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CNN adds four hours of live news; bolsters news gathering in Asia

MUMBAI: CNN International has announced expansion of its live news programming by adding four hours a day of live news to its weekday schedule. The expanded live news programming is part of a series of changes at the international news network designed to further strengthen its offering for audiences around the world.

Some of the major changes include a new business programming line-up, expanded news gathering resources in Asia, and new primetime shows, also seeing a renewed focus on regional primetime.

CNN International managing director and executive vice president Tony Maddox said, “Live news is, and always will be, our hallmark. We have the best reporters able to get to stories around the world like no other network, and we continue to commit more resources to newsgathering, this time in Asia. This new schedule allows our audiences to tap into our global reach and journalistic expertise more than ever before, wherever and whenever they’re watching us.”

The channel will soon re-launch its business programming, establishing a team of expert business personalities at the heart of a series of new shows pinpointing key junctures of the global business day.

Viewers will be able to keep up to date with global economic trends and major corporate and market news through ‘The Business View’ with Nina dos Santos, a new US market show presented by Maggie Lake, and the daily emerging markets ‘Global Exchange’ segment.

All shows will feature frequent regional updates from the network’s business experts Andrew Stevens in Hong Kong and UAE-based John Defterios. ‘Quest Means Business’ will wrap up the day with a mix of analysis and reflection. ‘The Best of Quest’ will provide a weekend wrap of the week’s best interviews.

Among the new programming that has been added to the primetime line-up, Middle East viewers can watch a new show ‘Connect the World’ with Becky Anderson, taking Anderson from London to Abu Dhabi with a new slot and new show format, which debuted in early April.

For primetime viewers in Europe, CNN’s Hala Gorani relocates from Atlanta to London to present a new hour-long, in-depth live evening news show ‘The World Right Now’, due for launch in summer.

The channel has also expanded its morning programming in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, which will see a doubling of live news programming for viewers in the breakfast hours, to debut in the late third quarter of 2014 from the CNN Center in Atlanta.

Apart from that, the network is also evolving CNN World Sport into a more frequent bulletin to better capture the needs of audiences across the 24 hour programming cycle.

The introduction of the additional live news programming comes amid an intense news cycle where CNN has audiences in events from the Ukraine, Nigeria, Malaysia, Seoul, Geneva and Washington D.C. The changes also follow international recognition of the network’s editorial strength.

As a result of this expansion, CNN will also be adding positions to its operations globally. At the same time, the greater emphasis on regional newsgathering in the Asia Pacific will see some impact on programming staff as posts are relocated across the network’s global production centres.

CNN has also refocused on the Asia Pacific as its news gathering and feature programming hub, which will now see the Hong Kong bureau expanding its news gathering and feature output capabilities. In particular, a new correspondent post and a new senior editorial post will bolster the bureau’s capacity to cover the region’s stories which in recent months have included extensive coverage of the tragic events like the Typhoon Haiyan, the missing Malaysia Airlines plane and the South Korea ferry disaster.

The first of these new posts is to be taken up by CNN’s senior international correspondent Ivan Watson, who moves to Hong Kong in the summer. CNN’s Kristie Lu Stout will also continue to present an evening primetime news show live from the Hong Kong bureau, with the remaining live programming produced from the CNN Center in Atlanta.