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Monday, November 6, 2017

CNN International rebrands The World Right Now with Hala Gorani to Hala Gorani Tonight. And here's the big question ...


CNN International (DStv 401) has rebranded The World Right Now with Hala Gorani to Hala Gorani Tonight starting on Monday night.

Turner Broadcasting's CNN International didn't bother to issue any programming advisory or statement about the change to CNN International's line-up on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV service to media and journalists through its South African PR agency.

It's not clear why the show is changing or why it's changing now; as I've said, there's been nothing from CNN International to Africa's press where Hala Gorani's show is part of the prime time line-up.

The big question is how many nights Hala Gorani Tonight will actually be running.

Over the past two months, although the channel's name and focus is CNN International, CNN has very often, often for several weeknights in a row, abruptly and badly switched its feed from CNN International to the CNN feed in America.

CNN did and does it to give rolling coverage - ranging from hurricanes to opinion-makers speculating about Donald Trump's presidency - which is something that it think South African and African viewers want to see or should see.

It's however not. The past two months I've caught myself flicking down to BBC World News or up to Sky News just in order to actually get some coverage of what stories are making international news.

Since September CNN International very often gets interrupted, and programmes shelved, when the CNN International feed is killed for the CNN America feed to cover mass shootings, White House press briefings, Donald Trump speeches, breaking news about Donald Trump tweets, Donald Trump firings and Donald Trump Russia collusion speculation.

MultiChoice's was interestingly also not told about the change by CNN International.

On Monday night MultiChoice still listed The World Right Now with Hala Gorani starting at 22:00 on weekdays on the out-of-date DStv electronic programme guide (EPG) with the old name appearing for the entire week.

It looked unprofessional since Hala Gorani on Friday already told CNN International viewers that that day was the last episode, and CNN International has been running promos for the new show for a while.

Do the people who do the DStv EPG actually watch CNN International?

Hala Gorani tonight at 22:00 is where Quest Means Business used to be broadcast - a programme that is now at 23:00 since last week, due to the daylight saving time adjustment.

The past two and a half months there's been multiple, multiple nights where Quest Means Business at 22:00 was simply pre-empted without the slightest advisory or warning to viewers.

If the unabated Donald Trump coverage continues (do African viewers like and care for this much reality-news Don drama?) as it has been, there will clearly be nights where Hala Gorani Tonight will simply be swept away just like The World Right Now has been.

It means that viewers tuned to CNN International won't be getting the broad overview of international news but just American president, American hurricane, American mass shooting or American twitter storm stories.