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CNN Abu Dhabi


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#21 Tribune

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 12:44 PM

The plot thickens (at least from my perspective).

I was rereading a press release from late 2007 about the launch of the UAE bureau, and in it, they announced this guy, Wilf Dinnick as the new anchor. He's been with CNN since that time, but, I've never seen him before. I ran a forum search for his name, and it looks like he's filed a few reports for ITME, but that's all I can find.

I Googled him, and up came his linkedin profile, but on there, it says that he joined CNN in 2007 (when the UAE bureau was announced) and left in 2009.

This is pure speculation, but maybe they booted him when they got Stan back...?

It's anyone's guess who turns up in Abu Dhabi in November (or if the bureau launches at all).


Ya I had seen him do a few a reports for main news bulletins. I think he may have been in Baghdad briefly but definitely somewhere in the Middle East.

#22 dezbee2008

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 12:50 PM

Wilf Dinnick? He used to be at ABC News, I remember. Haven't seen this guy on CNN. :-?
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#23 Tribune

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 09:25 PM

Wilf Dinnick? He used to be at ABC News, I remember. Haven't seen this guy on CNN. :-?


IIRC he was a producer type reporter if you know what i mean

#24 Charles

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 02:12 AM

In other news today, CNN is not confirming that Abu Dhabi is set to launch in November.

CNN has moved to say that its new Abu Dhabi production centre will open in the coming months, but could not confirm reports in the regional press that a date was set for November.

"The launch is currently on track for Autumn and once we have a firm date we will announce it," a CNN spokesperson told DPME.com.

The broadcaster announced in October 2008 that it would open only its fourth international hub broadcast facility in the twofour54 precinct after having expressed its intentions to develop its UAE operations in December 2007.

Following an interview with CNN anchor Hala Gorani in UAE broadsheet The National, a number of stories spread that the new broadcast facility would be ready by November although there is no statement from Gorani or anyone else at CNN to suggest this.

Gorani was discussing the channel’s new programming line-up, which is currently being rolled out and makes no reference to the new facility at twofour54.

The last official statement regarding the Abu Dhabi bureau came in October 2008 when CNN International’s managing director Tony Maddox described the expansion in the UAE as “one of our boldest editorial undertakings of recent years”.

The CNN bureau will be one of the centrepieces of twofour54, which will also house facilities for Rotana, the Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC) and the BBC.


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#25 Morpium

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 09:10 AM

From Kevin Flower's Twitter

Our soon to open @CNNAbuDhabi office has a twitter account. Look for anew show from them starting the last week of October.

And, said Twitter account is at: twitter.com/CNNAbuDhabi

#26 Gruffny

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 10:22 AM

Excellent news, thanks Morpy. :-)
Let's put the NEWS back into Cable NEWS Network.
less World Sport, more World Report.

#27 ginnyfan

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 02:29 PM

That's great, I didn't expect it so soon, can't wait.
We'll back tomorrow , if they let us out of our cages. - Monita and Owen on CNN Today, 2008.

#28 Axl0706

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 05:27 PM

That's in less than two weeks :surprised: Who's going to be the anchor?

#29 Houston

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 11:25 PM

Well, from an article today:
The operation will house approximately 30 staff including a new CNN International anchor;

And Defterios may have to move...
In addition to the launch of live daily news programming, CNN will also move the production of its popular Middle East focused feature shows 'Inside the Middle East' and 'Marketplace Middle East' to the UAE.

And it looks to be HD.



#30 Charles

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 11:43 PM

The operation will house approximately 30 staff including a new CNN International anchor...


Okay, so Stan isn't the anchor now? Stop teasing us...tell us who the new anchor is!

As for Defterios, according to what alexander reasons, Defterios will likely not move:

Defterios must be getting ready to move to Abu Dhabi. I wonder if Max will do MME until November?


Actually, I would be really surprised if he moves to Abu Dhabi. John Defterios, who is Greek, lives in London with his family and is the Vice President of FBC Media which seems to be his primary job. So, I would guess, unless they give him a big promotion on CNN, (or if the other company moves to UAE) I can't see how he will move there.


Everything still seems to be very unknown about the whole operation.

Thanks as always, Houston. You can always find things I never do.

#31 Junk Junk.

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 02:53 AM

That's in less than two weeks :surprised: Who's going to be the anchor?

That was indeed fast! 3 questions in my mind-
1) At what time will the new show air? (I am supposing it will be around in the first I-Desk, thats 7pmUAE/5pmCET)
2) Who's the anchor? (I want a new local face to come up, someone we are unknown to)
3) And all the sets have already been build, don't you think?

#32 Houston

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 03:17 AM

I would say the sets are there - but it's not owned by CNN is it? I get the impression they are "renting" from twofour54.

"At twofour54’s heart is a 6-studio complex, available on a ‘wet’ or ‘dry’ basis, and complete with edit suites, post-production facilities, sound, graphics, and all the other elements expected by today’s demanding producers...
But there’s more. Just 3 miles away at Khalifa Park, adjacent to the city’s National Theatre site, twofour54 has another complex of buildings, including an impressive Penthouse studio being readied for CNN’s new Middle East operational hub."



#33 Charles

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 03:42 AM

I get the impression that they're leasing the space, too.

We've speculated in the past that this AD show would air at 1200 EDT / 1600 GMT, since that is the blankest hour (a WR bulletin followed by a canned show) in what is a semi-primetime slot. It seems logical that the show would fit in at that time, but of course, that's only speculation.

As for the anchor, I'm puzzled. I thought it was Wilf Dinnick at first, but when Stan came back, it sounds like Wilf left. Press releases in recent months have suggested Stan is the anchor, but the article Houston posted today just says that it's a "new anchor". I'm guessing Defterios isn't leaving London. It's anyone's guess as to who the anchor will be, I suppose.

As for sets, I wonder if they might turn out like this or this. The London set on that site was for the most part spot-on, though the AD set is credited to a different designer on that site, and the set they have on that site for AD doesn't look like a final design to me.

It seems strange that we haven't really heard much more about this. I wonder if the bureau will have a serious impact on their coverage of the Middle East.

#34 Junk Junk.

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 01:24 PM

I wouldn't be too enthusiastic abouts the sets cause i dont think it will be of that sorts, afterall if they can continue with the HK set for so long, which produces like 5 hrs daily, lord knows what they plan for just 1 hr of daily program coming from AbuDhabi.

#35 ginnyfan

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 04:38 PM

I really hope the sets turn out like that, finally a newsroom incorporated in it again. London is very similar to those except for the desk.

I was hoping there would be 2 anchors, also how much stuff Hong Kong has???
We'll back tomorrow , if they let us out of our cages. - Monita and Owen on CNN Today, 2008.

#36 Gruffny

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 12:35 PM

I would be surprised if we see a newsroom. I wouldn't be surprised if we see something blue like London and Atlanta, and to a lesser extent, Hong Kong. I would love to see some sort of newsroom incorporated.
Let's put the NEWS back into Cable NEWS Network.
less World Sport, more World Report.

#37 alexander

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 09:34 PM

And more: http://twitter.com/cnnabudhabi

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#38 ginnyfan

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 10:01 PM

That definitely looks similar to what we saw in those set drawings, especially windows on the right side.
We'll back tomorrow , if they let us out of our cages. - Monita and Owen on CNN Today, 2008.

#39 Junk Junk.

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 02:01 AM

That definitely looks similar to what we saw in those set drawings, especially windows on the right side.

Yep, they'll most probably turn out to be painted in bright colors i guess..

#40 ginnyfan

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 11:34 AM

I wish it would start next week, they gave us a wrong clue saying last week of October. I'm very excited about this new center, set looks promising plus the return of one of my old CNN favs.

Also I'm sure that after some time Abu Dhabi will get more on air time, probably in the morning instead of some of the London produced hours.
We'll back tomorrow , if they let us out of our cages. - Monita and Owen on CNN Today, 2008.



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