Programming, Staffing Changes at CNN International

By Merrill Knox Comment

cnn international logoCNN International is making significant programming changes to its lineup, adding new primetime shows and expanding live programming. With the changes, the network is eliminating some jobs in Hong Kong and adding positions in other bureaus.

Among the major changes: the launch of “The World Right Now with Hala Gorani” and “The Business View with Nina dos Santos,” a new time slot and show format for “Connect the World with Becky Anderson,” and an expansion of live news programming for viewers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (more details are in CNN’s announcement, after the jump). CNN senior international correspondent Ivan Watson will also be relocating to Hong Kong.

TVNewser hears that about 20 off-air editorial positions have been cut in Hong Kong. A CNNI spokesperson tells us about two dozen positions will be added across the London, Atlanta and Hong Kong bureaus, and those jobs will be posted as early as today.

In a note to staffers announcing the changes, CNNI EVP and managing editor Tony Maddoxsaid the network is committed to keeping the impact on Hong Kong roles “to a minimum.” 

The majority of jobs will be added in Atlanta, where the new CNNI programming will be produced. As we reported yesterday, CNN’s domestic daytime programming will be broadcast entirely from New York and DC beginning in August as Brooke Baldwin and Carol Costello move to NYC.

Maddox’s note and CNNI’s official release, after the jump.


Today we’re announcing a significant investment in live programming from Atlanta that results in the creation of new jobs at CNN International. We’ll also be investing in our business, features and newsgathering operations in London and Hong Kong.

We’ve had an incredibly busy run these last few months. Many of you have worked extra shifts to help with breaking news, and even offered to go on assignment with no set return date. You have delivered some outstanding journalism on some extraordinary stories. Your efforts and commitment have not gone unnoticed, and CNNI is better because of it.

In the midst of this intense news cycle, we’ve launched two programs – Connect the World with Becky Anderson from Abu Dhabi and The Business View with Nina Dos Santos from London – that enhance our overall output. This summer we’ll make further enhancements to our lineup for prime time viewers in Europe with the launch of The World Right Now with Hala Gorani from London.

Underpinning this commitment to live news programming and first class breaking news reporting is what we’ve been calling our NewsFirst initiative. This speaks to our broader vision for CNNI and hopefully you took the opportunity this morning to hear directly from Ellana, Debs, Mike or myself to hear more about it.

Putting news first is the very crux of today’s announcement – which I’ve attached to this email – that outlines our significant investment in additional live news programming, expansion of our portfolio of business programming and repositioning of Hong Kong as a center of excellence for newsgathering and features production. It means four more hours of live news programming on weekdays, an expanded newsgathering footprint in Asia Pacific and a double-digit increase in headcount overall, though there will be some impact on roles in Asia Pacific which we are committed to keeping to a minimum.

For those of you interested in learning more about new opportunities in Atlanta, London and Hong Kong, I encourage you to look into these positions on

There’s a lot to be proud of at CNNI. Thank you for your ongoing commitment as we continue to put news first.





Changes include new business programming line-up, expanded newsgathering resources in Asia and new prime time shows


CNN International today announced the addition of four hours a day of live news programming to its weekday schedule.

The expanded commitment to live news is part of a number of programming changes at the leading international news network designed to further strengthen its offering for audiences around the world.


The changes include a renewed focus on regional prime times, an increased role for the Asia Pacific region in the network’s newsgathering operation, and enhanced business programming as CNN continues to deliver first-class reporting and analysis on the global business day.


“Live news is, and always will be, our hallmark,” said Tony Maddox, executive vice president and managing director of CNN International. “We have the best reporters able to get to stories around the world like no other network and we continue to commit more resources to newsgathering, this time in Asia. This new schedule allows our audiences to tap into our global reach and journalistic expertise more than ever before, wherever and whenever they’re watching us.”


The introduction of the additional live news programming comes amid an intense news cycle where CNN has immersed audiences in events from Ukraine to Nigeria, from Malaysia to Seoul, from Geneva to Washington, D.C.


The changes also follow international recognition of the network’s editorial strength. In February 2014, CNN was named “News Channel of the Year” for the second year running at the Royal Television Society (RTS) Awards where the network also won the Best News Coverage – International category for its coverage of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. In addition, the network is the reigning ‘Cable & Satellite Channel of the Year’ (Asian Television Awards 2013) and had a strong showing in the Emmys, FPA Awards, Peabody Awards and the Overseas Press Club Awards. CNN is also the number one international TV news channel according to all major media surveys across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the Asia Pacific region and Latin America.


As a result of this expansion, CNN International will be adding positions to its operation globally. At the same time, the greater emphasis on regional newsgathering in Asia Pacific will see some impact on programming staff as posts are relocated across the network’s global production centers.


“These changes represent a significant enhancement of the network with ‘live’ news programming as the schedule’s beating heart,” added Maddox. “We are making these changes from a position of strength as the leading international news network, home to some of the world’s finest journalists. This programming schedule is built firmly on the needs and interests of our viewers, and gives them even more of what they come to us for.”



Key Changes

• CNN re-launches its business programming:

The new line up puts the network’s unique team of expert business personalities at the heart of a series of new landmark shows pinpointing key junctures of the global business day. Viewers will be able to keep up to date with global economic trends as well as major corporate and market news through The Business View with Nina dos Santos, a new US market show presented by Maggie Lake and the daily emerging markets ‘Global Exchange’ segment.
All shows will feature frequent regional updates from the network’s business experts Andrew Stevens in Hong Kong and UAE-based John Defterios, and Quest Means Business closes the day with a mix of analysis and reflection. The Best of Quest provides a weekend wrap of the week’s best interviews with those at the top of their field.


• CNN adds new programming to prime time line up:

New programming for Middle East prime time viewers comes with Connect the World with Becky Anderson, taking Anderson from London to Abu Dhabi with a new slot and new show format, which debuted in early April.


For prime time viewers in Europe, CNN’s Hala Gorani relocates from Atlanta to London to present a new hour-long, in-depth live evening news show, The World Right Now with Hala Gorani, due to launch in the summer.


• CNN expands Europe/Middle East/Africa morning programming:

There will be a doubling of live news programming for viewers in Europe, Middle East and Africa in the breakfast hours, to debut in late 3rd quarter 2014 from CNN Center in Atlanta.


• CNN refocuses Asia Pacific as newsgathering and feature programming hub:

In Asia Pacific, the Hong Kong bureau expands its newsgathering and feature output capabilities. In particular, a new correspondent post and a new senior editorial post will bolster the bureau’s capacity to cover the region’s stories which in recent months have included extensive coverage of the tragic events of worldwide concern such as Typhoon Haiyan, the missing Malaysia Airlines plane and the South Korea ferry disaster. The first of these new posts is to be taken up by CNN’s senior international correspondent Ivan Watson, who moves to Hong Kong in the summer. CNN’s Kristie Lu Stout will also continue to present an evening prime time news show live from the Hong Kong bureau, with the remaining live programming produced from CNN Center in Atlanta.


• CNN enhances its sports programming:

The network is also evolving CNN World Sport into a more frequent bulletin to better capture the needs of audiences across the 24-hour programming cycle.