CNN boosts international teams

New operations planned worldwide

CNN is pumping $10 million into what it claims is the biggest expansion of its international newsgathering activities in 27 years.

The newsie is beefing up its number of international news correspondents, bowing a regional news hub in the United Arab Emirates, and investing in a London-based digital production unit.

New operations are also planned for Afghanistan, Belgium, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Poland and Vietnam.

Tony Maddox, executive vice prexy and managing director of CNN Intl., said the move was designed to ensure the company owned enough content in the fast-emerging digital era.

“These new resources will have a huge impact across all of CNN’s networks and platforms,” he said. “Owning the content we broadcast, publish and make available to affiliates and other platforms is the backbone of this business.”

Two correspondents are being hired at the combo’s Johannesburg bureau, while an extra reporter will be taken on in both London and Istanbul.

Additional coin will be put into CNN’s Hong Kong hub, and there are plans to assign new correspondents in China, Indonesia and Pakistan.

In online, CNN is creating a digital production unit based mainly in London. This will provide content for CNN Intl., CNNArabic.com, CNNMobile and new broadband sites.

In Mexico, CNN en Espanol is to tool up by hiring an anchor and correspondent plus an extra editor based at the operation’s Mexico City HQ.

CNN en Espanol will increase the size of its editorial team in Atlanta.

The expansion comes as the number of news channels continues to mushroom around the globe, and online news becomes increasingly important.