WSJ: CNN Sending 400 Staffers to Cover Royal Wedding

By Alex Weprin Comment

The Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton is expected to be a huge television draw next month, so all news organizations are spending significant resources on covering the event.

We already reported that MSNBC was sending Martin Bashir and Chris Jansing and that BBC America would be simulcasting BBC One’s coverage, but in this morning’s Wall Street Journal, some other interesting details were uncovered.

Among them: CNN will have 400 staffers covering the wedding, including cameramen, reporters and producers. By comparison, the Journal compares that to the number of staffers CNN has in Japan at the moment: 50.

Update: CNN says it will have 50 domestic staffers assigned to cover the wedding, with an additional 75 coming from the London bureau. In other words 150, not 400, the WSJ had it wrong.

It also notes that only UK broadcasters BBC, Sky and ITV will be allowed to film the procession and service inside Westminster Abbey, so all U.S. networks have to buy rights to those feeds.

U.S. broadcasters must purchase this pooled feed from one of these networks, but at a nominal fee: a spokesman for the BBC says sales of the live wedding covers its expenses but don’t make the broadcaster a profit. After 24 or 48 hours (depending on the deal), the BBC can charge more, according to U.S. networks with transactions in the works. The BBC wouldn’t talk about specifics.

You can also expect correspondents on the ground in all of the Commonwealth countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and South Africa, to get reaction from locals.