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Thumbs up CNN launches Middle East news hub - 04-November-2009, 11:10

CNN launches Middle East news hub

Wednesday, November 4 2009, 08:44 GMT

By Andrew Laughlin,

CNN has unveiled a new state-of-the-art production and newsgathering hub in Abu Dhabi as part of efforts to firm up its Middle East coverage.

Staffed by a 24-strong team, CNN Abu Dhabi will provide breaking news content for a network of online and TV outlets around the world.

The new facility has a four-camera digital studio capable of providing 24/7 live coverage - including high definition content - with dedicated edit suites and a fully integrated newsroom. It joins CNN's network of existing production centres, including operations in Hong Kong, London, Mexico City and Atlanta.

"The Middle East has played a significant role in CNN's heritage and is part of our DNA, two of our earliest bureaus were in Cairo and Jerusalem," said CNN International managing director Tony Maddox.

"This region unquestionably plays an integral part in world affairs, and the new hub in Abu Dhabi gives us the opportunity to get to the heart of the rich and diverse stories across the political, business, social and cultural spectrums."

Marking the launch, CNN International will start carrying a daily live news show from the Middle East, titled PRISM, which airs from Sunday to Thursday at 9pm.

CNN Abu Dhabi will also start producing CNN's long-running feature show, Inside the Middle East, along with the new Marketplace Middle East programme.

"The establishment of a permanent broadcast and production centre in the Middle East by CNN is a significant and unique move by a western news broadcaster," said Maddox.

"It gives CNN a powerful base from which to coordinate seven regional bureaus and showcase a new daily news show from the Middle East."

Last month, CNN International launched a redesigned website featuring integrated video and interactive services.

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