The last place we visited in
was the Headquarters
for CNN. You all know that CNN (Cable
News Network) is a popular television station that is broadcast all over the
world. At their headquarters location,
they conduct a 55 minute tour eight times a day. The tour starts on the 8th floor
after you cross a security checkpoint on the ground floor. Atlanta
Now how do you get to the 8th floor of the
in ? Atlanta
Elevator?…nope! Good guess though.
Stairs? Heck NO!
Maybe an Escalator? What…are you kidding me! Really? An escalator?
An escalator that goes up to the 8th floor from the ground floor with no stops in between?
YESSSS! This is the world’s largest free standing escalator (according to the Guinness book of World records) and the only way to get to your tour.
CNN was founded by Ted Turner, who was the owner of Turner Broadcasting System which is now part of Time Warner. CNN started operating at 5 PM on June 1, 1980. Turner’s intent was to provide fierce competition to the three TV news networks that were dominating at that time (ABC, CBS and NBC).
On this tour, we could see in detail the Control Room Theater, Special Effects studio, and the Interactive News Desk section. We were able to understand what all it takes to produce a newscast.
At any given moment there are 99 cameras in various places in the world ready to be shown as news. Now which one will they show for the TV viewers? The Programming Director decides that…and makes quick decisions if there is breaking news at any time.
What if another news network breaks the news first? Oh yes, CNN is also monitoring/watching the other networks…just in case someone else gets the jump on CNN when a developing story occurs that CNN also should report on.
We were also able to see how tele-prompters work and how the news anchor is able to read the news while staring into the television camera. Watching how the weather anchors do the weather is also pretty cool (no pun intended).
What we see at home is the weather anchor standing in front of the weather map and giving us a weather forecast. That is not how it works in the studio. The weather board is somewhere else and the weather reporter is standing in front of a plain green wall. Somehow, due to the technical magic of television, we watch the reporter right next to (or in front of) the weather map on our TV. Cool stuff.
Why Green? Well…
When applying artificially created backgrounds or effects, two separate series of images have to be combined. The technical term for this is 'chroma key'. Any color can be used for the background that will be 'dropped' but the two most popular choices are Green and Blue - this is because these two colors are the most unlike skin tones and will not cause problems when removed.