 8PM and 10PM has had a 40%+ for each week in the month of September. This week 8PM was 40% and 10PM was 47%. Glenn Beck at 9PM had 38% of his viewers within the demographic and that is slightly down from 39% that he saw in the first two weeks of September. HLN may not always have the highest demographic or total audience numbers, but they tend to consistently draw a higher percent of Adults 25 - 54 viewers.

^ Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Demographics where noted; Live + Same Day (LS) Fast Track Nationals.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Dispatches from the Middle East

It was an unusually hectic week in the Middle East, and CNN correspondents were on top of a lot of events...

On Wednesday, Peter Bergen appeared on AC360 to discuss the suicide bombing in Sanaa, Yemen:

The next day, Ben Wedeman was in Sanaa and toured the site:

(Ben also wrote a short blog report on it, which has a great line in it about CNN's ability to get access:  Aftermath of a suicide bombing)

Cal Perry is back in Baghdad,  and on Monday he reported on SecDef Gates' arrival for the handover from General Petraeus to General Odierno:

On Tuesday, Cal did a background piece on Odierno:

Friday, Cal reported on a soldier whose family is desperately trying to learn his fate. Apparently, he was murdered by one of the men under his command:

(For some good news coming out of Iraq, read the article by Dexter Filkins that ran in yesterday's NYT: Back in Iraq, Jarred by the Calm)

Octavia Nasr reported on a fatwa leveled at Mickey Mouse...

Saturday, a truck bomb nearly brought down the Marriott hotel in Islamabad. Nic Robertson reported early from Jalalabad:

Sunday afternoon, Reza Sayah did a follow-up that included the surveillance footage of the truck burning in front of the hotel:

And Sunday night, Dan Rivers did a further follow-up and discussed how the interior of the hotel looked:

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mr. Clean?

Last weekend on Fareed Zakaria GPS, Zakaria spoke with Thomas Friedman about the Russia’s invasion of Georgia and the politics of climate change. Friedman’s latest book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded is number one on the New York Times Bestseller list this week. The interview was broken into two parts: Part One & Part Two

I stumbled upon an article, Running On Adrenaline, in the Wilmington News Journal, about Sen. Biden’s campaign activities. The article starts out discussing the entourage that follows the Vice Presidential candidate including the secret service and the media.

Now, inside the chartered Boeing 737, [the secret service] relaxed -- even cut up a little -- their hidden-by-day handguns peeking from the waistbands of their pants as they roamed the rear of the aircraft, bantering with members of the traveling press.

"This guy here is Viking," one agent said, pointing to a full-bearded television crewman, one of about 25 journalists covering Biden's every footstep for the last three weeks.

"This guy's Mr. Clean," the agent said, rattling off another nickname and pointing to the bald-headed man from CNN. "This guy's Bubba. That one back there, he's Gadget."

At a little after 10 p.m., levity was allowed.

So, who’s CNN’s Mr. Clean?

The latest Metro article by Tom Foreman is entitled: The Economy Spins ’round And ’round

Have you ever seen a 4-year-old standing at a video game that he hasn’t dropped a quarter into? He yanks the joystick left and right, and because sometimes the space ship heads his direction, he thinks he is controlling it. Financial analysts say this is a bit like the relationship between the president of the United States and the nation’s economy.

The president can’t make it perform like a trained pony. He can influence the economy, but he can’t control it.

That’s worth remembering as each candidate promises to set the economy right. Collectively, the contenders have suggested they can get Washington serious about regulating financial markets, stabilizing home prices, protecting wages, lowering your food and gas bills; the list goes on and on. And, bless their souls, they can certainly try.

The problem is, well meaning D.C. folks have tried before. After the tech bubble, after Enron, after WorldCom, after Bear Stearns; heck, after every headline-grabbing financial collapse, there are hearings, investigations, resolutions, and vows that “this will be the last time.”

Then it happens again.

Part of the problem is that some lawmakers have friends in big businesses. Friends they would rather not irritate, especially if the lawmaker might want to someday get out of the relatively low-paying business of public service, and into something more lucrative.

The economy is just too big for any one person to steer very precisely, especially with all those pesky global ties. Some folks can have a lot of impact. Let Warren Buffett or Bill Gates take a sudden interest in pie making and watch the value of apples go wild. But even that is not exactly “controlling” the economy. Part of the problem is just economic reality. Presidents have a lot of power, but short of nationalizing private companies or imposing enormously punitive taxes, they can’t do much about say, those soaring CEO salaries that drive so many of us nuts. Presidents can’t even create jobs, unless they spend a lot of your tax money to do it.

What a president can do is help create a political climate in which businesses can thrive or fail, on terms that we like as a society. Democrat or Republican, that is the challenge: To steer the economy in a positive direction while never really controlling it. | Catch Tom Foreman on CNN every Saturday at 6 p.m. on This Week in Politics for a look back at the presidential campaign trail.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

What a week it was...

As Wall Street continued its meltdown, the effects on the average citizen and on the rest of the world became more apparent. On Thursday Richard Quest did a piece from London explaining why the AIG bailout happened:

Friday, Kiran Chetry interviewed former British PM Tony Blair, and they discussed the impact on world finances. They also talked about his new focus, which is working with faith groups around the world:

Tuesday, Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr was in The Situation Room to describe a trip she took with the National Guard to tour the area hit by Hurricane Ike and to gauge how well we are getting basic necessities to those hit hardest:

Christiane Amanpour was on American Morning to talk about Korea (the change in their nuke stance; the rumors about Kim Jong Il's health) and also the special she and Frank Sesno are doing tonight:

The Next President will air tonight at 9pmET and features five former Secretaries of State -- Madeline Albright, James, Baker, Colin Powell, Henry Kissinger, and Warren Christopher.

Finally, just a funny little bit from John Roberts Wednesday... sounding like management there, JR!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Where in the World...?
Okay, one more time for the color coding... reporters in the Hurricane Ike zone are in red...

SATURDAY: Anderson Cooper was on the air from Houston at 1 am ET, Tony Harris took over as anchor at 2 am, TJ Holmes came on at 6 am, and Fredricka Whitfield at noon; Gary Tuchman was in Galveston, Texas; Jeanne Meserve and Betty Nguyen were in Houston; Ali Velshi was in Baytown, Texas; Rick Sanchez was in La Porte, Texas; Susan Candiotti and Reynolds Wolf were in Clute, Texas; Rusty Dornin was in Beaumont, Texas; Sean Callebs was in Kemah, Texas.

SUNDAY: Betty was in Seabrook, Texas; Ed Lavendera was in San Antonio; Reynolds was in Clear Lake City, Texas; Susan Roesgen was in Port Oliver, Texas; Rusty was in Bridge City, Texas; Sean in La Marque, Texas; Susan Candiotti was in Houston; Dana Bash was in Denver with the Palin campaign; Ed Henry was in Concord, New Hampshire with the McCain campaign; John King hosted This Week in Politics.

MONDAY: Dana was in Golden, Colorado with Palin; Candy Crowley was in Pueblo, Colorado with the Obama campaign; Cal Perry (above) was in Baghdad; TJ Holmes was in for Tony Harris; Betty Nguyen and Christine Romans were in for Kyra Phillips.

TUESDAY: Ed Lavendera was in Houston; Barbara Starr toured Texas with the National Guard; Candy was in Denver with Obama; Ed Henry was in Vienna, Ohio with McCain; John King was in Riviera Beach, Florida to film another "Battleground State" report; Heidi Collins filled in for the first hour of Tony Harris' timeslot, while TJ Holmes took the second and the first of Kyra's; Rick took the second hour for Kyra.

WEDNESDAY: Suzanne Malveaux and Candy were in Las Vegas with Obama; Ed Henry in Cleveland with McCain; Dana was in Grand Rapids, Michigan with Palin; John King was in Del Ray Beach, Florida; Zain Verjee reported from DC about the suicide bombing in Yemen; Peter Bergen appeared on AC360 to discuss the attack; Don Lemon was in for Tony (through Friday) and Fredricka Whitfield was in for Kyra (through Thursday).

THURSDAY: Ben Wedeman was in Sanaa, Yemen to report on the suicide attack; Richard Quest reported from London on the financial meltdown; John King was in the DC bureau; Kitty Pilgrim was in for Lou Dobbs.

FRIDAY: Ed Henry was in Chicago with McCain; Dana was in Blaine, Minnesota with Palin; Suzanne was in Coral Gables, Florida with Obama; Candy was in DC; Betty was in for Kyra; Lisa Sylvester was in for Lou.

That's it for me today. Have a good weekend!

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