CNN named number one international news channel

CNN International is the number one international news channel in daily, weekly and monthly reach, according to the Ipsos Affluent Survey Middle East. The independent industry research study shows that the CNN International TV channel reaches 20% of the Middle East’s elite population every month and this reach increases to 28% when CNN International‘s digital properties are added to the scale of linear TV.

“CNN has made a sustained commitment to the Middle East for many years now,” says Rani Raad, President, CNN International Commercial.”We launched CNN Arabic and have continued to invest in the service; in the last year we have unveiled new studios and facilities at our major production hubs in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and we have moved our flagship show Connect the World to be produced and broadcast from the region. We are proud that our approach across TV and digital continues to resonate with Middle Eastern audiences as well as our commercial partners across the region.”

CNN expands Cathy Ibal’s role

Cathy Ibal has joined CNN International Commercial’s executive team and taken on a wider remit, adding CNN’s advertising sales across Middle East and Africa to her existing responsibilities in Southern/Central/Eastern Europe, Turkey and CIS. In her expanded position, Cathy will lead CNN’s advertising sales teams across all of these regions and extend her work with CNN International’s digital, data and branded content divisions to deliver smart, integrated advertising and brand solutions to a wider range of clients. She will also be responsible for developing CNN’s long-term strategic relationships with key brand partners in these regions, as well as continuing to identify opportunities for advertisers in innovative areas such as CNN Digital. Cathy will now report directly to CNN International Commercial President Rani R. Raad.

“I am immensely pleased to see homegrown talent like Cathy taking responsibility over these key territories and leading one of the most accomplished advertising sales teams, not just at CNN International but the entire industry,” says Rani. “I look forward to Cathy continuing to grow these regional sales markets and working with clients on brand solutions that simply aren’t possible or as effective anywhere other than CNN.”

Cathy adds “Over the last 15 years, I have developed a full appreciation of the power of CNN, our content and unique approach to developing commercial solutions that can completely change the way a brand is perceived around the world. I’m delighted to add Africa and the Middle East to my existing remit and work with clients in all of these regions to collaborate on impactful and exciting partnerships that leverage CNN’s momentum in areas such as digital, data, branded content and the enduring power of TV and quality video.”

CNN to push news through Facebook Messenger

CNN International is set to be pushing more personalised news through private message on Facebook Messenger.  The company has unveiled new capabilities for businesses and publishers on Messenger, allowing users to chat directly with CNN to get breaking news and personalised stories.

“With three billion global users, messaging apps represent the single most crucial global growth platform for businesses,” says Alex Wellen, Chief Product Officer, CNN. “Messaging apps are particularly ripe for news – they enable both the intimacy of a one-on-one conversation as well as the medium to broadcast a crucial message at scale. When someone adds the CNN Channel to Facebook Messenger, they are doing something far more intimate than “following” an account, they are putting CNN right alongside the people that matter most to them, and demanding a two-way, personal conversation.”

Samantha Barry, Head of Social News, CNN, adds “We know that more and more people around the world are engaging with messaging apps, and it’s not just to chat with friends. They’re using those same platforms to share news and content. The language we’re using on these apps is more personal, conversational and bespoke to the messaging audiences.”


Turner EMEA appoints new VP

Turner Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) has promoted Tarek Mounir to the role of Vice President and General Manager Turkey, Middle East, North Africa (MENA), Greece and Cyprus. Previously General Manager for MENA, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, in his new role Tarek will be reporting to Giorgio Stock, President, Turner EMEA, where he will continue to lead the region as well as be more involved in with the company on a senior level.

“This promotion recognises Tarek’s role in aggressively developing Turner’s presence in the region and driving significant growth, across both free to air and pay TV platforms and in the non-linear space,” says Giorgio.

Rani Raad, President, CNN International Commercial, adds “Tarek has done an outstanding job of building strong teams whose creativity and enterprise across Turner’s expanding Middle East portfolio have helped drive an overall growth trajectory in an increasingly important market.”

CNN launches CNN Style

CNN International has launched CNN Style on TV, following the successful launch of last year. The first 30-minute Monthly CNN Style show was aired on CNN International on Saturday, April 9 and was fronted by Journalist and Author Derek Blasberg. The programme will aim to be at definitive events in the style calendar such as biennales, expos, fashion weeks and design festivals, with upcoming episodes coming from New York’s Met Ball, Milan Design Week and the Venice Architecture Biennale, amongst others. The new launch will also feature across the CNN International network with segments and reports all featuring under the CNN Style banner, such as The Invitation – a new regular feature that will air during prime time shows CNN Today and The World Right Now with Hala Gorani

“Luxury advertisers and premium brands naturally turn to CNN when they want to connect with upmarket audiences at scale,” says Cathy Ibal, Sales Director, CNN International. “CNN Style coming to TV further strengthens our proposition to such brands following the commercial and editorial success of CNN Style launching on digital platforms last year. I’m already seeing strong interest from advertising partners as we develop a broad range of brand solutions around this unique cross-platform editorial product.”

Shitika Anand moves to freelance

Shitika Anand, former Assistant Editor of Grazia Middle East, Grazia Arabia and Grazia Luxury, has made the move to freelance journalism. With over four years of experience, Shitika has had work featured in publications such as Women’s Wear Daily, Cosmopolitan and CNN International. She will now be available to work as a social media/digital consultant as well as for fashion, travel and lifestyle feature writing in a freelance capacity.

“Working with the incredible Grazia Middle East team has been a delight,” says Shitika. “I’ve had the opportunity to interview some of the greatest talents in the fashion and food industry and write some of the best stories of my career yet. I’m very excited to take all my skills into the world of freelance and I look forward to writing for other publications and collaborating with brands on a digital and print platform.”

CNN to launch The Silk Road series

CNN is set to launch a new series uncovering the cultural traditions and commercial trading synonymous with The Silk Road trading route – The Silk Road: Past, Present, Future. Each month, CNN International correspondent Sumnima Udas will visit a different country along The Silk Road, uncovering stories of innovation, culture and business. The format of the 30–minute show will combine the modern world with historical context to bring the region alive.

A dedicated microsite for the series will be hosted on featuring video from the show and a host of bespoke content about the topics, cultures and business practices covered in the series. CNN’s audience will also have the opportunity to engage with the series through accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

“’The Silk Road: Past, Present, Future’ is where rich, historic cultural context meets modern business and trading against the backdrop of visually stunning landscapes and destinations,” says Ellana Lee, Senior Vice President, CNN International. “Part business show, part travelogue – this series will be an important part of CNN International’s output.”

For further information, contact Kimberly Lobo at / +971 (0)4 425 8979

CNN to launch global Traders programme

CNN is set to launch a new feature strand called Traders, which tells the stories of individuals who trade goods and services across borders. CNN plans to cover the stories behind the global import and export markets by meeting characters who passionately believe in their business to trade products and services overseas. In each report, CNN audiences will also gain valuable business information to put each story in context of international trade and commerce. Traders will run as a fortnightly segment that is part of CNN International’s The Business View with Nina Dos Santos and CNN domestic’s CNN Newsroom Weekend.

Traders is a content strand that makes sense of the drivers behind international trade in the context of globalised, connected business,” says Ellana Lee, Senior Vice President, CNN International. “By telling the stories of the passionate, innovative people working in global trade, CNN will bring import/export markets to life and show why this affects us all. Traders will add an intruiging angle to our wider business programming.”

CNN partners with McLaren Technology Group

CNN International has officially entered into a multi-year global partnership with McLaren Technology Group and is McLaren-Honda’s new partner for the 2015 Formula One season and beyond. For the 2015 season, this will see CNN’s branding appear on the front-wing endplates of the new McLaren-Honda MP4-30 Formula 1 car, which will be unveiled in an online launch on January 29, 2015. The partnership also allows for CNN’s use of McLaren’s soon-to-open thought leadership centre, based within the McLaren Technology Campus in Woking, Surrey, UK, from which CNN International will produce several programmes to be broadcast globally across its network.

“This is a groundbreaking partnership between two trusted brands with a passion for high performance and continued innovation,” says Rani Raad, Chief Commercial Officer, CNN International. “Committed to being first, we share a mutual respect for each other’s operations – whether that’s the tenacity of CNN journalists in going to the heart of a story or McLaren’s forensic focus for every F1 race. With a shared global footprint and highly engaged audience, there’s a lot of expertise and best practice that we can both invest in this partnership. The added exposure that CNN International will gain through our association with McLaren is part of an expansive consumer engagement initiative to capitalise on the power of our brand. The additional business, broadcasting and cross-marketing opportunities made possible by this multi-year deal will forge a close relationship between two companies on the world stage.”

Rob Dennis, Chairman and CEO of McLaren Technology Group adds, “There is an inherent symmetry between McLaren and CNN that makes us perfectly attuned for partnership. Like McLaren, CNN is a tremendously powerful and influential global network, one that has spent decades pioneering the latest technologies and techniques in a relentless, unforgiving, fast-paced environment. I think we understand each other on many levels. The partnership between McLaren and CNN is unique in that it operates on a very broad scope. Our shared love of technology has united us: together we will pursue new opportunities far beyond the conventional scope of a Formula 1 partnership.”

CNN audiences to select ME’s #Influencer2014

CNN Arabic and Connect the World with Becky Anderson are inviting audiences in the region and beyond to help identify the person who has most influenced the Middle East in 2014. By analysing audience data from the CNN Arabic website across the year, CNN has identified ten key figures that have made the biggest impact on the region.

The ten figures range from political leaders to inspirational one-offs, as well as emblems of mass movements that are altering the region’s socio-political landscape:

  • Abdel Fattah al Sisi, President of Egypt
  • King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
  • Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, self-proclaimed Caliph of the ‘Islamic State’
  • Barack Obama, President of the United States of America
  • Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel
  • The Foreign Extremist Fighter
  • Hassan Roubani, President of Iran
  • Marian Al Mansouri, First Emirati female fighter pilot
  • The Middle Eastern Refugee
  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey

CNN audiences can visit to select the three names from the list that they believe most warrant the title of #Influencer2014, and the survey will run until November 25, 2014. The results will then be debated during a special CNN Arabic and Connect the World Town Hall event in the UAE, which will be broadcast in early December on CNN International.