June 1

CNN Debut

June 1, 1980 - Atlanta

Detractors called it the Chicken Noodle Network, but it revolutionized the way the world gets its news.

Ted Turner launched the Cable News Network—CNN—in Atlanta as the world’s first 24-hour all news network. Turner had already revolutionized cable television by beaming Superstation TBS around the globe by satellite. Convinced there was a market for an all-news network, Turner announced plans for CNN in 1979. Critics called it a waste of time, insisting no one would want to watch news around the clock.

CNN launched with a shoestring budget but gained a loyal following. In 1981, anchor Bernard Shaw was the first to report when President Ronald Reagan was shot. It was the only network that broadcast live the fatal launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986 and its wall-to-wall coverage of the 1990 Gulf War fed America’s appetite for continuous coverage and firmly established the network’s credibility.

One of the most revolutionary channels in broadcast history began on June 1, 1980, Today in Georgia History.