CNN is officially on the drone train (bandwagon?) as they today announced CNN Air: they now have a dedicated division for UAS video. Called the CNN Aerial Imagery and Reporting (CNN AIR), the network will have two full-time UAS operators on staff “to fully integrate aerial imagery and reporting across all CNN networks and platforms, along with Turner Broadcasting and Time Warner entities.”
CNN has positioned themselves as a leader in the drone news area, with the formation of the first media-related research partnership with the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and entering into a direct research agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). If you recall, in 2015 CNN was selected as one of the first three industry organizations to develop safe uses of drones for the purpose of news gathering.
My only question would be… is having only two operators really enough? It’s a big world, and only having two full time operators on staff seems like quite a bit of territory for each to cover. I imagine their travel bills are going to be rather extensive. Perhaps they intend on using independent contractors as they grow their division slowly. Whatever the case, with CNN now proudly displaying their drone division, this is likely just the first of many outlets to do so.