In a pivotal moment for media companies and the drone industry, CNN announced the launch of CNN Air, a dedicated drone division for the cable and satellite television news company.
The announcement on the CNN Press Room blog said:
CNN announces today the launch of CNN Aerial Imagery and Reporting (CNN AIR). For the first time in the company’s history, CNN will have a designated Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) unit with two full-time UAS operators to fully integrate aerial imagery and reporting across all CNN networks and platforms, along with Turner Broadcasting and Time Warner entities.
Self-proclaimed as a leader in the news via drone area, CNN formed the first media-related research partnership with the Georgia Tech Research Institute and entered into a direct research agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration. CNN was one of the first three industry organizations chosen by the FAA in 2015 to develop safe uses of drones in gathering news.
“CNN’s cutting-edge development of technology to enhance the way we tell stories is a part of our DNA,” Senior Vice President of National News, Terence Burke, said. “We are proud to continue the tradition with CNN AIR, and to establish a unit that will expand our technological capabilities for newsgathering.”
— M.A.Antoñanzas (@antonanzasma) August 18, 2016
This is not the first time CNN is using drones, however. The network used UAS to get aerial views of flooding in Louisiana and the water crisis in Flint, Michigan as well as at the Republican and Democratic presidential conventions. Drones were also used by CNN at debates and town halls and in Anderson Cooper’s coverage of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
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