Since its inception back in 1980 when entrepreneur Ted Turner came up with the idea of offering twenty-four-hour news programming.At the time, most television stations offered little at night beyond infomercials and re-runs, taking the attitude that television audiences at night aren’t large enough to support the expense of broadcasting more costly entertainment.
Now, of course, CNN is able to boast that it is no longer a TV news network but rather, a twenty-four-hour global platform consisting of many layers with a worldwide audience today of nearly a hundred million viewers.
During these past thirty-six years, crew members have understandably come and gone. Many, however, found a home on CNN and in the hearts of millions of Americans who faithfully follow their programs day after day. Here is our list of the Top Ten for 2017:
List of Top 10 Best CNN Crew Members in 2017
10. Jeff Zucker
Jeffrey Adam (Jeff) Zucker isn’t just a crew member at CNN; he’s the Man. Following a distinguished career since graduating from Harvard, Mr. Zucker became the President of CNN in 2013 following departing CEO, Jim Walton.
Mr. Zucker presently oversees CNN and all its affiliates, a monumental job and one that takes a fine, skilled hand to keep the rudder straight when the wind blows hard and the waves ride high.
9. Anthony Bourdain
A food-loving chef who knows what he’s talking about makes Mr. Bourdain an ever-popular host with his CNN shows, now taking us around the world to visit locals and sample the myriad different styles of cooking offered by different countries.
After a number of successful shows featuring different aspects of cooking and restaurants, Mr. Bourdain is now a fixture on CNN with his Parts Unknown Show.
8. Suzanne Malveaux
Ms Malveaux has hosted a number of different programs on CNN in recent years and now fills in for Wolf Blitzer from time to time. Few have any idea that Suzanne has an identical twin sister named Suzette who’s a professor at the Columbus School of Law. The Gallic names come from the women’s Creole heritage. A big moment for Ms Malveaux was when she anchored a ninety-minute documentary on Senator Barack Obama before the 2008 elections.
7. Michelle Kosinski
Although she already had a popular and successful career as a journalist, Ms Kosinski has risen to prominence in recent years and her reputation across the globe and today she has become an icon.
6. Lisa Ling
This beautiful journalist has become more and more popular in recent times with her show, This is life with Lisa Ling on CNN. She is one amongst the Top 10 Best CNN Crew Members 2017.
Before coming to CNN, Ms Ling worked for distinguished organizations such as National Geographic and came on a special correspondent for the Oprah Winfrey Show. Today, at the top of her game, Ms Ling is one of CNN’s most watched journalists.
4. Wolf Blitzer
Born in Germany to parents who managed to survive Auschwitz, Mr. Blitzer has distinguished himself through news media, getting his start on the Reuters News Agency. This led to a Washington correspondent and Mr. Blitzer continued with his fine work covering many important news events. Mr. Blitzer has written about some of the cases in which he became involved and until in 1990 Mr. Blitzer moved to CNN where he remains today, popular and followed daily by loyal fans.
4. Don Lemon
Many look forward to seeing Mr. Lemon’s cheerful face on CNN at night. Starting as a weekend anchor for a Birmingham Alabama station, Mr. Lemon kept moving up until he got to NBC. In 2006, Mr. Lemon joined CNN and while extremely popular, Mr. Lemon has been criticized for his outspoken opinions about ways in which the African-American community can improve its image.
2. Jeffrey Toobin
Long an author as well as a staple at The New Yorker, Mr. Toobin came to CNN in 2002. His interview with Martha Stewart was watched by millions and Mr. Toobin’s remarks about some other prominent figures have made him not only more popular but adds to the public’s interest.
3. Dr. Sanjay Gupta
A neurosurgeon as well as CNN reporter, Dr. Gupta serves as associate chief of neurosurgery service at Grady memorial Hospital in Atlanta. In his spare time, Dr. Gupta also publishes a column in Time Magazine and writes a number of successful and informative books. Dr. Gupta is always popular and his programming remains highly anticipated by his loyal audience.
1. Anderson Cooper
Today, many feel that CNN is Anderson Cooper. With a royal lineage going back through the Vanderbilt shipping and railroad magnates, Mr. Cooper can also boast family relations with important Americans going back to the Civil War.
After graduating from Yale University Mr. Cooper didn’t find his start as easy as one might expect. Finally, using a fake press pass, Mr. Cooper entered Myanmar (formerly Burma) on his own and was later able to sell his news segments to channel One.
The road from there through Viet Nam and into other dangerous zones such as Rwanda, Somalia, and Bosnia, finally led him to get some recognition back in the United States.
Now, CNN’s most respected and watched anchor is a fixture on early evening television. Mr. Cooper didn’t get where he is because he’s related to the Vanderbilts—he worked for a living.
Over the years a number of popular, some not-so-popular, reporters, anchors, commentators and analysts have come and gone. While CNN tries to present itself as an unbiased, news reporting network, a number of former politically focused members have since gone over to more conservative networks such as the Fox News Channel. Others, of course, have moved on for differing reasons.
That’s our wrap-up for 2017’s most popular and influential CNN crew members. But wait! There’s more: These are only a scant few of the many crew members, some before the camera and even more behind the camera, working quietly in the wings and unknown to any but close friends and relatives. They all play a major part in seeing that we, the viewers, get the best possible seat in the house every day. A great thank you to all!