An overflow crowd of journalists, celebrities and executives made the scene at CNN’s election-night bash at Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle. The cable news network rechristened its cafeteria the CNN Grill, now outfitted with red, white and blue and ringed with TV monitors. According to one employee, 600 invited guests RSVP’d for the event; unfortunately, the room’s capacity is 200. Those who arrived in the first hour were held in the hallways, pending an OK from the New York Fire Dept. Among those who made it through were Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes, journalist Carl Bernstein and actor-comedian Eddie Izzard.
Izzard, who just finished lensing “Every Day” in Brooklyn the day before, opted to stay in the States for the big day. He said of Barack Obama, “I think he’s inspirational. The third millenium is going to begin tonight”
Regardless of the election’s outcome, there was already cause for celebration downstairs as CNN.com logged unprecedented traffic. Domestically, the site has experienced 124 million page views and 2 million live streams (the average is 65,000-70,000 views and 250,000 streams per day); international page views have surpassed 20 million page views and 6000,000 live streams.
The net’s Voter Hotline is on fire as well, logging 30,000 complaint calls by 5pm. Most of the beefs involve registration and poll access issues, with “coercion” claims running a distant fourth.