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Monday, June 1, 2015

35

CNN turns 35 today.

It's amazing to think about all the people alive today who don't know a world without CNN.

It was a big deal back in the day.  It was so big, ABC's Nightline devoted a segment to it, including an interview with founder and then-owner Ted Turner.

I was about to enter my sophomore year in college when CNN came around, but my poor excuse for a cable company didn't carry it at the time.  When CNN finally did get a channel, I was floored.  News.  All the time.  All day.  All night.  Back then, it really was news.  Turner wanted the news to be the star.  How I wish that was still the case.

CNN can still be solid during major events.  The rest of the time, it's anchors who think they are bigger than the news.  Plus pointless talk and endless opinion.

I'll give CNN credit for airing some very good documentaries, even though some have been produced elsewhere.  The Sixties was outstanding, and I'm hoping for the same from The Seventies later this month.

CNN put together a show about itself for the anniversary.  It was called Breaking News, and you can still find it if your cable system has an "on demand" feature.  The documentary was on the events CNN covered, and not how the network came to be.  The early days of CNN is a fascinating story.  A few books have been written about it, and you really should do a search.  Meager resources.  Starting from nothing.  Failure predicted.  Ted Turner proved them wrong.

I long for the days when you could get cable news around the clock, but those days are never coming back.  CNN wants to be number one, and serious news has fallen by the wayside.

There are options now-- the internet.  CBS has a very good digital network called CBSN.  ABC has had on-and-off attempts.  I'd really like to see it make a push.

Happy birthday, CNN.  Bring back the news.