Day 4, Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Tuesday and Wednesday morning I had conference sessions but then I was back to touristing – I went on a CNN Studio Tour! CNN Studios occupies a giant building that was previously a hotel – part of it still is a hotel – this building is huge.
Architecturally, I learned that the CNN building has the longest free standing escalator in the world. It goes up 8 stories without stopping at a floor! While the escalator was cool, and I got to ride on it for the first part of the tour, it isn’t really the main purpose of the tour. You do get a great view looking down at the courtyard area of the building, with shops and a food court down below.
I had Sarah H. as my tour guide, and she showed my group around the various areas. I got to see one of the newsrooms, where hundreds of people were packed in like cattle in a stockyard (I mean, they had their own desks and all, but not even any cubicle walls!). They were all doing research on breaking stories and there were news tickers and televisions lining the upper walls of the room, monitoring news from around the world. It was pretty amazing and sad to me just how much news does NOT make it into our living rooms.
I also got to see an anchor doing a live broadcast. It wasn’t someone I recognize, but I don’t get the CNN channels at home, and they apparently have several different channels. I got to do at a mock news desks for photos, and Sarah explained how the anchors all wear earpieces and how the producers can talk into their ears during a broadcast, directing a live interview or asking them to change topics during the show. It must be tough to concentrate on your interview if you have someone talking into your ear.
Other than the mock newsroom, you aren’t allowed to take photos on the tour though… After my tour, I had some iced tea at the Starbucks in the food court and watched the goings on of the giant building. It was then I noticed it even had its own Atlanta Police Department precinct office!
Costs: $15.00 per person for the tour.