Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Every Hour Update

CNN New Year's Eve Time Square Mishap

(00:31 min.)
From: coro89010
Added: December 31, 2008
Description: i guess this is what can happen when there is live t.v...poor erica hill did a great job handling this!

Kathy Griffin CNN New Years Foul Language on Live TV!

(00:46 min.)
From: buffmefilm
Added: December 31, 2008
Description: Anderson Cooper makes fun of Kathy Griffin because she is replacing Star Jones for a gig, and then she yells at a off-camera harasser: "Get a job! I don't go to your job and knock the dicks out of your mouth!"

CNN Live Camera: Times Square at 12:00 PM ET

CNN Live Camera: Times Square at 11:45 PM ET

CNN Live Camera: Times Square at 11:30 PM ET

CNN Live Camera: Times Square at 11:15 PM ET

CNN Live Camera: Times Square at 11:00 PM ET

CNN Live Camera: Times Square at 10:15 PM ET

CNN Live Camera: Times Square at 10:00 PM ET

CNN Live Camera: Times Square at 9:00 PM ET

CNN Live Camera: Times Square at 8:00 PM ET

CNN Live Camera: Times Square at 7:00 PM ET

Times Square Weather

That is Anderson on the left and, no, that's not Kathy Griffin on the right; and, no, this is not quite Times Square, but it sure will feel like this. It's getting colder and colder by the minute in New York. I hope Anderson and Kathy will have a very, very well protected and heated space to broadcast from.

Still, they expect more than 1,000,000 people -- mostly tourists, I suppose, we New Yorkers may be crazy but not that locos to wait for hours in a crowd, without being able to see Anderson even from far away, and barely able to hear something in the distance that may or may not be him.
Oh, no, no, no!

Happy New Year Anderson!
Happy New Year Kathy!
Happy New Year You All!

CNN Live Camera: Times Square at 6:30 PM ET

2008, a Winning Year

...for CNN and Anderson Cooper 360º
But, then, we knew that already, didn't we?

Wednesday, Dec 31

2008 Ratings: CNN Wins Demo At 5pm and 10pmET

CNN had averaged a higher Total Viewer and A25-54 demo rating during 2008 in prime time than any other year in its history.

It also topped FNC at 5pmET (The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer) and at 10pmET (Anderson Cooper 360) in the demo.

On HLN, Nancy Grace had her best ratings ever at 8 and 10pmET.

• Related: The Los Angeles Times' Matea Gold talks with CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein about the network's strong year and big Election Night win: "I think we established very clearly that CNN is the network to watch for reliable information."

CNN had a tremendously successful and transformational year in 2008. Anderson Cooper 360 has topped Fox News at 10 pm and is the #1 cable news program in the key demographic adults 25-54; the network posted its highest primetime ratings in history in both total viewers and the key demographic (adults 25-54) despite growing competition, and CNN outperformed the broadcast networks on key election nights. Additionally, the CNN Digital Network dominated the online news space throughout the year, ranking #1 in the News and Information category in both Total Minutes and Page Views in 2008.

In 2008, (year-to-date 12/31/07-12/21/08 vs. the same time a year ago), CNN more than doubled the P25-54 primetime growth of FNC - with CNN increasing 87%; MSNBC grew 83%; while FNC was only up 42%. CNN also narrowed the gap between FNC in primetime (25-54) vs. a year ago, with FNC’s advantage slipping to only 43,000 vs. 109,000 in 2007. At the same time, CNN widened the gap between MSNBC in primetime (25-54), with CNN posting a 88,000 advantage in 2008 vs. 42,000 in 2007. During 2008, CNN attracted more younger viewers in primetime than the competition, averaging 405,000 in the 18-49 demographic, 27% more than MSNBC's 318,000 and a 4% advantage over FNC's 391,000. Among 18-34, CNN attracted 145,000 viewers, FNC had 115,000 and MSNBC drew 136,000 year to date.

Anderson Cooper 360 is the #1 show at 10p Among 25-54: Anderson Cooper 360 is the #1 show at 10p among adults 25-54 year-to-date, as well as in the younger demos 18-49 and 18-34. So far this year, Anderson Cooper 360 has averaged 478,000 among adults 25-54, an increase of 68% compared to a year ago -- outranking FNC On the Record’s 447,000 and MSNBC Countdown’s (replay) 288,000. Among younger viewers (18-49), Anderson Cooper 360 tops the competition with 416,000 viewers, FNC/On the Record's follows with 340,000 and MSNBC trails with 242,000. Among 18-34, Anderson Cooper 360 is also #1 with 139,000 viewers compared to FNC/On the Record’s 95,000 and MSNBC's 105,000.

New CNN Programs: Campbell Brown: No Bias. No Bull has seen strong gains since the program's launch (March 2008), increasing 62% in total viewers compared to a year ago and growing an impressive 67% among adults 25-54. As the only international public affairs program of its kind on cable news, Fareed Zakaria: GPS increased 76% in total viewers compared to a year ago and grew 81% among adults 25-54 since its launch (June 2008). D.L. Hughley Breaks The News has increased its total viewership by 78% since its launch in October 2008, and increased among adults 25-54 by 96% compared to a year ago.

CNN Programs Grow Double Digits in 2008: Year-to-date, American Morning grew 23% in total viewers and 24% among adults 25-54; The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer was #1 at 5p among 25-54, the first time CNN has outperformed FNC for an entire year at 5p since 2001. Lou Dobbs Tonight increased its audience by 49% in total viewers and grew 43% in 25-54, while Larry King Live has also seen impressive gains this year vs. a year ago, growing 21% among total viewers and is up 33% in adults 25-54. Of note, since the launch of Rachel Maddow on MSNBC (9/8/08-12/21/08), Larry King Live is up 74% among total viewers and increased 97% in adults 25-54, nearly doubling its adults 25-54 audience to 570,000 from 289,000 last year.

CNN Signature Programs/Documentaries: Since the election, CNN has aired several major signature programs, including Escape from Jonestown, which won its premiere telecast on Nov 15th among 25-54 viewers; CNN Heroes, an initiative that recognizes those heroes among us, reached nearly 8 million total viewers in its premiere and repeat telecasts; Christiane Amanpour's two-hour documentary on genocide, Scream Bloody Murder reached an impressive cumulative audience of more than 7 million total viewers; and the network continued its commitment to long-form, world-wide reporting with Planet in Peril. Earlier this year, Eyewitness to Murder & The Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. was the #1 telecast in its timeslot in total viewers and the demo among cable news networks, while Black in America won its timeslot on July 24th and 25th in both total viewers and the demo.

Election 2008: With all news organizations covering the 2008 election, CNN distinguished itself both on television and online by winning more primary debates, primary nights, convention nights, presidential commission debates than any other news network - culminating in a transformational election night win on Nov 4th (8-12:30 pm), topping all the broadcast (ABC, NBC, CBS) and cable news networks to rank as the most-watched network on television during that time period.

Election Night

CNN was the most-watched network on television from 8-12:30a, topping every other network in total viewers and among 25-54 Election Night ranked as CNN's highest primetime audience among P2+ and P25-54 in history.

Online, the CNN Digital Network was the No.1 news property on Election Day 2008 as it attracted its largest audience ever, with 12.8 million unique visitors, over 700,000 higher than MSNBC and 1.4 million higher than Yahoo! News. (Source: Nielsen Online) Live, the Internet's only live, multi-stream video news service, shattered its all-time record by serving 5.3 million live streams on Election Day. (Source: Omniture SiteCatalyst)

Presidential Commission Debates

CNN was the #1 cable network among 25-54, 18-49 and 18-34 for all three Presidential commission debates.

CNN was the most watched network during the commission's Vice Presidential debate among adults 25-54 and younger viewers, 18-34. CNN had the highest 18-34 telecast on television that day.

Online, the CNN Digital Network ranked No. 1 during the Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates as it registered the largest Audience. Averaging 7.9 million unique visitors across all 4 debates, CNN Digital bested No. 2 Yahoo! News by 9 % and No. 3 MSNBC by 18 %. (Source: Nielsen Online)


CNN delivered the #1 program in all of television on the night of Obama's acceptance speech at the DNC.

CNN won every night of the Democratic National Convention among the cable networks.
Online, the CNN Digital Network was the No. 1 News Property during the party conventions as it registered over 183 million total minutes for the Democratic National Convention and 208 million total minutes during the Republican National Convention. (Source: Nielsen Online)

Primary Nights

CNN was #1 in primetime among total viewers (not Iowa) and 25-54 on all major primary nights including Super Tuesday, where CNN outperformed CBS at 10p in total viewers and among all the key demos: adults 25-54, 18-49 and 18-34. Also on Super Tuesday, CNN topped ABC and CBS in all of prime time coverage among P18-34 and beat ABC at 10p among P18-49. On June 3, the night of the final primaries, CNN outperformed ABC among total viewers (NBC and CBS did not air coverage).

Primary Debates

CNN aired seven of the top ten Democratic/Republican primary debates in cable history among 25-54 during the 2008 election season.

CNN's California Democratic Debate on January 31, 2008 ranked as the #1 cable news primary debate of all time.

HLN Scores Double Digit Increases This Year: In 2008, HLN increased its audience in total day by 16% in total viewers and 19% in P25-54, versus 2007 to date. In primetime, HLN increased its audience by 29% in total viewers and 34% in P25-54. Additionally, every program from 6 a.m. through 10 p.m. showed double-digit growth in P25-54. Program highlights for 2008 to-date include:

• Morning Express with Robin Meade continued the network's trend of double-digit growth with 22% increase in total viewers and a 19% increase in P25-54.

• Nancy Grace had her best yearly deliveries ever in 2008, at both 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. topping The O'Reilly Factor in growth, up 38% in P2+ compared to The O'Reilly Factor's 29%. Nancy Grace also increased 49% among P25-54 while The O'Reilly Factor increased only 33%. Nancy Grace at 10 p.m. increased 30% in P2+, and 29% in P25-54. Beyond her overall performance, Grace had her best day in the show's history at 8 p.m. on December 11, 2008, with 2.4 million viewers, with continuing coverage of the Caylee Anthony story.

• Topping its record-breaking performance in 2007, Showbiz Tonight at 11 p.m. continued to show growth, increasing in P2+ by 10% and in P25-54 by 8%.

In 2008, HLN's average monthly cumulative audience in P25-54 exceeds that of Fox News: 25,907,000 compared to 25,193,000, respectively.

CNN Digital Network Dominates Competition in 2008

CNN Digital ranked No.1 in the News and Information category in both Total Minutes and Page Views in 2008. (Source: Nielsen Online, Jan. - Nov. 2008)

During the year, CNN Digital generated an average of 1.4 billion minutes a month, which represents a 25 % lead ahead of No. 2 MSNBC and 35 % over No.3 Wikipedia.

In regard to Page Views, CNN Digital secured the No.1 spot in the News and Information category as it registered an average of 1.7 billion page views a month in 2008, leading No. 2 MSNBC by 45% and No. 3 Wikipedia by 53%.

2008 also was a banner year for's video usage, as the site has served nearly 1.4 million video streams, an 85% increase over last year. (Source: Omniture SiteCatalyst, Jan. - Nov. 2008) Live served an average of more than 6.7 million live streams per month, a 178% increase over last year. (Source: Omniture SiteCatalyst, Jan. - Nov. 2008)
In 2008, served more video streams than any other news site and registered a 219 % lead over its closest competitor MSN Money. (Source: Nielsen Video Census, Jan. - Oct. 2008)

The Political Ticker, the No.1 Political News Blog according to Nielsen Online, secured the No.1 spot among the top political news blogs by generating an average of 66 million usage minutes a month. (Source: Nielsen Online)

CNN Mobile also ranked No. 1 in 2008 within the Top Mobile Internet News Providers category, averaging over 8 million unique visitors a month in 2008. (Source: Nielsen Mobile, Jan. - Oct. 2008)

Let The Ball Fall



Each year, millions of eyes from all over the world are focused on the sparkling Waterford Crystal Times Square New Year's Eve Ball. At 11:59 p.m., the Ball begins its descent as millions of voices unite to count down the final seconds of the year, and celebrate the beginning of a new year full of hopes, challenges, changes and dreams.

On November 11th, 2008, The co-organizers of New Year’s Eve in Times Square (Times Square Alliance, Countdown Entertainment) unveiled a new Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball at a press conference at Hudson Scenic Studio in Yonkers, New York.

The new Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball is a 12 foot geodesic sphere, double the size of previous Balls, and weighs 11,875 pounds. Covered in 2,668 Waterford Crystals and powered by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDS, the new Ball is capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors and billions of patterns producing a spectacular kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square.

The organizers also announced that the new Ball will become a year-round attraction above Times Square in full public view January through December.

“For one hundred years, the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball has attracted millions of revelers to Times Square on December 31st to celebrate the beginning of the New Year” said Jeff Straus, president of Countdown Entertainment and co-organizer of Times Square New Year’s Eve. “The new Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball will be a bright sparkling jewel atop One Times Square entertaining New Yorkers and tourists from around the world not only on December 31, but throughout the year.”

“The New Year’s Eve ball is bigger, better and brighter than ever, just like Times Square itself,” said Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins. “And like Times Square, it’s not afraid to show off. That’s why we’re proudly putting it on display year-round so visitors to the neighborhood can enjoy a true Crossroads of the World icon.”

WATERFORD CRYSTAL created an exclusive “Let There Be Joy” design for the crystal triangles on the new Ball. Designed and crafted by Waterford artisans in Ireland, “Let There Be Joy” features the design of an angel with arms uplifted welcoming the New Year on each of the 1,728 new crystals. The remaining 960 triangles are last year’s “Let There Be Light” design of a stylized radiating starburst.

"The new 2009 Times Square New Year's Ball represents the perfect blend of time-honored craftsmanship and state of the art technology," says Pete Cheyney, Director of Corporate Communications for Waterford Crystal. "The theme for the Waterford crystals on this year's Ball, "Let There be Joy" reflects our belief that New Year's Eve is a time when happiness and optimism for the future should be at the forefront of everyone's thoughts. We at Waterford consider the Ball to be of our Company's greatest achievements."

PHILIPS LIGHTING provided the new solid state lighting technology for the Ball, resulting in an astounding increase in impact, energy efficiency, and color capabilities. Capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million colors and billions of possible patterns, the 32,256 Philips Luxeon LEDs in this year's Ball represent more than three times the number of LEDS used last year, to deliver a brighter and more beautiful New Year's experience than ever before. And this year’s Ball is 10-20% more energy efficient than last year’s already energy-efficient Ball, consuming only the same amount of energy per hour as it would take to operate two traditional home ovens.

"At Philips Lighting, we are proud to be driving innovative and energy-efficient solutions for the world's broad range of lighting applications - from celebrated landmarks to consumers' homes -- and we're especially delighted to be the official Lighting Partner to the iconic New Year's Eve Ball in Times Square," said Philips Lighting Company Director of Corporate Communications Susan Bloom. "Now bigger in size and incorporating even more powerful and energy-efficient Philips Luxeon LEDs than last year, this year's Ball will deliver a New Year's Eve experience that will be brighter, more beautiful, and more sustainable than ever before."

FOCUS LIGHTING created a spectacular and unique lighting design that utilizes over 3,500 lighting cues to orchestrate the colorful moving patterns of light radiating from the Ball. Theatrical techniques were used to show the beauty of each facet of each individual crystal, making the sparkle visible whether viewed from 5’ away (as members of the press have seen it) or from 500’ when viewed from the streets of Times Square. It is like accenting a performer on a stage.

“We tried to create a beacon of light in the sky over Times Square,” says Paul Gregory, Principal Lighting Designer for Focus Lighting.

The companies listed below also provided essential contributions to the development of the new Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball:

E:Cue Lighting Control provided lighting control system

Hudson Scenic Studio provided structural engineering design and development

Landmark Signs assembles and operates the Ball

Lapp Group provided power and control cabling

Lighting Science Group provided the 672 LED modules and technology integration

History of the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball

Revelers began celebrating New Year's Eve in Times Square as early as 1904, but it was in 1907 that the New Year's Eve Ball made its maiden descent from the flagpole atop One Times Square.

The first New Year's Eve Ball, made of iron and wood and adorned with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs, was 5 feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds. It was built by a young immigrant metalworker named Jacob Starr, and for most of the twentieth century the company he founded, sign maker Artkraft Strauss, was responsible for lowering the ball.

As part of the 1907-1908 festivities, waiters in the fabled "lobster palaces" and other deluxe eateries in hotels surrounding Times Square were supplied with battery-powered top hats emblazoned with the numbers "1908" fashioned of tiny light bulbs. At the stroke of midnight, they all "flipped their lids" and the year on their foreheads lit up in conjunction with the numbers "1908" on the parapet of the Times Tower lighting up to signal the arrival of the new year.

The Ball has been lowered every year since 1907, with the exceptions of 1942 and 1943, when the ceremony was suspended due to the wartime "dimout" of lights in New York City. Nevertheless, the crowds still gathered in Times Square in those years and greeted the New Year with a minute of silence followed by the ringing of chimes from sound trucks parked at the base of the tower - a harkening-back to the earlier celebrations at Trinity Church, where crowds would gather to "ring out the old, ring in the new."

(Above) New Year's Eve Ball, 1978. Photo credit: The New York Times.

In 1920, a 400 pound ball made entirely of wrought iron replaced the original. In 1955, the iron ball was replaced with an aluminum ball weighing a mere 200 pounds. This aluminum Ball remained unchanged until the 1980s, when red light bulbs and the addition of a green stem converted the Ball into an apple for the "I Love New York" marketing campaign from 1981 until 1988. After seven years, the traditional glowing white Ball with white light bulbs and without the green stem returned to brightly light the sky above Times Square. In 1995, the Ball was upgraded with aluminum skin, rhinestones, strobes, and computer controls, but the aluminum ball was lowered for the last time in 1998.

For Times Square 2000, the millennium celebration at the Crossroads of the World, the New Year's Eve Ball was completely redesigned by Waterford Crystal. The new crystal Ball combined the latest in technology with the most traditional of materials, reminding us of our past as we gazed into the future and the beginning of a new millenium.

About "Time-Balls"

The actual notion of a ball "dropping" to signal the passage of time dates back long before New Year's Eve was ever celebrated in Times Square. The first "time-ball" was installed atop England's Royal Observatory at Greenwich in 1833. This ball would drop at one o'clock every afternoon, allowing the captains of nearby ships to precisely set their chronometers (a vital navigational instrument).

Around 150 public time-balls are believed to have been installed around the world after the success at Greenwich, though few survive and still work. The tradition is carried on today in places like the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, where a time-ball descends from a flagpole at noon each day - and of course, once a year in Times Square, where it marks the stroke of midnight not for a few ships' captains, but for over one billion people watching worldwide.

The Times Square New Year's Eve Ball 2000-2007

The 2000-2007 version of the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball, designed by Waterford Crystal, made its first descent during the last minute of the 20th century, at the Times Square 2000 Celebration.

The Ball was a geodesic sphere, six feet in diameter, and weighed approximately 1,070 pounds. It was covered with a total of 504 Waterford crystal triangles that varied in size and ranged in length from 4.75 inches to 5.75 inches per side.

For the 2007 New Year's Eve celebration, 72 of the crystal triangles featured the new "Hope for Peace" design, consisting of three dove-like patterns symbolizing messengers of peace. The remaining 432 triangles featured Waterford designs from previous years, including the Hope for Fellowship, Hope for Wisdom, Hope for Unity, Hope for Courage, Hope for Healing, Hope for Abundance, and Star of Hope triangles. These crystal triangles were bolted to 168 translucent triangular lexan panels which were attached to the aluminum frame of the Ball. The exterior of the Ball was illuminated by 168 Philips Halogená Brilliant Crystal light bulbs, exclusively engineered for the New Year's Eve Ball to enhance the Waterford crystal. The interior of the Ball was illuminated by 432 Philips Light Bulbs (208 clear, 56 red, 56 blue, 56 green, and 56 yellow), and 96 high-intensity strobe lights, which together create bright bubbling bursts of color. The exterior of the Ball featured 90 rotating pyramid mirrors that reflect light back into the audience at Times Square.

All 696 lights and 90 rotating pyramid mirrors were computer controlled, enabling the Ball to produce a state-of-the-art light show of eye-dazzling color patterns and a spectacular kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square. The now-retired 2000-2007 New Year's Eve Ball is the property of the building owners of One Times Square.

'Twas The Night Before New Year's

Hilarious doesn't come anywhere close to describe this segment. Watch it and giggle and laugh with Anderson for the whole six and a half minutes!

Anderson Cooper & Kathy Griffin [FUNNY]

(06:30 min.)

From: SwimmingPolarBear

Added: December 30, 2008

Description: CNN's Anderson Cooper & Comedian Kathy Griffin promoting their New Years Show on AC/360 - Hysterical


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Twitter Me

Tue, 30 December 2008 at 4:29 pm
Anderson Cooper: Teach Me Twitter!

Silver Fox Anderson Cooper hosts CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360° and reports for 60 Minutes. He’s also CNN’s Mr. New Year’s Eve. Here are some highlights from the 41-year-old’s latest interview with LA Times:

On not having a personal Twitter: “I think I do have a Twitter feed! I’m not as Twitter-friendly as [CNN anchor/correspondent] Rick Sanchez. He seems to be tweeting and twittering. I’m hoping he’ll give me a lesson on it someday” (See: Rick Sanchez’s Twitter and Anderon Cooper 360’s Twitter)

On not starting his own website: “I’m not that computer-savvy. And, uh, I dunno! I like the immediacy of television. I like going to a frontline, I like going to a story. I like the immediacy and impact of it. There’s a real global impact with CNN… It’s not really about mass distribution. It’s more about just telling stories that affect people’s lives. . . . There’s a lot of opportunities at CNN that if I had a little website somewhere I don’t think I could take part in.”

Read the full interview at [Or from our post right here at: TAC]

Message in a Confetti

Confetti ‘Flight Testing’ Conducted in Times Square

By Jonathan Weeks
Epoch Times Staff

Dec 30, 2008

NEW YORK—Preparations for the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square are nearing completion.

An “air worthiness test” for the confetti that will fill the skies in Times Square on New Year’s Eve was carried out Monday morning. Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins and Countdown Entertainment president Jeffrey Straus were on hand to throw handfuls of the New Year’s Eve confetti from a second floor window in north Times Square.

After being deemed air-worthy the confetti will join the rest of the 3,000 pounds that is going to get tossed by hand from various buildings in Times Square at 12:00 a.m. on January 1.

This is the second year that some of the confetti will be personalized. The public can write their hopes, wishes, or thoughts on a piece of confetti and attach it to the New Year’s Eve Wishing Wall at the Times Square Information Center on Broadway (enter on 7th Avenue between 46th & 47th Streets). It will then be thrown with the other confetti on New Year’s Eve. Thoughts and wishes can also be submitted on the Times Square Alliance’s Web site.

Random personalized confetti pieces will be read at intervals to the crowd of revelers on New Year’s Eve by Raul de Molina (El Gordo y la Flaca), Anderson Cooper (anchor of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360 degrees”), Ryan Seacrest (“American Idol”), and Carson Daly (“Last Call with Carson Daly”).

Last Updated
Dec 30, 2008

Share your hopes, dreams and resolutions for 2009 - then watch them flutter down as confetti in the heart of Times Square on New Year's Eve!

Click on the Time Square 2009 logo below to enter your "Wish in a Confetti":

I already entered mine: "I wish to meet Anderson Cooper in 2009." Maybe he'll catch it, read it and ... Well, you'll read the rest of the fairy tale in here.

Tomorrow's Schedule

Tuesday, December 30 - 02:03 PM EST

CNN New Year's Eve

Bring in the New Year with Anderson Cooper & Kathy Griffin, live from Times Square in New York!

Live coverage begins 11 ET | PT


ET - - - - - PT
5:00 a.m. 2:00 a.m. Anderson Cooper 360 (replay): AC360° is a fast-moving, surprising and provocative alternative to the typical network evening newscast. (R)

6:00 a.m. 3:00 a.m. American Morning: Get the most news in the morning with John Roberts and Kiran Chetry. Tune in weekdays at 6 a.m. ET.

9:00 a.m. 6:00 a.m. CNN Newsroom: Heidi Collins brings you updates of the latest news around the world... from the CNN Newsroom.

11:00 a.m. 8:00 a.m. CNN Newsroom: Tony Harris brings you updates of the latest news around the world... from the CNN Newsroom.

1:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. CNN Newsroom: Kyra Phillips brings you updates of the latest news around the world... from the CNN Newsroom.

3:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. CNN Newsroom: Rick Sanchez brings you updates of the latest news around the world... from the CNN Newsroom.

4:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. The Situation Room: Step into "The Situation Room" for a look at your world raw, unfiltered and live. Join Wolf Blitzer and the best political team on television.

6:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. The Situation Room: Step into "The Situation Room" weeknights for a look at your world raw, unfiltered and live.

7:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. Lou Dobbs Tonight: With reports from around the world, Lou offers a unique look at the latest news.

8:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. Campbell Brown: No Bias. No Bull.: Tonight, how President-elect Obama deals with the constant presence of security and press... and an increasing lack of privacy.

9:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. Larry King Live: Jim Carrey sits down for a no-nonsense interview with Larry. Plus, Brad Pitt talks about life with Angelina and the kids, his new movie that's generating awards buzz... and his project to "Make it Right" in New Orleans.

10:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. Anderson Cooper 360°: Alleged corporate schemers...We detail how they continue to scam the system to shave time off their sentences. Keeping them honest, tonight.


ET - - - - - - PT
12:00 a.m. 9:00 p.m. Larry King Live (replay): He gets the guests you want to see -- and asks the questions you want answered. No one else gets the most influential newsmakers like Larry King. (R)

1:00 a.m. 10:00 p.m. Anderson Cooper 360° (replay): AC360° is a fast-moving, surprising and provocative alternative to the typical network evening newscast. (R)

3:00 a.m. 12:00 a.m. Larry King Live (replay): He gets the guests you want to see -- and asks the questions you want answered. No one else gets the most influential newsmakers like Larry King. (R)

4:00 a.m. 1:00 a.m. Lou Dobbs Tonight (replay): With reports from around the world, Lou offers a unique look at the latest news. (R)

In Less Than 48 Hours...

...And Counting.

Key West's ruby shoe is coming down!
By Rich Phillips

KEY WEST, Florida (CNN) -- It's one of the few New Year's Eve parties in America where straight guys think twice about kissing a stranger at midnight.

Key West, Florida, the southernmost point in the continental United States, has long been known for its pristine blue ocean, key lime pie, mega bars and margaritas. But it's also known for a female impersonator who rings in the new year in a giant, ruby-red, high-heel shoe live on CNN.

The magnificently gowned, stylishly coiffed Sushi is about to enter his eleventh year in the eight-foot shoe. At the stroke of midnight, he'll be lowered from the second-story balcony at the Bourbon Street Pub to ring in 2009 as only he can.

"I never thought growing up that I'd be on television in a giant red heel", said Sushi, whose real name is Gary Marion.

"That's not something that a young kid aspires to, but I'm so thankful that I live in a country that lets us do what we want to do, as long as we don't hurt anybody else."

This extravaganza has long been a featured part of CNN's Live New Year's Eve coverage, hosted this year by CNN's Anderson Cooper and comedian Kathy Griffin. Show us what happens in your town

"This has got to be one of the most unique drops in the world," said Andy Newman, director of media relations for the Florida Keys tourism council. "The whole thing of a drag queen coming down in a bright red shoe is just wild and could only happen in Key West."

Leading up to the stroke of midnight, thousands of partygoers are treated to an elaborate drag queen show in the middle of Duval Street.

Sushi, or Marion, is the leader of an acclaimed troupe of drag performers, called the 801 Girls, who dance the night away at the 801 Bourbon Street Pub.

The owners of the bar, Jimmy Gilleran and Joey Schroeder, dreamed up the event 11 years ago to get more tourists down to Key West. The first event was thrown together in about two weeks, and the shoe was made of papier-mâché and two-by-fours, and painted red.

"The paint was still wet, and I had a white dress on, and I sat in it," Sushi said.

"They didn't have a permit, and the cops kicked me out, and then we had to call the mayor, and he gave us the OK. ... It was just a mess", he said.

CNN correspondent John Zarrella is covering the show. It's been his assignment for several years now.

"The very first year ... standing on the stage with two drag queens, not knowing what to expect, and when they both kissed me on the cheeks at the same time, I thought to myself, I hope my mother and my wife weren't watching -- but they were," he said.

Zarrella says he's seen the event change over the years that CNN has been carrying the show live.

"Every year, it seems to get bigger, and more and more families come every year," he said.

A costume designer by profession, Marion has designed most of the 801 Girls' stage outfits and has created costumes for Keys theatrical productions. But he continues to gain widespread fame as Sushi.

"A lot of feedback from the straight community, who are like, 'that's really cool,' " he said. "I get a lot of people from Montana, and they think the only gay thing is Brokeback Mountain. Now they see me in the shoe."

A Bookmark

This little guy sure gets around.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Another Shade Of Gray

Gay Sex Vintage 2006

How naive of Wonkette, from DC, to even hint that this ad on Craigslist (on Feb. 20, 2006 at 1:32 PM) may have been placed by Anderson himself, as if Anderson needed to advertise for sex, anonymous or otherwise, on ANY web site. One stroll around Dupont Circle and he will be raining men!

It’s Tough Trolling for Anonymous Sex When You’re Famous

Yes, we know, Anderson is based in New York City; but surely he visits Washington often…

(Seriously, though, we actually believe this post is from an Anderson Cooper doppelganger, not AC himself — we think we may have seen this gentleman around town.)

More Snarky, More!

Anderson Cooper Pledges to Stay Snark-Free in 2009
12/29/08 at 1:00 PM

"It seems like there's an awful lot of yelling, and this year yelling's been replaced by sarcasm and snarkiness." — Anderson Cooper on the current state of cable news shows [LAT]

"I would definitely be working at Denny's or something." — Common on trying to live solely off royalties [A.V. Club]

"He's divorced, doesn't have a lot of friends, messed up career-wise a few times and very self-righteous. I immediately wanted to play around with this guy." — Tahmoh Penikett on his character in Dollhouse [LAT]

"Security stopped me at the door and I had to explain who I was. That was a bit embarrassing." — Chris Martin on getting into his own concert [NYP]

"The Eagles are still touring an album from 1976! In 25 years, we'll be like the Eagles even if we don't make another album." — Kintrell "Krispy Kream" Lindsey of hip-hop duo the Knux [LAT]

"I'm lucky to be able to fit into that young-woman category in his mind, so I hope he keeps writing for young women." — Scarlett Johansson hopes that Woody Allen hasn't yet tired of casting her [LAT]

"If, say, we wrote some songs that sound like Rick Springfield, a week later they've all turned into Children of Bodom songs." — Mikey Way on My Chemical Romance's creative process [MTV]

"I like to party, but I'm not a huge partier and sometimes it's alienating for me being around people doing crack for the one night of the year, metaphorically speaking. I'm more of a guy who likes to go out of town and play banjos in the snow on New Year's Eve." — Akron/Family's Miles Seaton [Gothamist]

By: Stan Park

Three of the comments about this article, including one by me:

Oh No Coop-Coop! I love the snark! I don't like yelling, so don't backtrack to that. Perhaps 2009 can be the year of subtitles (a la Annie Hall... just to tie some non-related quotes together)?
By bambii on 12/29/2008 at 1:22pm

It's fun when Anderson gets bitchy and snarky. See: the times he guest hosts Regis with Kelly Ripa. If anything he should snark more.
By SoSilent5 on 12/29/2008 at 1:52pm

Anderson has a soul that would never hurt anybody's feelings, so, besides his giggling, his occational and funny snarky remarks are one of his more enduring characteristics. No, Anderson, please don't stop being snarky.
By PeterGay on 12/29/2008 at 3:14pm

To let Anderson know that he is not snarky, he is adorable, you can post your comment in New York Entertainment here.

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A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival," a "New York Times" best seller, is his account of the people he's met, the things he's seen and the lessons he's learned in the midst of devastation.

Dispatches from the Edge
Woven into the narrative is Anderson's struggle to understand his own family's personal tragedies. The paperback version came out May 8, 2007.

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Peter's Books

(3 short stories and 1 short play.)

The first installment of "The Gay Ghost Trilogy" is the story of Charles Lanier, a young gay guy who rents an apartment on Lake Shore Drive on the near north side of Chicago, and the unexpected adventures he encounters from the day he moves in. And that's only the beginning; follow up with "The Next Gay Ghost" and "The Two Gay Ghosts." Each story can be read independently from the other two installments. Or get all three books in one with "The Gay Ghost Trilogy."

"The Gay Ghost"

Paperback: $9.97 + shipping

"The Next Gay Ghost"

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"The Two Gay Ghosts"

Paperback: $9.97 + shipping

"The Gay Ghost Trilogy"

Paperback: $22.91 + shipping

And a One Act Play about a gay Garamatean and a gay Earthling:


Paperback: $10.70 + shipping

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