CNN hopes to return to offices August 1 for Atlanta and September 1 for New York

CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker announced he was planning on August and September for its news and sports teams to return to their offices. “These dates were not chosen arbitrarily,” Zucker said in a memo to staff. “We are trying to coincide with back-to-school schedules, assuming that would make the most sense for those with young families.”

In the memo, Zucker said that they were targeting August 1 for a return to Atlanta offices and studios, and September 1 for the New York, Washington, San Francisco and Los Angeles bureaus. As for the international bureaus, Zucker says the company is taking a “city-by-city approach” based on the health regulations and rules in those areas — Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi offices are already open; London will have staffers returning next month.

Zucker wrote that because of logistics, “it will likely take a couple of weeks to effectively get everyone back to their desks. But those are generally when you can expect to see the start of a return.” He said that the dates were chosen to coincide with back-to-school schedules.

He said that vaccinations will not be required for a return but they will be “strongly encouraged,” and safety protocols, like the wearing of masks, will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

CNN’s Brooke Baldwin tests positive for coronavirus

CNN Newsroom anchor Brooke Baldwin has tested positive for coronavirus, she announced today on Instagram. She anchored her show as recently as yesterday.

“I am OKAY. It came on suddenly yesterday afternoon. Chills, aches, fever. I’ve been social distancing. Doing ALL the things we’re being told to do. Still — it got me.”

Baldwin added, “I’m healthy… no underlying conditions… Honestly, I feel like one of the lucky ones. I look forward to being back on [TV] and seeing you real soon.”

Unlike fellow anchor Chris Cuomo, who is still anchoring despite coronavirus, Baldwin will be taking some time off.

On Saturday, CNN unveiled its final Hudson Yards studio

Saturday, CNN pulled the curtain off its final Hudson Yards studio, called Studio 19X, utilized for The Van Jones Show. The new WarnerMedia complex consists of five fully-functional studios for CNN to operate for its news programs in New York City.

As NewscastStudio observed, the studio is “purpose built to accommodate a studio audience,” making it the perfect home for the Van Jones-fronted program, as well as any potential town hall productions CNN slots.

Below is a video of some of the angles Studio 19X could use.

CNN pays $70mil to settle 15-year long labor dispute

CNN has decided to settle a 15-year long “labor dispute with camera operators who accused the cable news company of canceling their contract to avoid dealing with the workers’ union,” Bloomberg reports, with a $70 million settlement.

The agreement would end a long-running dispute between CNN and a group of more than 200 video camera operators, broadcast engineers, and other technicians staffed by a separate video services company. Those workers, for the network’s Washington, DC, and New York bureaus, say the company laid them off without bargaining with their union and refused to hire some of them back because of their union connections, the report notes.

CNN has maintained throughout the case that it wasn’t required to collectively bargain with the operators and technicians because it wasn’t their “employer” under federal labor law. The workers were staffed through a contract with Team Video Services.

Richard Quest is getting married to his partner

Richard Quest, CNN International’s lead business anchor, fronting Quest Means Business and The Express, announced he is getting married to his partner. Quest, 57, has been an openly gay journalist at the news network, and posted on his Instagram, “I asked, and he said ‘yes.'”

Although officially based out of CNN’s New York bureau, Quest is often found hosting his show from a variety of CNN’s offices, including London and Abu Dhabi.

In an interview last October in Kenya, he said, “I am obviously going to be advancing an agenda that says there should be at least the decriminalization of same sexual activity. It is straight forward, I am not gonna mess around with that one. That is obviously my belief.”

CNN’s move to Hudson Yards a “half-done disaster”?

Some of CNN’s smaller divisions based in New York made the move in early April, with its Newsroom-branded shows moving in early May, CNN Tonight and Erin Burnett OutFront moving the second week of May, and Anderson Cooper 360, New Day, and Cuomo Prime Time all making the move this week.

According to a gossipy piece in the National Enquirer, however, it wasn’t a glamarous move.

“Everything looked half-done and nothing worked when they got there!” one insider said to the Enquirer. “There was no internet. The TVs in the offices didn’t work. There wasn’t even toilet paper in the bathrooms! It was a joke!”

“The place totally isn’t finished! They just weren’t ready for business, at all,” one source told the Enquirer.

“That’s why they didn’t bring over most of the prime-time talent. God forbid Anderson Cooper’s toilet wasn’t ready to flush when he arrives!”

Things are so disorganized, on-air guests have reported getting lost between the lobby and the makeup 
room on the 19th floor, sources told the tabloid.

CNN has begun broadcasting from Hudson Yards

Almost all of CNN’s New York-based staff has made the move to their new New York City headquarters at Hudson Yards. A lot of moving occurred earlier in April.

This morning at 4am ET, CNN’s new newsroom studio from Hudson Yards made its debut for Early Start, anchored by hosts Dave Briggs and Christine Romans. New Day aired from its usual Studio 71 at Columbus Circle. It isn’t immediately clear when the network’s marquee programming, from New Day, to Erin Burnett OutFront, Anderson Cooper 360, Cuomo Primetime, or CNN Tonight will make the jump to Hudson Yards, but At This Hour with Kate Bolduan and both editions of CNN Newsroom, the first block with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto, and then the afternoon edition of Brooke Baldwin, are to utilize the new Hudson Yards set.
Hudson Yards

CNN is on the move to 30 Hudson Yards

CNN is in the process of moving to its new New York City-based offices at 30 Hudson Yards. It will leave behind its office space at Columbus Circle, as had been announced around 2014.

So far, no word on what the studios for almost all of the network’s programming will look like now, coming from the new offices. Other than CNN’s 1pm show, 4pm show, and the 5pm-7pm block, all of CNN’s weekday programming has originated from the various studios inside Columbus Circle. The remaining weekday hours were broadcast from CNN’s Washington, DC studios.

Although it isn’t immediately clear when the move will be finished, the CNN Business staff is thought to have largely already made the jump to the their new work space.