Zucker reiterates perplexing claim: “CNN is not leaving Atlanta”

CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker appeared at a luncheon in Atlanta today. Discussing covering the ever-changing Trump White House, he said, “This is nuts,” reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

At the luncheon, he noted he didn’t anticipate many changes to CNN, despite AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner.

But it was on the subject of Atlanta, the alleged headquarters of CNN, that drew my attention.

In the AJC report, it noted that Zucker was emphatic about Atlanta (where less than half of the CNN employees are based): “I will reiterate what I said five years ago, what I’ve said for each of the last five years and I’ll say it again: CNN is not leaving Atlanta. Our commitment to Atlanta is exactly the same. CNN is an integral part of Atlanta and Atlanta is an integral part of CNN.” The room, per the report, broke out in applause.

But the thing is, the execuite suites are moving to the offices at New York City, and not a single weekday show is hosted out of the Atlanta studios. CNN International, which was based almost exclusively out of Atlanta, even has many shows originating out of its New York studios, including flagship business show, Quest Means Business and US-politics based show State of America; in addition, of course, CNN Domestic simulcasts AC360 and CNN Tonight also come from the network’s New York studios.

CNN International even has fill-in anchors stationed in the New York bureau. Zain Asher, formerly an anchor based out of Atlanta, has since returned to New York City, as a CNNI-based anchor. Freelancers such as Nick Parker and Pauline Chiou also fill in for programs such as Newsroom from New York.

Following Zain Asher’s NY move, Marketplace Africa gets new set

Zain Asher, who is now based in New York City again, though this time as an anchor for CNN International, unveiled a new look for her show, Marketplace Africa, over the weekend.

Asher began fronting the show in May 2015, and it was taped in Studio H, the home of CNN Domestic’s weekend Atlanta-based programming.

But, as of this past weekend, Marketplace Africa will be taped in the New York-studio space used by Don Lemon for CNN Tonight and Kate Bolduan for CNNI’s State of America.

Take a look:

Kate Bolduan to anchor State of the Race on CNN International

Starting next Monday, Kate Bolduan will anchor State of the Race, a brand new US politics-based show on CNN International weekdays at 2:30pm ET, broadcasting from the network’s New York bureau.

Kate Bolduan said, “This has already been a race like no other, and it is clear there is a lot more to come. Every night we’re going to bring our international audiences along for the ride – offering the very latest developments from the campaign trail and giving them the inside scoop of what is really going on within the campaigns and in the minds of American voters.”

CNNI EVP Tony Maddox said, “As we get into the decisive campaign stages and open up key election battlegrounds, State of the Race will bring an insiders’ view from one of CNN’s most skilled political journalists.”

Bolduan’s show displaces CNN Newsroom anchor Zain Asher, who has anchored that timeslot since September 2015.

A CNN insider insists Asher will become a fill-in anchor, including on Quest Means Business, and can be expected to anchor other programs from the New York bureau.

Anchor Zain Asher is engaged

CNN anchor Zain Asher got engaged during a vacation on April 1 in Florida. It is suspected that her fiancé proposed to her either during the trip or when they returned.

Asher moved from CNN’s New York bureau to Atlanta in November of 2014, and currently hosts CNN Newsroom weekdays on CNN International at 2:30pm.

Her sister posted a picture on Instagram of the engaged couple:

Too early to return to South Africa

It’s apparently too early for CNN’s Johannesburg-based business correspondent Eleni Giokos to return to her bureau.

Giokos filled in for Richard Quest on Quest Means Business two weeks ago, but didn’t return to Johannesburg.

Then, after anchoring from the network’s New York studios for a week, Giokos stopped by the CNN Center in Atlanta and met up with the Marketplace Africa team, hosted by Zain Asher.

This week, she’s back in New York City, anchoring CNNMoney while anchor Maggie Lake is enjoying some off time.

If I’m any of the CNN International business fill-in anchors (Poppy Harlow, Alison Kosik, Isa Soares [who’s currently on maternity leave], et cetera), I would be on alert.

Dangote renews sponsorship deal with CNNi

Dangote Industries has renewed its sponsorship of CNN International, according to the news network’s press release. Dangote currently has a sponsored segment, Facetime, that airs during Marketplace Africa, hosted by news anchor Zain Asher.

The ‘Facetime’ element within the program is a high-profile segment in which a major player from the global business community is interviewed about Africa business matters. On-air content is complemented by distinctive online editorial at a CNN Marketplace Africa microsite, where popular and innovative content is shared across a range of social channels.

In addition, Dangote Industries Limited is sponsoring a new segment, ‘Africa Now’ to air within The Business View.

Dangote Industries Limited’s sponsorship of ‘Africa Now’ is aimed at raising the profile of the business across the continent and outside of Africa among CNN’s unrivalled affluent audience. The campaign spans TV sponsorship, spot advertising and digital components.

Antonio Canto, Vice President, Advertising Sales, EMEA, CNN International said: “This is an ideal time for Dangote Industries to consolidate its presence on CNN through the renewal of Facetime on CNN Marketplace Africa and the launch of ‘Africa Now’. At a time when there is a thirst for content on Africa, the sponsorships reflect Dangote’s role in promoting pan African business and its corporate social responsibility activity through the Dangote Foundation.”

The President/Chief Executive, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote said: “The renewal of sponsorship of Facetime within CNN Marketplace Africa and the decision to sponsor a new segment ‘Africa Now’ will enable these programmes to continue to showcase the many growth opportunities for anyone willing to do business in Africa. We in Dangote Group, with presence in 16 African countries, have experienced first-hand the benefits and untapped potential in Africa and we are optimistic that through these programmes others will come to experience same. We are convinced that the future of world economic growth is Africa and the partnership with CNN will expand that awareness.”

Exclusive: Zain Asher lands new time slot

As I first reported, John Vause will be co-anchoring a new show out of CNN’s Los Angeles bureau beginning September 28 with Isha Sesay, which meant Zain Asher was out of a time slot.

But, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, Asher will be moving to Sesay’s old slot of 2:30pm ET, taking over CNN NewsCenter — only it won’t be called that.

NewsCenter is over with; beginning on Monday, September 28, it will be known as CNN Newsroom, and will be anchored by Asher.

Asher also serves as the host of the CNNI weekly program, Marketplace Africa.

CNN slates debut for CNN Newsroom: Live from Los Angeles for Sept. 28

CNN Newsroom: Live from Los Angeles, anchored by John Vause and Isha Sesay, is scheduled to debut on September 28 at midnight ET.

The show will run for two hours, replacing the block of Newsroom previously anchored by Vause and Zain Asher. The 1am-2am edition will be simulcast on CNN Domestic.

Sesay moved in to CNN’s Los Angeles bureau at the beginning of the month; meanwhile, Vause anchored his last show from Atlanta on September 17.