TV, Wall Street Bigwigs Fete Erin Burnett at CNN Launch Party

By Alex Weprin 

Mark Whitaker, Jim Walton, Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett, Piers Morgan and Ken Jautz

Last night CNN feted its newest anchor, Erin Burnett, at Robert restaurant at The Museum of Arts and Design in Columbus Circle, just a few hundred feet from CNN’s NYC headquarters. Overlooking Columbus Circle and the southwest corner of Central Park, guests watched the city fade into night, while clips of Burnett preparing for her show played on a loop on TV sets spread throughout the space.

Just after 7:30 PM, CNN/U.S. executive VP Ken Jautz and CNN managing editor Mark Whitaker made some brief remarks. Jautz commented that Burnett is extremely passionate about news, and that anyone expecting a curt reply when asking her what she is working on is in for a long conversation.

Burnett then addressed the crowd and thanked them for their support. Her manager John Ferriter was in attendance, as was her fiancee David Rubulotta. Jautz and Whitaker got shout-outs, as did CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton and CNN ad sales chief Greg D’alba, both of whom were working the room.

The party also drew a packed room of boldface names:

TVNewser spotted Burnett’s CNN colleagues Piers Morgan, Anderson Cooper, Ali Velshi and Jeffrey Toobin working the room. Also in attendance from the TV world were Burnett’s former CNBC colleague Jim Cramer, former daily MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer, Maury Povich and wife Connie Chung, ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams and NY1 anchor Pat Kiernan.

TVNewser also spotted JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, and former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo, whose 7 ft 2 frame made him very hard-to-miss.

In an interview before the party, Burnett told us what her show, “OutFront,” will be: “In terms of what we do, the name of our show really is a mission statement in terms of who we are and what we are going to do.”

“OutFront” debuts Monday at 7pmET on CNN.

CNBC's Jim Cramer and CNN's Erin Burnett

Maury Povich and Connie Chung talk with Erin Burnett

Erin Burnett and Dikembe Mutombo

Erin Burnett with fiance David Rubulotta

CNN's Mark Whitaker, Erin Burnett and Ken Jautz

Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett, Piers Morgan

(Photos: Amanda Schwab)