CNN to Open Big Easy Bureau


Cable News Network will open “a fully operational bureau” in New Orleans as part of its efforts to cover the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the network said Friday.

The network said it recently obtained office space in downtown New Orleans for CNN Gulf Coast, and it will soon move equipment, correspondents, photojournalists and a production crew there.

CNN added that the site will house the network’s satellite trucks and a studio outfitted for live reports, and syndicated news service CNN Newsource will base one of its correspondents there.

“After officials and volunteers complete the first wave of relief efforts along the Gulf Coast, many journalists and news organizations will pack their equipment and trucks and go home. We’re not leaving,” CNN/U.S president Jon Klein said in a prepared statement.

“The story of the devastating wrath of Hurricane Katrina will unfold for years to come as the coast recovers and rebuilds,” he added. “CNN will be there to cover that story, and New Orleans will be a critical base of operations for us for a long time.”

CNN also announced Friday that it will team up with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to air photographs of children who remain missing or are searching for their parents in Katrina’s aftermath throughout this weekend.

Starting at 7 a.m. (EST) Saturday and continuing through 11 p.m. Sunday, CNN will continuously display a panel on the left side of the screen, including names and photos of missing or displaced children, along with information about NCMEC’s special national “Katrina Missing Persons Hotline,” 888-544-5475, and its Web site (

“Nearly three weeks after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, too many children still have not been reunited with their families,” CNN/U.S. senior vice president of news Sue Bunda said in a prepared statement.

“We determined that one of the most important things we could do as a news network is to broadcast the images of these children to make as many people aware of them as possible,” she added.