CNN turned thirty-five years old today and the original Cable News Network looked back at its history. The network produced the special, Breaking News: 35 Years of CNN, and is re-airing the special tonight.
Now while CNN founder Ted Turner did not appear on the special, he was involved in the festivities. Turner appeared in a video that was broadcast during a CNN employee town hall and then was posted online. He said CNN was his greatest achievement and then thanked the employees and the viewers for making CNN successful.
The CNN town hall was hosted in Atlanta, CNN’s worldwide headquarters, and then beamed to bureaus across the world. CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker came to Atlanta for the town hall, his office is in New York.
CNN employees were given t-shirts with the CNN Thirty Five logo and asked to describe CNN in a few words. Based off photos shared online, a CNN Quiz Show about CNN was played by six employees.
Jeff Zucker also sent out the following memo to staffers, obtained by The Daily Caller:
June 1, 2015 Thirty five years ago today, Ted Turner and CNN made history. It was June 1, 1980.
Ted was a maverick, filled with big dreams and unlimited ambition. Before anyone else, he realized there was a market, and a need, for a television network devoted to news and information, 24 hours a day. It was brilliant and radical.
Thirty-five years later, we are still making history, every day. In a world that changes so fast you can now get the news on your wrist, one thing remains constant: CNN is always there.
I’ve been fortunate to read some of your memories of your time at CNN. Whether you’ve been here since the beginning, or you joined more recently, a couple things struck me about the stories I read. CNN is a family. We have our ups and our downs, we have good days and bad. We celebrate our collective successes, and mourn our common losses. We have our share of quirky uncles and embarrassing moments. We work tremendously hard because we know how important it is that we get it right, every time.
The world relies on CNN, so it matters that CNN is good. We take our work seriously, because we know we have a responsibility to maintain the standards that Ted set 35 years ago. He founded CNN to act upon our convictions, to be a positive force in a world where cynics abound, and to provide information to people where it isn’t readily available. We live up to those ambitious goals every day – whether we are covering a story, moderating a debate, pushing an interview subject just a bit harder, developing a new way to get our reporting to the people who want it, or serving as the world’s most trusted news brand.
Most of what has made CNN great for 35 years was happening long before I got here. My hope is, with the help of each of you, the next 35 years are even greater. Thank you for all you do.