CNN25: Reflections By Grant, Cramer, King

By Brian 

This is the first in a series of reflections on the last 25 years of CNN:

> Susan Grant, the executive vice president of CNN News Services, was at Techwood for the launch of CNN. She remembers when Ted Turner would sweep into the newsroom: “He said it was going to be great, and he was right,” Grant told me this morning. While the company has ballooned in size, the culture hasn’t, Grant says: “The heart and soul of it hasn’t changed. You had to be a true believer then, and you have to be a true believer now.” A true believer in what?, I asked. “That CNN has an important place in the world,” she said. “That it means something to its viewers. That it isn’t just another cable channel.”

> Quoting the introductory remarks of CNNI managing director Chris Cramer: “[What we’re celebrating is] not just the ability of one news channel to put the world under a spotlight twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, but to completely revolutionize the way information flowed around the world — to break the mold — to force everyone in the news media to think first about what the public wanted from the news industry. And where CNN led, many many others have followed, and continue to follow: The CNN effect.”

> “It was unheard of to do news on the fly around the clock,” Will King, director of international news operations, told me yesterday. “No one had ever tried it before.” The massive change was experienced on many levels: King described how the Sony videotape machines hadn’t been put to the test of a 24-hour operation. “The buttons started popping out,” he said, because the machines were being used constantly. Sony engineers modified the machines to handle the increased workload…