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Cable News Network (CNN)
CountryUnited States
Broadcast area
  • United States
  • Canada
  • Worldwide (via CNN International)
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
OwnerTurner Broadcasting System (1980-1996)
Time Warner (1996-2018)
AT&T (2018-2022)
Warner Bros. Discovery (2022-present)
ParentCNN Global
Key people
  • Chris Licht (Chairman and CEO of CNN Global)
  • Michael Bass (EVP of Programming, CNN U.S.)[1]
  • Brad Ferrer (EVP/CFO, WarnerMedia News & Sports)
  • Amy Entelis (EVP for talent and content development)[1]
  • Ken Jautz (EVP, CNN Worldwide)[1]
  • Andrew Morse (EVP/Chief Digital Officer)
Sister channels
LaunchedJune 1, 1980; 42 years ago (1980-06-01)

The Cable News Network (CNN) is a multinational cable news channel headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S..[2][3][4] It is owned by CNN Global, which is part of Warner Bros. Discovery.[5] It was founded in 1980 by American media proprietor Ted Turner and Reese Schonfeld as a 24-hour cable news channel.[6][7][8] Upon its launch in 1980, CNN was the first television channel to provide 24-hour news coverage[9] and the first all-news television channel in the United States.[10]

As of September 2018, CNN had 90.1 million television households as subscribers (97.7% of households with cable).[11] According to Nielsen, in June 2021 CNN ranked third in viewership among cable news networks, behind Fox News and MSNBC, averaging 580,000 viewers throughout the day, down 49% from a year earlier, amid sharp declines in viewers across all cable news networks.[12] While CNN ranked 14th among all basic cable networks in 2019,[13][14] then jumped to 7th during a major surge for the three largest cable news networks (completing a rankings streak of Fox News at number 5 and MSNBC at number 6 for that year),[15] it settled back to number 11 in 2021.[16] The channel is known for its dramatic live coverage of breaking news, some of which has drawn criticism as overly sensationalistic. CNN claims to be "The Most Trusted Name in News",[17] but its efforts to be nonpartisan have led to accusations of false balance.[23]

Globally, CNN programming has aired through CNN International, seen by viewers in over 212 countries and territories;[24] since May 2019, however, the US domestic version has absorbed international news coverage in order to reduce programming costs. The American version, sometimes referred to as CNN (US), is also available in Canada, some islands of the Caribbean and in Japan, where it was first broadcast on CNNj in 2003, with simultaneous translation in Japanese.[25]


Early history

The Cable News Network was launched at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on June 1, 1980. After an introduction by Ted Turner, the husband and wife team of David Walker and Lois Hart anchored the channel's first newscast.[26] Burt Reinhardt, the executive vice president of CNN at its launch, hired most of the channel's first 200 employees, including the network's first news anchor, Bernard Shaw.[27]

Replica of the newsroom at CNN Center

Since its debut, CNN has expanded its reach to a number of cable and satellite television providers, several websites, and specialized closed-circuit channels (such as CNN Airport). The company has 42 bureaus (11 domestic, 31 international),[28] more than 900 affiliated local stations (which also receive news and features content via the video newswire service CNN Newsource),[29] and several regional and foreign-language networks around the world.[30] The channel's success made a bona-fide mogul of founder Ted Turner[31] and set the stage for conglomerate Time Warner's eventual acquisition of the Turner Broadcasting System in 1996.[32]

A companion channel, CNN2, was launched on January 1, 1982[33] and featured a continuous 24-hour cycle of 30-minute news broadcasts.[34] The channel, which later became known as CNN Headline News and is now known as simply HLN, eventually focused on live news coverage supplemented by personality-based programs during the evening and primetime hours.

CNN+ (CNN Plus) was a Spanish language 24-hour television news channel that was launched in 1999 as a joint venture by Sogecable and Turner Broadcasting. It went off the air at the end of December 28, 2010. The management announced that CNN+ would be closed on December 31, 2010.[35]

Major events

Gulf War

The Gulf War in 1990-1991 was a watershed event for CNN that catapulted the channel past the "Big Three" American networks in viewership for the first time in its history, largely due to an unprecedented, historical scoop: CNN was the only news outlet with the ability to communicate from inside Iraq during the initial hours of the Coalition bombing campaign, with live reports from the al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad by reporters Bernard Shaw, John Holliman and Peter Arnett.[36]

Operation Desert Storm as captured live on a CNN night vision camera with reporters narrating

The moment when bombing began was announced on CNN by Shaw on January 16, 1991, as follows:[37]

This is Bernie Shaw. Something is happening outside. ... Peter Arnett, join me here. Let's describe to our viewers what we're seeing... The skies over Baghdad have been illuminated. ... We're seeing bright flashes going off all over the sky.

Unable to immediately broadcast live pictures from Baghdad, CNN's coverage of the initial hours of the Gulf War had the dramatic feel of a radio broadcast - and was compared[by whom?] to CBS news anchor Edward R. Murrow's live radio reports of the German bombing of London during World War II.[38] Despite the lack of live pictures, CNN's coverage was carried by television stations and networks around the world, resulting in CNN being watched by over a billion viewers worldwide.[39]

The Gulf War coverage brought CNN some much sought-after legitimacy, and made household names of previously obscure reporters. Shaw, known for his live-from-Bagdhad reporting during the Gulf War, became CNN's chief anchor until his retirement in 2001.[40][41] Others include then-Pentagon correspondent Wolf Blitzer (now host of The Situation Room since August 8, 2005) and international correspondent Christiane Amanpour. Amanpour's presence in Iraq was caricatured by actress Nora Dunn as ruthless reporter Adriana Cruz in the 1999 film Three Kings. Time Warner-owned sister network HBO later produced a television movie, Live from Baghdad, about CNN's coverage of the first Gulf War.[42]

Coverage of the first Gulf War and other crises of the early 1990s (particularly the infamous Battle of Mogadishu) led officials at the Pentagon to coin the term "the CNN effect" to describe the perceived impact of real time, 24-hour news coverage on the decision-making processes of the American government.[43]

September 11 attacks

CNN was the first cable news channel to break the news of the September 11 attacks.[44] Anchor Carol Lin was on the air to deliver the first public report of the event. She broke into a commercial at 8:49 a.m. Eastern Time that morning and said:

This just in. You are looking at obviously a very disturbing live shot there. That is the World Trade Center, and we have unconfirmed reports this morning that a plane has crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. CNN Center right now is just beginning to work on this story, obviously calling our sources and trying to figure out exactly what happened, but clearly something relatively devastating happening this morning there on the south end of the island of Manhattan. That is once again, a picture of one of the towers of the World Trade Center.

Sean Murtagh, CNN vice president of finance and administration, was the first network employee on the air.[45] He called into CNN Center from his office at CNN's New York City bureau, and reported that a commercial jet had hit the Trade Center.[46]

Daryn Kagan and Leon Harris were live on the air just after 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time as the second plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center and through an interview with CNN correspondent David Ensor, reported the news that U.S. officials determined "that this is a terrorist act".[47] Later, Aaron Brown and Judy Woodruff anchored through the day and night as the attacks unfolded, winning an Edward R. Murrow award for the network.[48] Brown had just joined CNN from ABC to serve as the breaking news anchor. CNN has made archival files of much of the day's broadcast available in five segments, plus an overview.

2008 U.S. election

The stage for the second 2008 CNN/YouTube presidential debate

Leading up to the 2008 U.S. presidential election, CNN devoted large amounts of its coverage to politics, including hosting candidate debates during the Democratic and Republican primary seasons. On June 3 and 5, 2007, CNN teamed up with Saint Anselm College to sponsor the New Hampshire Republican and Democratic Debates.[49] Later that year, the channel hosted the first CNN/YouTube presidential debates, a non-traditional format where viewers were invited to pre-submit questions over the internet via the YouTube video-sharing service.[50] In 2008, CNN partnered with the Los Angeles Times to host two primary debates leading up to its coverage of Super Tuesday.[51] CNN's debate and election night coverage led to its highest ratings of the year, with January 2008 viewership averaging 1.1 million viewers, a 41% increase over the previous year.[51]

2016 U.S. election

Driven by live coverage of the year's U.S. presidential election, 2016 was CNN's most-watched year in its history.[52] Throughout the campaign, the network aired unedited coverage of many of the Trump campaign rallies. Aides for Republican candidates Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Ted Cruz accused CNN President Jeff Zucker of undermining their candidates during the Republican primaries.[53] After the election, Zucker acknowledged that it was a mistake to air so many of the campaign rallies.[54] CNN also drew criticism[55] during the election for hiring former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who was still being paid by and was effectively working on behalf of the campaign.[56]

Trump presidency, AT&T ownership

The presidency of Donald Trump led to many prominent controversies involving CNN. The network was accused by critics of giving disproportionate amounts of coverage to Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. CNN president Jeff Zucker defended CNN against the criticism, commenting that out of the Republican candidates, Trump was the most willing to give on-air interviews. Trump commented upon the allegations during his speech at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), jokingly referring to CNN as the "Clinton News Network".[57][58]

Donald Trump interview with CNN and Voice of America in September 2016

In January 2017, CNN reported that Trump had been briefed on a classified dossier which detailed compromising personal and financial information allegedly obtained by the Russian government. While CNN did not publish the dossier, Trump criticized the network during a press conference the following day, and refused to take a question from CNN reporter Jim Acosta, claiming that the network was "fake news".[59] On June 26, 2017, CNN investigative journalists Thomas Frank, Eric Lichtblau, and Lex Haris voluntarily resigned after the network retracted an online article which incorrectly connected Trump aide Anthony Scaramucci to a $10 billion Russian investment fund. The network apologized to Scaramucci and admitted that the online story did not meet their editorial standards.[60] Zucker responded by stressing that the network needs to "play error-free ball" when it comes to any future stories about Trump.[61]

In July 2017, Trump posted a video on Twitter of himself tackling Vince McMahon on the ground during WrestleMania 23, edited to replace McMahon's face with the CNN logo. The clip was considered to be a further expression of his opinions regarding the network's quality of coverage. Several media columnists and Democratic politicians condemned the retweeted video, concerned that its substance--given the tone of some of Trump's criticism of mainstream media outlets for what he deems as unfavorable coverage of him, and his presidency--could encourage some of his extreme right-wing supporters to commit violence against journalists from outlets outside of the conservative media spectrum.[62][63] CNN also faced criticism[64] over an investigation that identified the Reddit user (associated with a Trump-focused community on the service, r/The_Donald) who had allegedly created the video, facing accusations that they had blackmailed the user.[65]

Later that month, a group of Democratic senators, led by Amy Klobuchar, issued a request for information over allegations that the Trump administration was planning to use CNN as "leverage for political gain" in the process of clearing the proposed acquisition of its parent company Time Warner by AT&T--a purchase which was first announced in October 2016.[66][67] The Daily Caller reported that, in particular, the administration was seeking the removal of Jeff Zucker as CNN president. Although Trump had promised to block the acquisition entirely during his presidential campaign, Trump's transition team later stated that the government planned to evaluate the deal without prejudice.[68][69][70][71]

Following the announcement of the acquisition, AT&T CEO Randall L. Stephenson stated that the company was "committed to continuing the editorial independence of CNN".[72] In August 2017, Deadline Hollywood reported that AT&T had considered spinning off CNN and its stake in TMZ post-acquisition.[72] In October 2017, Stephenson downplayed the possibility that the ongoing tensions between Trump and CNN could affect the deal, stating that he "[didn't] know what the relevance of CNN is in terms of an antitrust review", and that AT&T did not plan to make managerial changes to Time Warner properties that were operating well, such as CNN.[73] Later that month, CNN launched a new promotional campaign, "Facts First", in an effort to combat negative perceptions over the quality of its reporting. Using an apple to demonstrate metaphors for fake news and "alternative facts" (in particular, suggesting that one could persistently opine that the apple was actually a banana), the ads publicize a commitment to prioritizing accurate, fact-based reporting before presenting opinions on a particular story.[74][75] The ad became the subject of parodies, including one by The Daily Caller (which reversed the ad, and amended the slogan with "unless we are reporting on Trump"), and Stephen Colbert (which closed with the line "Now orange you ready to impeach?"), and was criticized by conservative publishers, Republican politicians, and on social media.[76][77][78][79]

On November 6, 2017, Stephenson met with Makan Delrahim, assistant Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, to discuss antitrust and concentration of media ownership concerns surrounding the acquisition, and possible options for satisfying them.[80][81] Two days later, major media outlets publicly reported that the Justice Department had recommended that either the entire Turner Broadcasting System unit, or DirecTV, be divested as a condition of the merger. The Financial Times went further, stating that it had specifically demanded the divestment of CNN.[82][83][80][84] Stephenson denied these reports, stating that he never offered to, nor had any intentions to sell CNN.[85][86] CNN's media correspondent Brian Stelter noted that media outlets were interpreting the alleged recommendations as being either a genuine concern for AT&T's scale following the merger, or a retaliatory measure by the Trump administration against CNN.[80]

At the DealBook conference in New York City the next day, Stephenson denied that the department had demanded the divestment of CNN at all (stating that he had "never been told that the price of getting the deal done was selling CNN"), and that the company aimed to "get to a negotiated settlement". However, he stated that if they were unable to do so, AT&T was "prepared to litigate".[87][80] In a statement to CNBC, a Department of Justice official backed Stephenson, denying that there were any specific demands to divest CNN during the discussion, and considering the claims to be "shocking" and an attempt to politicize the situation. The official added that the department had officially recommended either abandoning the deal entirely, or divesting DirecTV or Turner, but that it was open to other options for quelling antitrust concerns.[81] The same day, the watchdog group Protect Democracy sued the Department of Justice to seek information on whether the Trump administration had "improperly interfered with the Department's review of the merger between AT&T and Time Warner, or has acted in that matter based on the President's personal dislike of CNN's protected speech." The group had issued a Freedom of Information Act request for these details, but the department had not responded.[88] On November 20, 2017, the Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit over the acquisition.[89]

2018-2022: WarnerMedia ownership

After District of Columbia U.S. District Court judge Richard J. Leon ruled in favor of AT&T in the lawsuit, AT&T completed its acquisition of Time Warner on June 14, 2018, and renamed the company WarnerMedia.[90]

In March 2019, WarnerMedia announced a reorganization that effectively dissolved Turner Broadcasting, and CNN became part of the new WarnerMedia News & Sports division. Jeff Zucker was named head of the new division, which added Turner Sports and the AT&T SportsNet regional sports networks to his remit.[91]

On May 6, 2019, CNN began to broadcast programming from its new studios at 30 Hudson Yards, which succeeded the Time Warner Center as the network's Manhattan headquarters.[92][93] Meanwhile, in late May 2019, CNN International announced it was reducing its programming and staff based in London to reduce costs, citing losses of $10 million per-year.[94]

On May 29, 2020, the CNN Center became the scene of rioting in response to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, four days earlier. Rioters vandalized the CNN logo in the front of the building, broke most of the windows, threw objects at officers standing by in the lobby, and damaged Atlanta Police Department vehicles parked along the street before being cleared out by police officers in the early morning hours of May 30. Some of the protesters were arrested and were taken into the building, which houses a police precinct, this was why the rioters specifically targeted CNN Center. The damage was quickly repaired within the week.[95][96]

2022-present: CNN+, Warner Bros. Discovery ownership, Chris Licht

In May 2021, AT&T announced that it would divest WarnerMedia, and that it would subsequently merge with Discovery Inc. to form Warner Bros. Discovery, pending shareholder and regulatory approval.[97][98][99]

In July 2021, CNN announced it would launch a subscription streaming service, CNN+, in the United States during the first quarter of 2022, which would feature original programming and an on-demand library of CNN original series and documentaries.[100] In December 2021, CNN hired long-time Fox News journalist Chris Wallace to host a program on the service.[101] CNN+ would launch on March 28, 2022, shortly before the completion of the WarnerMedia/Discovery merger.[102]

After a dismal launch (with CNBC estimating only around 10,000 average daily users),[103] CNN announced on April 21 that CNN+ would be shut down at the end of the month. Both Warner Bros. Discovery's head of Global Streaming & Interactive Entertainment J.B. Perrette, and new CNN head Chris Licht (who replaced the outgoing Jeff Zucker) stated that the service was incompatible with the company's goal of having a single streaming service to cover all of its brands--which would include a future merger of Discovery+ and HBO Max. Perrette stated that the situation was "avoidable", but that the existing leadership (which were unable to discuss plans with Discovery's executives until the completion of the merger for legal restrictions) had went on with the launch despite the pending merger.[104][105]

During the WBD upfronts in May, Licht argued that "extremes are dominating cable news", and that he planned for CNN to "challenge the traditional philosophy of cable news"--implicating that the network planned to lean back towards its roots as a hard news outlet. He also announced plans to introduce a new morning show that would be a "disruptor [..] in the space", and confirmed that Wallace's CNN+ show, Who's Talking to Chris Wallace?, would move to HBO Max and CNN's Sunday-night lineup.[106] It was later reported that that Licht undertaken the issuance of internal guidance for use the use of the term "breaking news" on-air, arguing that due to overuse by CNN and others, "its impact has become lost on the audience."[107]


CNN's current weekday schedule consists mostly of rolling news programming during daytime hours, followed by in-depth news and information programs during the evening and prime time hours. The network's morning programming consists of Early Start, an early-morning news program hosted by Christine Romans and Laura Jarrett at 5-6 a.m. ET, which is followed by New Day, the network's morning show, hosted by John Berman and Brianna Keilar at 6-9 a.m. ET. Most of CNN's late-morning and early afternoon programming consists of CNN Newsroom, a rolling news program hosted by Jim Sciutto and Poppy Harlow in the morning and Ana Cabera, Victor Blackwell, and Alisyn Camerota in the afternoon. In between the editions of Newsroom, At This Hour with Kate Bolduan airs at 11 a.m. to noon Eastern, followed by Inside Politics with John King, hosted by John King at noon Eastern.[108]

CNN's late afternoon and early evening lineup consists of The Lead with Jake Tapper, hosted by Jake Tapper at 4-6 p.m. Eastern and The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, hosted by Wolf Blitzer at 6 p.m. ET. The network's evening and primetime lineup shifts towards more in-depth programming, including Erin Burnett OutFront at 7 p.m. ET,[109] and Anderson Cooper 360° at 8 p.m. ET, and Don Lemon Tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern.[]

Weekend primetime - from 9pm ET - is dedicated mostly to factual programming, such as documentary specials and miniseries, and documentary-style reality series (such as Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and United Shades of America), as well as acquired documentary films presented under the banner CNN Films. The network's weekend morning programming consists of CNN Newsroom (simulcast from CNN International) at 4-6 a.m. ET, which is followed by the weekend editions of New Day, hosted by Christi Paul and Boris Sanchez, which airs every Saturday at 6-9 a.m. ET and Sunday at 6-8 a.m. ET, and the network's Saturday program Smerconish with Michael Smerconish at 9 a.m. Eastern. Sunday morning lineup consists primarily of political talk shows, including Inside Politics Sunday, hosted by Abby Phillip at 8 a.m. Eastern and State of the Union, co-hosted by Jake Tapper and Dana Bash at 9 a.m. Eastern and replay at noon Eastern[110] and the international affairs program Fareed Zakaria GPS, hosted by Fareed Zakaria at 10 a.m. Eastern and replay at 1 p.m. Eastern, and the media analysis program Reliable Sources, hosted by Brian Stelter at 11 a.m. Eastern. Weekend programming other than aforementioned slots is filled with CNN Newsroom by Fredricka Whitfield, Jim Acosta, Pamela Brown, and other rolling anchors.[]

For the 2014-15 season, after cancelling Piers Morgan Tonight (which, itself, replaced the long-running Larry King Live), CNN experimented with running factual and reality-style programming during the 9:00 p.m. ET hour, such as John Walsh's The Hunt, This Is Life with Lisa Ling, and Mike Rowe's Somebody's Gotta Do It. Jeff Zucker explained that this new lineup was intended to shift CNN away from a reliance on pundit-oriented programs, and attract younger demographics to the network. Zucker stated that the 9:00 p.m. hour could be pre-empted during major news events for expanded coverage. These changes coincided with the introduction of a new imaging campaign for the network, featuring the slogan "Go there".[111][112][113] In May 2014, CNN premiered The Sixties, a documentary miniseries produced by Tom Hanks, and Gary Goetzman which chronicled the United States in the 1960s. Owing to its success, CNN commissioned follow-ups focusing on other decades.[114][115][116][117] Anderson Cooper 360° was expanded to run two hours long, from 8 PM to 10 PM.[118]

By 2019, CNN had produced at least 35 original series. Alongside the Hanks/Goetzman franchise (including the 2018 spin-off 1968), CNN has aired other documentary miniseries relating to news and U.S. policies, such as The Bush Years, and American Dynasties: The Kennedys--which saw the highest ratings of any CNN original series premiere to-date, with 1.7 million viewers. Parts Unknown concluded after the 2018 death by suicide of its host Anthony Bourdain; CNN announced several new miniseries and docuseries for 2019, including American Style (a miniseries produced by the digital media company Vox Media),[119] The Redemption Project with Van Jones, Chasing Life with Sanjay Gupta, Tricky Dick (a miniseries chronicling Richard Nixon), The Movies (a spin-off of the Hanks/Goetzman decades miniseries), and Once in a Great City: Detroit 1962-64.[120][121]

On-air presentation

CNN began broadcasting in the high-definition 1080i resolution format in September 2007.[122] This format is now standard for CNN and is available on all major cable and satellite providers.

The CNN Election Express bus, used for broadcasts

CNN's political coverage in HD was first given mobility by the introduction of the CNN Election Express bus in October 2007. The Election Express vehicle, capable of five simultaneous HD feeds, was used for the channel's CNN-YouTube presidential debates and for presidential candidate interviews.[123]

In December 2008, CNN introduced a comprehensive redesign of its on-air appearance, which replaced an existing style that had been used since 2004. On-air graphics took a rounded, flat look in a predominantly black, white, and red color scheme, and the introduction of a new box next to the CNN logo for displaying show logos and segment-specific graphics, rather than as a large banner above the lower-third. The redesign also replaced the scrolling ticker with a static "flipper", which could either display a feed of news headlines (both manually inserted and taken from the RSS feeds of, or "topical" details related to a story.[124][125]

CNN's next major redesign was introduced on January 10, 2011, replacing the dark, flat appearance of the 2008 look with a glossier, blue and white color scheme, and moving the secondary logo box to the opposite end of the screen. Additionally, the network began to solely produce its programming in the 16:9 aspect ratio, with standard definition feeds using a letterboxed version of the HD feed.[125] On February 18, 2013, the "flipper" was dropped and reverted to a scrolling ticker; originally displayed as a blue background with white text, the ticker was reconfigured a day later with blue text on a white background to match the look of the 'flipper'.[126]

On August 11, 2014, CNN introduced a new graphics package, dropping the glossy appearance for a flat, rectangular scheme incorporating red, white, and black colors, and the Gotham typeface. The ticker now alternates between general headlines and financial news from CNN Business, and the secondary logo box was replaced with a smaller box below the CNN bug, which displays either the title, hashtag, or Twitter handle for the show being aired or its anchor.[127] In April 2016, CNN began to introduce a new corporate typeface, known as "CNN Sans", across all of its platforms. Inspired by Helvetica Neue and commissioned after consultations with Troika Design Group, the font family consists of 30 different versions with varying weights and widths to facilitate use across print, television, and digital mediums.[128]

In August 2016, CNN announced the launch of CNN Aerial Imagery and Reporting (CNN AIR), a drone-based news collecting operation to integrate aerial imagery and reporting across all CNN branches and platforms, along with Turner Broadcasting and Time Warner entities.[129]


On July 27, 2012, CNN president Jim Walton announced he was resigning after 30 years at the network. Walton remained with CNN until the end of that year.[130] In January 2013, former NBCUniversal President Jeff Zucker replaced Walton.[131]

On January 29, 2013, longtime political analysts James Carville and Mary Matalin, and fellow political contributor Erick Erickson were let go by CNN.[132]

In February 2022, Zucker was asked to resign by Jason Kilar, the chief executive of CNN's owner WarnerMedia, after Zucker's relationship with one of his lieutenants was discovered during the investigation into former CNN primetime host Chris Cuomo's efforts to control potentially damaging reporting regarding his brother Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York.[133][134] Kilar announced that the interim co-heads would be executive vice presidents Michael Bass, Amy Entelis, and Ken Jautz.[1] On February 26, 2022, it was announced that Chris Licht--known for his work at MSNBC and CBS--would be the next president of CNN; he is planned to be instated after the spin off and merger of WarnerMedia into Discovery Inc.[135]

Other platforms


CNN launched its website, (initially known as CNN Interactive), on August 30, 1995.[136] The site attracted growing interest over its first decade and is now one of the most popular news websites in the world. The widespread growth of blogs, social media and user-generated content have influenced the site, and blogs in particular have focused CNN's previously scattershot online offerings, most noticeably in the development and launch of CNN Pipeline in late 2005.[]

In April 2009, ranked third place among online global news sites in unique users in the U.S., according to Nielsen/NetRatings; with an increase of 11% over the previous year.[137]

CNN Pipeline was the name of a paid subscription service, its corresponding website, and a content delivery client that provided streams of live video from up to four sources (or "pipes"), on-demand access to CNN stories and reports, and optional pop-up "news alerts" to computer users. The installable client was available to users of PCs running Microsoft Windows. There was also a browser-based "web client" that did not require installation. The service was discontinued in July 2007, and was replaced with a free streaming service.[138]

On April 18, 2008, was targeted by Chinese hackers in retaliation for the channel's coverage on the 2008 Tibetan unrest. CNN reported that they took preventive measures after news broke of the impending attack.[139][140]

The company was honored at the 2008 Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards for development and implementation of an integrated and portable IP-based live, edit and store-and-forward digital news gathering (DNG) system.[141] The first use of what would later win CNN this award was in April 2001 when CNN correspondent Lisa Rose Weaver[142] covered, and was detained,[143] for the release of the U.S. Navy crew of a damaged electronic surveillance plane after the Hainan Island incident. The technology consisted of a videophone produced by 7E Communications Ltd of London, UK.[144] This DNG workflow is used today by the network to receive material worldwide using an Apple MacBook Pro, various prosumer and professional digital cameras, software from Streambox Inc., and BGAN terminals from Hughes Network Systems.[]

On October 24, 2009, CNN launched a new version of the website; the revamped site included the addition of a new "sign up" option, in which users can create their own username and profile, and a new "CNN Pulse" (beta) feature, along with a new red color theme.[145] However, most of the news stories archived on the website were deleted.


The topical news program Judy Woodruff's Inside Politics was the first CNN program to feature a round-up of blogs in 2005.[146] Blog coverage was expanded when Inside Politics was folded into The Situation Room (Inside Politics later returned to CNN in 2014, this time hosted by the network's chief national correspondent John King.[]). In 2006, CNN launched CNN Exchange and CNN iReport, initiatives designed to further introduce and centralize the impact of everything from blogging to citizen journalism within the CNN brand. CNN iReport which features user-submitted photos and video, has achieved considerable traction, with increasingly professional-looking reports filed by amateur journalists, many still in high school or college. The iReport gained more prominence when observers of the Virginia Tech shootings sent-in first hand photos of what was going on during the shootings.[147]

In April 2010, CNN announced via Twitter that it would launch a food blog called "Eatocracy," which will "cover all news related to food - from recalls to health issues to culture".[148] CNN had an internet relay chat (IRC) network at CNN placed a live chat with Benjamin Netanyahu on the network in 1998.[149]

CNNHealth consists of expert doctors answering viewers' questions online at CNN's "The Chart" blog website. Contributors include Drs. Sanjay Gupta (Chief Medical Correspondent), Charles Raison (Mental Health Expert), Otis Brawley (Conditions Expert), Melina Jampolis (Diet and Fitness Expert), Jennifer Shu (Living Well Expert), and Elizabeth Cohen (Senior Medical Correspondent).[150]

Other digital offerings

In early 2008, CNN began maintaining a live streaming broadcast available to cable and satellite subscribers who receive CNN at home (a precursor to the TV Everywhere services that would become popularized by cable and satellite providers beginning with Time Warner's incorporation of the medium).[151] CNN International is broadcast live, as part of the RealNetworks SuperPass subscription service outside the U.S. CNN also offers several RSS feeds and podcasts.

CNN also has multiple channels in the popular video-sharing site YouTube, but those videos can only be viewed in the United States, a source of criticism among YouTube users worldwide. In 2014, CNN launched a radio version of their television programming on TuneIn Radio.[152] The network also hosts CNN-10, a daily 10-minute video show visible at the CNN website or YouTube. It replaced the long-running show CNN Student News which had been aired since 1989.[153] It is aimed at a global audience of students, teachers, and adults, and is hosted by Carl Azuz.[154]

On March 7, 2017, CNN announced the official launch of its virtual reality unit named CNNVR. It will produce 360 videos to its Android and iOS apps within CNN Digital.[155][156] It is planning to cover major news events with the online, and digital news team in New York City, Atlanta, London, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Dubai, Johannesburg, Tokyo, and Beijing.[157]

CNN Newsource offices at the CNN Center in Atlanta

CNN Newsource is a subscription-based affiliation video service that provides CNN content to television station affiliates with CNN, including terrestrial stations and international stations. Newsource allows affiliates to download video from CNN, as well as from other affiliates who upload their video to Newsource.

CNN also maintains a wire service known as CNN Wire.[158]

CNN's digital storefront, which sells branded merchandise, household goods, and software, is operated by StackCommerce via partnership.


Starting in late 2010, the high definition feed of CNN US was launched in Japan for American viewers under the name "CNN/US HD",[159] and is distributed by Japan Cable Television (JCTV) to several different multi-channel TV providers, such as J:COM, SKY PerfecTV!, iTSCOM and the JCTVWiFi service.[160]


On November 28, 2016, CNN announced the acquisition of Beme for a reported $25 million.[161] On November 29, 2016, Matt Hackett, co-founder of Beme, announced via an email to its users that the Beme app would be shutting down on January 31, 2017.[162] Since the shutdown of the app, it was announced that CNN intended to use the current talent behind Beme to work on a separate start-up endeavor. Beme's current team will retain full creative control of the new project, which was slated to release in summer 2017.[163] Beme have also brought on other internet stars such as the host of Vsauce 3, Jake Roper, as head of production, who features prominently in Beme co-founder Casey Neistat's vlogs.[164] Beme News has since begun uploading news related video on YouTube.[165]


In October 2012, CNN formed a film division called CNN Films to distribute and produce made-for-TV and feature documentaries. Its first acquisition was a documentary entitled Girl Rising, a documentary narrated by Meryl Streep that focused on the struggles of girls' education.[166]


In July 2014, Cumulus Media announced that it would end its partnership with ABC News Radio, and enter into a new partnership with CNN to syndicate national and international news content for its stations through Westwood One beginning in 2015, including access to a wire service, and digital content for its station websites. This service is unbranded, allowing individual stations to integrate the content with their own news brands.[167]

As of February 2019, the audio simulcast of CNN is distributed on Entercom's website and app.[168]

Specialized channels

CNN en Español televised debate for the 2005 Chilean elections
Post production editing offices in Atlanta

Over the years, CNN has launched spin-off networks in the United States and other countries. Channels that currently operate as of 2021 include:

Former channels

CNN has also launched television and online ventures that are no longer in operation, including:

  • CNN Airport
  • CNN Checkout Channel (out-of-home place-based custom channel for grocery stores that started in 1991 and shuttered in 1993)
  • CNN Italia[172] (an Italian news website launched in partnership with the publishing company Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso, and after with the financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, it launched on November 15, 1999[173][174] and closed on September 12, 2003)
  • CNN Pipeline (24-hour multi-channel broadband online news service, replaced with Live)
  • CNN Sports Illustrated (also known as CNNSI; U.S. sports news channel, closed in 2002)
  • CNN+ (a partner channel in Spain, launched in 1999 with Sogecable)
  • Live
  • CNNfn (financial channel, closed in December 2004)
  • CNN Money Switzerland (Switzerland financial channel, joint venture with MediaGo)


CNN launched two specialty news channels for the American market which would later close amid competitive pressure: the sports news channel CNNSI shut down in 2002, while business news channel CNNfn shut down after nine years on the air in December 2004. CNN had a partnership with Sports Illustrated through the sports website, but sold the domain name in May 2015.[175] CNNfn's former website used to redirect to, a product of CNN's strategic partnership with Money magazine. Money and Sports Illustrated were both Time Warner properties until 2014, when the company's magazine division was spun off into the separate Time Inc.[176]

CNN also launched "Great Big Story" in November 2015 to produce content tailored toward younger viewers. It was eventually shut down in September 2020[177] after building a following of nearly 6 million followers on both Facebook and YouTube.[178]


CNN bureau locations
The CNN Center in Atlanta
CNN in New York City
CNN Center studios

CNN operates bureaus in the following cities as of November 2021.[179]

United States


In parts of the world without a CNN bureau, reports from local affiliate stations will be used to file a story.

Controversies and criticisms

CNN has been involved in various controversies, criticisms and allegations since its inception in 1980.

Awards and honors

2021: CNN won a George Polk Award for Foreign Reporting for their reporting on the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China and later under quarantine in Beijing.[180] CNN and Clarissa Ward were named finalists for the duPont-Columbia Award for their "Russia's Secret Influence Campaigns" investigation.[181]

2020: CNN's Ed Lavandera was awarded a Peabody for "The Hidden Workforce: Undocumented in America".[182] CNN Films was awarded a Peabody for the documentary "Apollo 11".[182]

2019: The USC Annenberg School awarded CNN with a Walter Cronkite Award for its Parkland Town Hall.[183]

2018: CNN won a network-record six news & documentary Emmy Awards. They are, Outstanding Breaking News Coverage, Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story in a Newscast, Outstanding Live Interview, Outstanding Hard News Feature Story in a Newscast, Outstanding News Special, Outstanding Science, Medical and Environmental Report.[184]

2018: CNN's Nima Elbagir to receive 2018 Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women's Media Foundation.[185]

2018: CNN received the George Polk Award for Foreign Television Reporting for uncovering a hidden modern-day slave auction of African refugees in Libya. Reporting done by Nima Elbagir and Raja Razek.[186][187]

2018: CNN received the Overseas Press Club of America David Kaplan Award for best TV or video spot news reporting from abroad for reporting on the fall of ISIS. Reporting done by Nick Paton Walsh and Arwa Damon.[188]

2017: CNN received the Prince Rainier III Special Prize at Monte Carlo TV Festival for the documentary, Midway: A Plastic Island about sea pollution.[189][190]

1998: CNN received the Four Freedom Award for the Freedom of Speech.[191]

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