CNN25: The Atlanta Anniversary Party

By Brian 

CNN at 25 is all grown up, but its staffers still know how to have a good time. Hundreds gathered in a ballroom across from the CNN Center on Wednesday night.

As the celebration commenced, cover bands performed 25 hits — one from each year of CNN. Headliners Hall & Oates were the perfect musical choice for the event: Attendees loved “Maneater,” “Sara Smile,” “Rich Girl” and “Kiss On My List.” (At one point, T-Bone reached into the crowd to hug a fan.)

Even some “CNN originals” were grooving. (In the back of the room, correspondent Richard Roth resisted a woman’s attempts to dance.)

Attendees dined on hamburgers, hot dogs, fajitas, cotton candy, ice cream bars (and drank alcohol — plenty of alcohol). The CNN25 stickers on tables became fashionable: One woman plastered the big sticker on her chest.

Near the stage, TBS chairman Phil Kent grabbed a slice of the gigantic CNN sheet cake, with a foot-high CNN logo and happy anniversary message. Nearby, Wolf Blitzer was busy posing for pictures.

After getting off work at 11pm, Rick Sanchez walked across the street to join the party. By then, even the bartenders were dancing, as Hall & Oates came back on stage for an encore. The evening concluded with a fireworks display outside the Georgia World Congress Center…