Twenty-three years ago, one of the largest and most successful news networks was launched, hitting an audience unfamiliar with the concept of a 24 hour news channel.

At 6:05pm on June 1, 1980, Turner Broadcasting launched the Cable News Network, or CNN as it would come to be known. The station, broadcasting from its new state-of-the-art home in Atlanta, GA., initally reached about 1.7 million households in America. That night, people tuning in would have heard the first words of CNN's first broadcast:

"I'm Dave Walker - and I'm Lois Mart - and here's the news."

CNN's first story that night was the shooting of Vernon Jordan in Fort Wayne, Indiana. CNN was able to bring live coverage to its viewers, directly from Fort Wayne.

In September of 1985, Turner launched CNN International, sending CNN around the world, and into hotels and residences throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

CNN launched the first of its tremendously popular website network,, in August of 1995. Eleven more websites would follow, reaching 6.7 billion page hits in 1999. In 1997, CNN reorganized itself, spawning four international networks, scheduled independantly from one another. This enabled each network to provide targeted programming to each respective audience.

During its infancy, CNN's employee count was around 200 people, working out of CNN Headquarters in Atlanta, as well as eight CNN branch offices around the country. Today, CNN is part of the CNN news group - composed of a total of six television networks, two radio networks, two out-of-home place-based networks, twelve websites, CNN News Source, the CNN Airport Network, and over four-thousand employees. (You get slammed with CNN stuff at Atlanta airport, and pretty much any Delta flight.) The CNN news group, as a whole, reaches about 1 billion people worldwide, delivering news in nine languages, and utilizing a network of 800 broadcast affiliates around the world.


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