UPDATE 1-CNN to double U.S. newsgathering presence

Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:56pm EDT

(Adds executive quotes)

NEW YORK Aug 12 (Reuters) - Time Warner Inc's (TWX.N) CNN plans to double its newsgathering presence in the United States, even as threats of an advertising recession have led to job cuts at other news organizations.

The pioneer global cable news network said on Tuesday it will double the number of regions from which its newsgathering staffs operate to 20. It will begin operations in Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Houston; Las Vegas; Minneapolis; Orlando, Florida; Philadelphia; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; and Seattle.

CNN will hire a handful of new employees, while reassigning some current employees to new jobs. The goal is to have a mix of traditional network correspondents and what CNN calls "all-platform journalists" or APJs, who gather news using lightweight kits that include laptops, cameras and editing tools for Internet as well as on-air programming in all 20 cities.

"Everyone's a reporter now," Nancy Lane, senior vice president of newsgathering for CNN/U.S., said in an interview. "Even our viewers."

Lane said APJs will not replace traditional correspondents, but will be supplemental to news coverage.

The latest move comes after CNN said last November it planned its biggest global expansion in 27 years by more heavily staffing international regions including the United Arab Emirates.

CNN has said it aimed to own more of the programming it runs on the Internet and on-air, rather than relying on news agencies.

"Our technological innovations allow our reporters to be at the center of more breaking news events and developing stories across the United States, with greater independence and mobility than ever before," Lane said in a statement.

"This expansion is a critical component of CNN Worldwide's overall strategy for increased content ownership," said Lane. (Reporting by Kenneth Li; Editing by Brian Moss, Richard Chang)

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