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The first sentence of CNN’s just-released press release for convention coverage reads like this:
CNN will offer viewers nonstop, unbiased programming across on-air and digital platforms at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions beginning later this month.
It’s as if CNN is saying, if you watch Fox News or MSNBC during the conventions, those networks will lean right, or left, or forward (never backward), so watch us if you want it down the middle. Our TVNewsers Alex Weprin and Merrill Knox will be at the conventions — ahem — keeping them honest.
Anyway, CNN has big plans. Read about them after the jump…
CNN Coverage to Offer Viewers an On-the-Ground Experience from Political Conventions
Live from Multiple Locations in the Convention Halls and CNN Grills, Voters to Have Ringside Seats for RNC, DNC
CNN will offer viewers nonstop, unbiased programming across on-air and digital platforms at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions beginning later this month. The network’s robust political team will travel to Tampa, Fla. and Charlotte, N.C. for live programming and events from locations on the convention floors, sky booths and a studio integrated into the CNN Grills.
CNN anchors Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett, Piers Morgan, Candy Crowley, Soledad O’Brien, John Berman, Brooke Baldwin and Suzanne Malveaux will be on the ground in Tampa and Charlotte during the Republican and Democratic parties’ respective conventions to provide comprehensive coverage. Special evening programming will kick off each week and will be followed by daily programs beginning at 5 a.m. and continuing through prime time and a midnight broadcast with Piers Morgan. Chief national correspondent John King will be on hand in both convention cities with Magic Wall technology, in addition to chief political analyst Gloria Borger and senior political analyst David Gergen.
“As the only cable news channel that has not picked sides in this election, CNN has a unique lens with which to cover these conventions,” said Sam Feist, CNN Washington bureau chief and senior vice president. “In Tampa and in Charlotte, we will give both parties an opportunity to showcase their platforms while also asking tough questions of Republicans and Democrats. Coverage of the conventions will dominate our air over two weeks as CNN’s deep bench of anchors, political reporters and analysts help Americans make an informed choice about their vote.”
A full breakdown of CNN’s programming over the course of the two convention weeks is below.
· Republican National Convention programming for the week of Aug. 26:
o Kicking off convention week on Sunday, Aug. 26, State of the Union with Candy Crowley will air live from Tampa at 9 a.m. Reliable Sources, hosted by Howard Kurtz, will air from Tampa 11 a.m.
o From 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 26, America’s Choice 2012: Countdown to the Republican National Convention will air live from Tampa.
o Beginning Aug. 27, Early Start anchor John Berman will host the program live from the CNN Grill from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. Co-anchor Zoraida Sambolin will be live from New York.
o Also live from the CNN Grill in Tampa, a special convention edition of Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien will air Monday, Aug. 27 through Thursday, Aug. 30. from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. On Friday, Aug. 31, the program will be live from a local diner.
o CNN Newsroom anchor Brooke Baldwin will anchor CNN Newsroom from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. each convention day.
o On each convention day, lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer will anchor The Situation Room from the convention floor beginning at 4 p.m. On Friday, Aug. 31, Blitzer will take his program to Charlotte, in advance of the Democratic National Convention.
o At 7p.m., CNN will begin prime time coverage from locations inside the convention hall. Anchors Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett and Candy Crowley will join Blitzer to lead coverage alongside chief national correspondent John King at the “Magic Wall.” Chief political analyst Gloria Borger and senior political analyst David Gergen will be on hand during coverage throughout each evening.
o A special midnight edition of Piers Morgan Tonight will air live from the CNN Grill, where newsmakers and convention attendees will be gathered to enjoy lively political conversation while staying plugged into the goings on at the convention.
o Throughout the week senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash and national political correspondent Jim Acosta will provide coverage from the convention floor. Chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin will also be on the ground in Tampa to provide coverage of the convention. Senior correspondent Joe Johns will be on hand to cover protesters and security at the convention. Correspondent Tom Foreman will execute fact checks and take the temperature of Florida voters participating in focus groups at the CNN Grill.
· Democratic National Convention programming for the week of Sept. 2:
o On Sunday, Sept. 2, State of the Union with Candy Crowley will air live from Charlotte at 9 a.m. Reliable Sources, hosted by Howard Kurtz, will air from Charlotte at 11 a.m.
o Beginning on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3, Early Start anchor John Berman will host the program live from the CNN Grill from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. Co-anchor Zoraida Sambolin will be live from New York.
o Also from the CNN Grill in uptown Charlotte, Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien will air live beginning Monday, Sept. 3 through Thursday, Sept. 6 from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. On Friday, Sept. 7, the program will air live from a local diner.
o Beginning Monday, Sept. 3, CNN Newsroom anchor Suzanne Malveaux will anchor live from Charlotte from noon to 2 p.m. each convention day.
o A special edition of The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer will air beginning Friday, Aug. 31 and continue through each convention day from the convention hall in Charlotte beginning at 4 p.m.
o From 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 3, America’s Choice 2012: Countdown to the Democratic National Convention will air live from Charlotte.
o At 7p.m. each convention day, CNN will begin prime time coverage from inside the convention hall. Anchors Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett and Candy Crowley will join Blitzer to lead the coverage alongside chief national correspondent John King at the “Magic Wall.” Chief political analyst Gloria Borger and senior political analyst David Gergen will be on hand during coverage each day.
o A special midnight edition of Piers Morgan Tonight will air live from the CNN Grill in uptown Charlotte, where newsmakers and convention attendees will be gathered to enjoy lively political conversation while staying plugged into the goings on at the convention.
o Throughout the week of the convention White House correspondent Brianna Keilar and chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin will be on the ground to provide the latest from the convention floor. Senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash will also be on the ground in Charlotte to provide coverage of the convention. .Senior correspondent Joe Johns will be on hand to cover protesters and security at the convention. Correspondent Tom Foreman will execute fact checks and takes the temperature of North Carolina voters participating in focus groups at the CNN Grill.
o On the final day of the convention, Thursday, Sept. 6, CNN’s anchors and correspondents will move to the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, where President Obama will accept his party’s nomination.
CNN Digital will be on the ground at the political conventions and in the CNN Grill, providing all the latest coverage online at CNN Election Center, the network’s hub for the latest political news, updated CNN polls and the CNN Electoral Map, an interactive which allows users to try their hand at predicting the number of Electoral College votes each candidate will receive.
CNN Digital will also live stream key convention moments online at www.cnn.com/live and on mobile, including nominee speeches and newsworthy events on the ground. CNN will be hosting live Cisco Election Roundtables at each convention, moderated by Wolf Blitzer. Users can be face-to-face with Blitzer by participating in this insider chat online at www.cnn.com/roundtable and can also submit questions to a panel of political experts.
CNN iReport, the network’s global participatory news community, will launch an Open Story for the each of the conventions. Open Story gives iReporters the opportunity to capture the sights and sounds around the convention and places their stories on an interactive timeline along with CNN journalists also reporting from the RNC and DNC.
The “Your Political Ticket” iReport contest winners will have the opportunity to shine by contributing to the Open Story, being featured on air and participating in various events around the convention. Additionally, iReporters at home will have the chance to share their commentary and views on the hottest election issues and topics surfaced in the iReport Debate.
For up-to-the-minute coverage updates, check out the CNN Politics Facebook page, follow @CNNPolitics on Twitter, using the hashtag #CNNGrill and read CNN’s daily political newsletter Gut Check.
CNN International and CNN en Espanol
CNN International will also have extensive coverage of the conventions, including regular simulcasts with CNN/US. During the Republican National Convention, Hala Gorani will anchor the 1 p.m. ET edition of ‘International Desk’ live from Tampa, while Isha Sesay will present CNN NewsCenter live at 3:30 p.m. ET from Charlotte throughout the Democratic National Convention.
Starting Monday, Aug. 27 through Thursday, Aug. 30, CNN en Español will cover the Republican National Convention in Tampa, hosted by anchors Juan Carlos Lopez, Fernando del Rincon, Carlos Montero and Gustavo Valdes. On Monday, Sept. 3 through Thursday, Sept. 6, the network will also cover the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, hosted by anchors Juan Carlos Lopez, Patricia Janiot, Lucia Navarro and Gustavo Valdes.
Moreover, on Wednesday, Aug. 29, CNN en Español will broadcast the Republican Vice President nominee’s speech live, and on Thursday, Aug. 30, Gov. Mitt Romney’s speech. During the DNC, CNN en Español will broadcast Vice President Joe Biden’s speech live on Wednesday, Sept. 5 and President Barack Obama’s speech on Thursday, Sept. 6.
CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.