‘Early Start’ appropriately becomes first CNN show from Hudson Yards, others follow

CNN’sEarly Start” with Dave Briggs and Christine Romans was true to its name — becoming the network’s first show to broadcast from the channel’s new Hudson Yards facility starting Monday, May 6, 2019.

Located in Studio 17N, on the 17th floor of the highrise CNN and WarnerMedia call home, the set is an open working newsroom, much like the one it used at Time Warner Center.

Anchors now sit at a large anchor desk made of one large glass oval and two smaller ones, supported by open metal and internally lit frames.

The desk itself sits atop a large canvas of LED video panels built into the floor and ringed by a large red border — in the network’s trademark shade.

Behind the anchor desk are several rows in workstations with heavy plinth-like dividers and metallic wraparound screens that help hide clutter.

One side of the room features large glass panels that appear to editing booths, topped with a row of flatscreens.

Behind the newsroom is a large backlit wall with large seamless video panel. This setup allows each show to have unique color configurations and branded graphics in the background.


The ceiling of the work area features rectangular and square shapes similar to those found in the anchor desk frame.

In addition to “Early Start,” Studio 17N also serves, quite appropriately, to home of the “CNN Newsroom” branded hours.

The network’s 8 to 10 a.m. block of “Newsroom” had anchor Poppy Harlow on the set, but with Jim Sciutto in Washington, D.C, the set wasn’t shown in wide two shots.

“At This Hour with Kate Bolduan” also debuted from the studio.

Both sides of the set feature seamless LED arrays. The setup also includes a flashcam position located near the back of the newsroom camera left.

During “Early Start,” the newsroom area was mostly deserted — with many darkened computer monitors visible on air, likely due to the early morning hour.

Monitors showing the network’s live feed are visible on air, which is often distracting because, thanks signal delays, the picture on all of the monitors often changes at the same time, showing something that aired just seconds before.

On the first day, CNN shot the set in a somewhat unorthodox fashion (but changed it on Day 2) — instead of the traditional cross shooting used on many two anchor setups. In this example screenshot, Briggs, who sits camera left, is being shot from a camera positioned camera left of the camera center one that captures the two shots. Romans’ camera right position is shot in a similar way — in reverse. The result is that the anchors, when making camera turns, have to turn slightly outward. As a result, the ‘Early Start’ logo on the center video wall was partially cut off in one shots. 

On its debut broadcast, Briggs often leaned in a bit too far toward the center, obscuring part of the ‘Early Start’ logo and making it looks like ‘arlystart.’

Later in the day, Brooke Baldwin’s block of news coverage originated from the new space, but used a different setup.

Instead of placing her with the newsroom as the primary background, she was framed against the camera right video wall with a glassy blue background with a “CNN Newsroom” logo band running along the bottom of the screen.

For two shots with in-studio guests, the newsroom appeared behind the set, with the guests’ one-shots using a gray wall with multiple monitors on it and a CNN logo.

Baldwin’s hour kicked off with breaking news — when the backlit panels were turned red and the video wall in the center rear wall showed the CNN breaking news title card.


The video wall behind her also boasted a breaking news themed looping animation.

During other segments, however, the “CNN Newsroom” title card was fed to this panel.

Other New York-based CNN shows are slated to move, in phases, over the next few weeks.

Project credits