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CNN Live Streaming – History

About CNN Live News Stream

The Cable News Network more popularly known as CNN is one of the most preferred American basic cable and satellite television channels in the US and around the world. The network is owned by DISNEY.

CNN live stream was the first all-news television network in the United States when it first began operations in 1980 by Ted Turner and 300 other original employees. The team invested $20 million into the network. As the network evolved they adapted to the changing forms of media and the CNN live stream has also grown in popularity.


CNN’s founder Ted Turner had a vision for the network that he would eventually make become a reality. In December 1976, he turned his Atlanta, Georgia independent station WTCG into one of the original satellite-distributed television channels. The intention was to have the new Cable News Network distributed on RCA’s new Satcom 3. However, that opportunity when the signal was lost on its launch date of December 7, 1979.

After the opportunity was lost Turner Broadcasting System filed suit against RCA seeking use of another communications satellite and $35.5 million in damages. The two companies would eventually work out a consent order and CNN eventually began operations on June 1 as scheduled.

The network launched at its headquarters in Atlanta, and bureaus in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. 

CNN continued to grow and in 1982, the channel launched a spin-off network called CNN2, which was subsequently renamed Headline News (HLN) the following year in January 1983. The new format was created to strictly focus on rolling news coverage, featuring half-hour newscasts 24 hours a day with segments scheduled in fixed timeslots each half-hour. It became one of the first news channels to utilize a “wheel” schedule. 

The new format appealed to its followers and many began to watch CNN live. Eventually, Headline News scaled-down the rolling news coverage in February 2005 mainly because of another format that incorporated news discussion programs during its nighttime schedule.

In 1985 CNN outgrew its original home, a former country club on the outskirts of midtown Atlanta. Turner then purchased the Omni International complex.

CNN’s Rise in popularity 

CNN’s coverage of the first Gulf War and other important world issues in the 1990s particularly the infamous Battle of Mogadishu led officials at the Pentagon to coin the term “the CNN effect“. The term was used to describe the perceived impact of real-time, 24-hour live news coverage on the decision-making processes of the American government.

John Kiesewetter explained it best when he said:

“CNN has changed news. Before CNN, events were reported in two cycles, for morning and evening newspapers and newscasts. Now news knows no cycle. When a plane has crashed, or shots are fired in a school, we expect to see it immediately on all-news channels. 

We don’t depend on the Big Three broadcast networks. The turning point came shortly after CNN’s 10th birthday, when Bernard Shaw, Peter Arnett, and John Holliman provided play-by-play of the 1991 Gulf War from a Baghdad hotel. The Gulf war proved how CNN had changed the world. U.S. military leaders chose their words carefully during televised press briefings, knowing that Sadam Hussein was watching CNN, too.”

CNN’s Livestream, CNN live stream audio, and CNN live audio all shot up in popularity after their coverage of the September 11 attacks in 2001. To date, CNN has two dozen branded networks and its Livestream is available to more than 2 billion people in more than 200 countries and territories.


As CNN continues to push to deliver the news to as many people as possible especially through CNN live streaming the network recently announced that it will launch a service called CNN+. To do this they also announced that they would seek to hire hundreds of people and develop dozens of programs for a subscription streaming service that will launch early next year, 2022. 

The official announcement was made on July 19, 2021. Chairman of WarnerMedia News Jeff Zucker, explained more about the new live streaming service and the need for it.

“CNN invented cable news in 1980, defined online news in 1995, and now is taking an important step in expanding what news can be by launching a direct-to-consumer streaming subscription service in 2022,” Zucker said in a statement. The service will exist in tandem with CNN’s existing television networks and will feature eight to twelve hours of live programming a day. It is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2022.

UPDATE: Discovery has bought CNN and has cancelled and fired all CNN+ programming and staff.

Kathy Griffin dismissal

In 2017 Kathy Griffin, faced sharp criticism after she posted a photo that showed herself holding up a bloody head resembling that of President Donald Trump. CNN announced in a swift response that she would not be back as co-host of CNN’s annual New Year’s Eve program.

A statement from the network explained that “CNN has terminated our agreement with Kathy Griffin to appear on our New Year’s Eve program.”

Griffin apologized for the photos, which she revealed were taken by provocative celebrity photographer Tyler Shields.

“I beg for your forgiveness. I went too far,” she said in a video posted to Instagram at that time and also added: “I made a mistake and I was wrong.” She had been Anderson Cooper’s co-host since 2007 for the NYE party. Cooper also condemned the comedian’s act saying that he was “appalled by the photo shoot.”

Former President Trump said in a Tweet that Griffin “should be ashamed of herself.” He added: “My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this,” he wrote. “Sick!”


The network has had its fair share of criticism over the years. CNN has been accused of having a party bias. This was highlighted in 2007 when research conducted by the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University and the Project for Excellence in Journalism, found that there was disparate treatment by CNN of Republican and Democratic candidates during the earliest five months of the presidential primaries in 2007.

Their most recent criticism came during the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries debate which was moderated by CNN and the Des Moines Register on January 14, 2020, CNN was accused by media pundits and the public over what many called a blatant bias for centrist candidates.

You can tune in to CNN live audio here.

Recent Controversies

In June 2021, Jeffrey Toobin returned to CNN as the network’s chief legal analyst some eight months after he was caught exposing himself during a Zoom call with colleagues at The New Yorker.

Toobin was interviewed upon his return by anchor Alisyn Camerota on “CNN Newsroom” about that incident, and about other recent legal news.

“I feel like we should address what’s happened in the months since we’ve seen you,” Camerota said. She quipped: “To quote Jay Leno, ‘What the hell were you thinking?’”

Toobin explained that he had realized that he was indeed a “flawed human being who makes mistakes”. He also described his actions as “deeply moronic and indefensible.”

While he admitted it was not a defense he added, “I didn’t think other people could see me.” In the above-mentioned interview, Toobin also expressed apologies to his wife and family as well as the people who were on the Zoom call that day, and to his colleagues.

He added: “And I’m sorry to the people who read my work and who watched me on CNN who thought I was a better person than this. And so, you know, I got a lot to rebuild, but I feel very privileged and very lucky that I’m going to be able to try to do that.”