Two former CNNers, Miles O’Brien and Veronica De La Cruz, are together at the anchor desk this week. But not on a news network. The pair picked up an unique gig in Orlando “anchoring” at the broadcast center of SAP’s annual “Sapphire Now” event — a three-day conference put on for the business software company’s customers and partners.
A SAP spokesperson tells us the newsers were hired to handle coverage for the Sapphire Now website during the conference in an effort to extend “the reach and viewpoints” of the event using a familiar and recognizable format. It’s the first year SAP has attempted the this type of pseudo-newscasting for the yearly gathering.
The “broadcast center” is on the show floor, and O’Brien and De La Cruz “anchor” segments throughout the day with various conference participants, including before and after keynotes.
In addition to the Orlando location, the conference takes place simultaneously in Germany. Another familiar face is anchoring there:
BBC World News America’s Matt Frei is one of the anchors for the Frankfurt portion. Asked whether there is a potential conflict of interest, a BBC spokesperson tells TVNewser, “Like other news organizations the BBC does not have a blanket prohibition on its anchors making outside appearances. In this instance approval was sought from the appropriate editor and, in accordance with guidelines, was granted because the moderator role for the anchor does not conflict with his editorial obligations.”
SAP tells us 50,000 people will pass through the conference either in person or virtually.
O’Brien was with CNN for 16 years, including a stint as anchor of “American Morning.” De La Cruz was a correspondent for that program and also worked for CNN.com starting in 2003. Both O’Brien and De La Cruz left CNN in December of 2008 and neither is currently employed by the news network.
(TwitPics from @veronicadlcruz)