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CNN Headline News

Dec 16, 2002  •  Post A Comment

December 1976
Ted Turner’s struggling Atlanta UHF station, now known as WTBS-TV, puts its programming up on satellite, becoming the first “superstation.” The move opens the door to satellite delivery of future Turner networks, including CNN Headline News.
November 1980
Mr. Turner asks Reese Schonfeld to devise a plan and a budget for a 24-hour headline news service. On receiving it, Mr. Turner stuffs the document into a desk drawer. He retrieves it two years later.
August 1981
Mr. Turner announces plans to launch his headline news service in response to planned competition from the Satellite News Channel. The proposal initiates a flurry of construction and equipment orders.
September 1981
Mr. Turner obtains a two-year lease on a satellite transponder from Warner Amex Communications for distribution of CNN2.
Jan. 1, 1982
CNN2 launches from a hastily constructed studio located in an old social club in Atlanta’s midtown area. Chuck Roberts anchors the inaugural newscast at midnight.
May 1982
CNN/CNN2 co-founder Reese Schonfeld resigns following an internal power struggle.
June 1982
ABC and Group W launch Satellite News Channel (SNC) to compete with CNN2.
October 1982
CBS and ABC announce the launch of overnight newscasts in response to the proliferation of 24-hour cable news channels.
October 1983
ABC and Group W pull the plug on SNC less than 17 months after launch.
October 1983
CNN2 becomes Headline News.
July 1987
Ted Turner considers transforming Headline News into a business and financial channel, but later drops the idea.
October 1987
Headline News increases its coverage of financial news to four minutes each half-hour and adds a stock ticker during market hours. The channel is available in 37 million cable households.
January 1992
Headline News celebrates its 10th anniversary amid little fanfare.
August 1992
Headline News tops 50 million cable households.
February 1997
Headline News breaks format to carry extended coverage of the verdict in the O.J. Simpson civil trial in Santa Monica, Calif. The coverage draws 1.2 million households, five times the channel’s normal audience.
June 1998
The first major layoffs at Headline News as 70 employees are cut following a move to digital production.
June 1998
Longtime Headline News anchor Don Harrison dies of cancer.
June 1999
First substantial “makeover” of Headline News since 1987 results in higher story count, more emphasis on sports and stocks.
December 2000
Headline News reaches 80 million U.S. satellite and cable households.
January 2001
Veteran Bob Furnad retires as president. Teya Ryan takes over, announces more layoffs to come.
May 2001
Headline News goes to a dual-anchor format during daytime hours and cuts the “news wheel” to 15 minutes from one half-hour.
July 2001
CTAM honors CNN Headline News for the success of its “Around the World in 30 Minutes” campaign, calling it “one of cable’s most durable.” The long-standing motto would be dropped within six months.
April 2001
Former actress and local TV reporter Andrea Thompson is hired as Headline News anchor. She resigns after a few months.
August 2001
New on-screen look includes heavy graphics, tickers and scrolling headlines. Viewers complain the screen looks “too busy.”
February 2002
CNN veteran Rolando Santos named executive VP/general manager of Headline News.
May 2002
Popular anchor Lynne Russell leaves Headline News after 18 years.
September 2002
Headline News announces that it drew more adults 18 to 49 than did MSNBC for the previous two months.