"C" Change  | American Journalism Review
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From AJR,   July/August 2001

"C" Change   

CNN Headline News ready to launch its new edition Aug. 6

By Marie Beaudette

VETERAN TV REPORTER and anchor Miles O'Brien says he is excited to be part of the relaunching of a network. O'Brien will co-anchor with Andrea Thompson the prime time edition of the revamped CNN Headline News, complete with a new studio and a star-studded cast, which will premier on Aug. 6.

O'Brien, previously an anchor and correspondent for the CNN science unit, says that he was content with his role before the changes were announced, but is looking forward to being part of something new. "It's a good opportunity for CNN to try out some new ideas." The changes are part of a strategy to win back viewers to the once-dominant cable news source, which has found itself in a ratings battle with competitors Fox News Channel and MSNBC.

News will be broadcast from an "in-the-round" studio in which four to six anchors can be on the set at all times. There are now just one or two anchors on the set during broadcasts. The network says there will be more breaking news and more live reporting. Now, portions of the programming are repeated throughout the day.

Viewers will see a completely new on-screen look as well. The "anchor box" will be smaller, and the rest of the screen filled with market news, sports, weather and headlines.

In addition to the format changes, the network will feature a new group of anchors and correspondents, including former "NYPD Blue" actress Andrea Thompson. She came to CNN from KRQE-TV in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she was a general assignment reporter.

"On Aug. 6, we are changing everything but our name," says Teya Ryan, executive vice president and general manager of CNN Headline News. "It's truly a new Headline News."



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