On This Day In 1980: CNN– And Cable News– Is Born

Remember the days when there were no 24-cable news networks? I don’t– and there are millions of Americans who can’t, either, because the oldest cable news network is now 30 years old. Happy birthday, CNN! To celebrate, Wolf Blitzer played old clips of the nascent network, including their very first broadcast, and sat down with the network’s head, Ted Turner, to reflect on the good old days.

Blitzer admitted that “CNN at first struggled to find content” to fill up 24 hours, it having never been done before, but a rhythm eventually surfaced that they continue to follow today. The video Blitzer showed during The Situation Room— one of the first broadcasts on the network, ever– was a report on the assassination attempt on civil rights leader Vernon Jordan, who was recovering at the time.

Blitzer then spoke to Ted Turner, who told him his favorite memory of the network was covering the first Gulf War– which was one of Blitzer’s first assignments when he joined– and got a cheery message from Jack Cafferty, who noted that despite the competition that didn’t exist back then, “we’re the oldest and arguably the best.”

Video of CNN’s on-air birthday party below:

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