WEB UPDATE: GW-CNN relationship continues with ‘On the Story’

Posted Thursday, June 23, 10:15 p.m. CNN’s cameras at the Jack Morton Auditorium have not been rolling much since “Crossfire” ended earlier this month, but that’s about to change.

The 24-hour news network and GW announced Thursday that their three-year partnership through the now-defunct daily political debate show will continue with a weekly broadcast of “On the Story” from GW beginning with a first taping on July 8. The hour-long program hosted by CNN veteran and chief international correspondent Christine Amanpour will provide a comprehensive roundup of weekly news events and feature a studio audience and responses to viewer e-mails.

“On the Story,” which began in 2003, originally featured only female correspondents but now has a revamped format to include male correspondents and more international reporters. The show will tape on Fridays from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., air Saturdays from 7 to 8 p.m. and be shown again Sundays from 10 to 11 a.m.

“Friday nights were all popular for ‘Crossfire,’ so we’re expecting great attendance and a lot of interest in this show,” said Heather Clapp Date, coordinating producer for the new show who previously helped organize the taping of “Crossfire” during its run at GW.

In January, CNN announced that it would cut the partisan debate show and GW staple that was taped in front of a live audience weekday afternoons at the School of Media and Public Affairs building. The 2005 Kaplan/Newsweek college guide rated GW the best school for political junkies in part because of the school’s affiliation with “Crossfire.”

Earlier this year, GW announced that a revamped version of “Inside Politics” would replace “Crossfire,” but hopes of that show coming to the University died when its host, Judy Woodruff, announced her retirement in May. Date said there is no doubt that “On the Story” will have its inaugural taping July 8 and its first broadcast the following day.

“This is happening,” she said. “I can definitely add at this point that tickets are now available by calling 202-994-8CNN.”

Date added that GW students can call the same number if they are interested in volunteering at the show’s Friday tapings. She said there are a number of opportunities to get involved with the new program.

“This (show) will also provide a terrific new educational opportunity for our students and opens an excellent new chapter in our continuing partnership with CNN,” said Michael Freedman, GW’s vice president for communications, who played a central role in forging the University’s partnership with CNN, in a statement Thursday. “We will also continue to bring GW campus visitors, (Colonial Inauguration) families, White House and Capital Hill staff and interns and tourists to the nation’s capital to participate in the programs.”

While the first taping is two weeks away, Date said substantial work must be done in that time to coordinate staffing, ticketing and outreach, among other tasks.

She said, “At this point we have a lot of work to do to get this show up and running at GW, and we are working on that right now.”

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