HLN (TV channel)

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"Headline News" redirects here. For the song by "Weird Al" Yankovic, see Headline News (song).
"HNN" redirects here. For History News Network, based at George Mason University, see History News Network. For mathematical construction in group theory, see HNN extension.
HLN logo.svg
HLN logo (2008–present)
Launched January 1, 1982
Owned by Cable News Network, Inc. (Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
(Time Warner))
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
(SDTV feed downgraded to 16:9 480i)
Slogan We're Not the News Network, You Are.
Country United States
Language English
Broadcast area United States, Canada, Latin America, The Caribbean, Asia, Australia (some hotels only)
Headquarters CNN Center,
Atlanta, Georgia
Formerly called CNN2 (1982–1983)
Headline News (1983–1997)
CNN Headline News (1997–2007)
HLN: Headline News (2007–2008)
Sister channel(s) CNN
CNN Airport Network
CNN Arabic
CNN en Español
CNN International
CNN Chile
CNN Türk
Turner Classic Movies
Cartoon Network
The CW
Website www.hlntv.com
Audio via some radio stations Check local listings
DirecTV Channel 204 (HD/SD)
Dish Network Channel 202 (HD/SD)
Cignal Digital TV Channel TBA
Available on most U.S. cable systems Check local listings
In-House (Washington) Channel 23
StarHub TV (Singapore) Channel 712
SkyCable (Philippines) Channel 110 (Digital)
Cablelink (Philippines) Channel 18
Verizon FiOS Channel 101
Destiny Cable (Philippines) Channel TBA
Cable TV Hong Kong (Hong Kong) Channel TBA
Satellite radio
Sirius Channel 116
XM Channel 123
now TV (Hong Kong) Channel 317
Bell Fibe TV (Canada) Channel 1508(HD)
Channel 508 (SD)
AT&T U-verse Channel 1203 (HD)
Channel 203 (SD)
Streaming media
CNN.com/live Watch live (US cable subscribers only)

HLN (an initialism for its former name "Headline News") is an American basic cable and satellite television channel that is owned by Cable News Network, Inc., a unit of the Turner Broadcasting System division of Time Warner. The channel is a spin-off of the U.S. cable news channel CNN.

It was originally a tightly-formatted, 30-minute newscast that was rebroadcast each half-hour, 24 hours a day, with freshly-updated information that briefly covered various areas of interest (such as national news, sports, entertainment, weather and business). Since 2005, however, its format has increasingly shifted to long-form tabloid-, opinion-, crime-, and entertainment news-related programming. Since the mid-2000s, HLN has been available internationally on cable and satellite in parts of Asia, the Caribbean and South America.

As of August 2013, approximately 99,010,000 American households (85.82% of households with television) receive HLN.[1]



The channel first launched as CNN2 on January 1, 1982, before being renamed in January of the following year to Headline News (and was often abbreviated as HN, as shown in the 1989–1992 variant of the channel's third logo).

Originally, the channel's programming focused around the idea that a viewer could tune in at any time of day or night (instead of having to wait for the merely once- or twice-daily national news segments in local and network newscasts), and in just 30 minutes receive up-to-date information on the top national and international stories. This "Headline News Wheel" format featured: "Dollars and Sense" business and personal finance reports at :15 and :45 minutes past each hour; sports scores and headlines (branded as "Headline Sports") at :20 and :50 minutes past the hour; lifestyle reports at :25 and :55 minutes past the hour; and general news during the top (:00) and bottom (:30) of the hour. The :25/:55 lifestyle segment was designed to allow local cable systems the option of pre-empting it with a local headline "capsule" from an associated regional cable news channel or a local television station. Another regular feature, the "Hollywood Minute", was often fitted-in after the "Headline Sports" segment. In the channel's early years, a two-minute recap of the hour's top stories, the "CNN Headlines", would run after the sports segment.

Its longest-serving news anchor was Chuck Roberts, who retired on July 30, 2010, after a 28-year career with the network.[2] During its first year, Headline News had a competitor in the form of Group W's Satellite News Channel, which lasted from June 21, 1982, until October 27, 1983. SNC's satellite slot was then purchased by Ted Turner to expand Headline News into further additional homes.

Jon Petrovich was hired in the mid-1980s by Turner to lead Headline News.[3] In 1990, Headline News developed Local Edition, a six minute-long local newscast, whose content produced by a local broadcast station in the participating market, airing at the end of each half-hour of Headline News' rolling news block.[4] The inclusion of the "CNN" branding in the channel's name occurred intermittently during its history, before being incorporated regularly from 1997 to 2007 (though an alternate logo without the CNN logo was used for news broadcasts through 2001).

Nearly a victim of a hoax[edit]

On January 8, 1992, Headline News was almost the victim of a hoax. When President George H.W. Bush fainted at a state dinner in Tokyo, a person claiming to be the president's physician called and claimed that Bush had died. At 9:45 a.m., anchorman Don Harrison prepared to break the story, stating "This just in to CNN Headline News, and we say right off the bat, we have not confirmed this through any other sources..." Executive producer Roger Bahre, off camera, yelled "No! Stop!"[5] After glancing away momentarily, Harrison continued, "We are now getting a correction. We will not give you that story. It was regarding some rather tragic news involving President Bush, but updating that story, President Bush is reported to be resting comfortably." It turned out that an Idaho man, James Edward Smith, called CNN posing as the president's physician. A CNN employee entered the information into a centralized computer used by both CNN and Headline News, and it nearly got out on the air before it could be verified. Smith was subsequently questioned by the Secret Service and hospitalized at a private medical facility.[6]

Jukebox effect[edit]

1997-2001 CNN Headline News logo on a table in the food court at CNN Center. This table has since been removed.

In 1992, Headline News pioneered the use of a digital video "jukebox" to recycle segments of one newscast, seamlessly into another. The new technology reduced the number of staffers needed by enabling news segments to be re-used throughout an entire day (previously, anchors read the same stories repeatedly, hour after hour, with the second 15 minutes of each half-hour in the "wheel" being on videotape every third and fourth hour). This resulted in the layoffs of part of its staff, including such stalwart anchors as Lyn Vaughn, David Goodnow and Bob Losure, all of whom had been with Headline News for over 10 years.

A new look and format changes[edit]

The channel became noted for its distinct "screen" starting in August 2001, in which the news anchor (or news footage) appears in a sort of visual "window" surrounded by constantly changing text, such as breaking news, sports scores, stock market reports and weather updates. Due to the growing competition from Fox News Channel and MSNBC, in 2003 Time Warner revamped CNN Headline News with a more flexible format, featuring live reports and two anchors co-hosting the channel's rolling news coverage.

Headline Prime title card.

In 2005, the channel substantially reduced the amount of on-screen information, following much scrutiny and lampooning of their format (including USA Today calling their screen a "jumbled mess"). The new look would consist of a yellow bar which added sports scores and stock quotes to the basic "ticker" of news headlines. The channel also began a shift away from its rolling news coverage throughout primetime, to longer, personality-based programs (under the umbrella title "Headline Prime") that February.

The channel's new programs included Showbiz Tonight, a daily entertainment news show hosted by A.J. Hammer which was recently cancelled as of November 2013; an eponymous legal news and discussion program hosted by Nancy Grace; and a general national news program titled Prime News Tonight, hosted by Mike Galanos. This move had the unintended consequence of eliminating the main difference between CNN Headline News and CNN (during primetime), since CNN had always broadcast a variety of news-related programs (such as documentaries and personality-based shows like Larry King Live).

Additional programming changes took place with the introduction of News To Me, a program featuring only user-generated content, in May of that year, a daily broadcast of the previous evening's Larry King Live, in June, and a shift towards the channel's rolling news coverage being handled by a single anchor, deviating from the channel's traditional dual anchor format since 2003. The Larry King Live rebroadcast was later replaced by an encore of the previous evening's edition of Showbiz Tonight (that in turn was dropped for an extension of Morning Express).

News and Views[edit]

On December 15, 2008, in conjunction with CNN's own graphics changes, which resemble the graphics of its sister channel CNN International, Headline News replaced its news ticker with a "flipper", which featured an RSS feed of the current headlines on CNN.com.[7] The same day, the current HLN logo was introduced, initially alongside the channel's full name. Two days later, the "Headline News" name was removed from on-air use, and a new slogan, "News and Views", was introduced.[8] The 'Headline News' name remains in use for on-screen copyright notices.[citation needed]

On March 28, 2011, HLN switched its primary SD feed from full-screen to a letterboxed format, although remaining in 4:3. Both of HLN's standard definition and high definition feeds now carry the same 16:9 screen format; however, video footage broadcast in standard definition on either feed is not pillarboxed (as such with parent channel CNN, since its SD feed switched from full-screen to letterbox in January 2011), leaving black bars on the right and left sides of the screen, as well as on the top and bottom of the screen. However HLN Saturday Night Mysteries, which features repurposed versions of sister channel TruTV's crime story programming, is broadcast in 4:3 full-screen on the HLN SD feed.

During the spring of 2011, HLN devoted a significant amount of the broadcast day to the Casey Anthony murder trial, dedicating multiple daily and primetime slots to live coverage of the proceedings followed by evening commentary. The saturation coverage of the trial led to increased ratings for the network, including a doubling in regular viewership during daytime hours and nearly triple that in primetime.[9] HLN executive vice president Scot Safon called the trial "a gigantic deal" for the network.[10] HLN also devoted a significant amount of time to the Dr. Conrad Murray trial during the fall of 2011.

On July 18, 2011, CNN began offering live streams of HLN for mobile devices to subscribers of certain paid television services.[11] On November 4, 2011, HLN launched its own website at hlntv.com. By contrast to CNN.com, the site is run by HLN's own editorial staff, emphasizing "must see and must share" stories, and content tying into its television programs.[12]

In May 2012, HLN acquired the rights to telecast the Daytime Emmy Awards, beginning with the 39th annual event on June 23, 2012; marking the first time the awards ceremony has been broadcast on cable.[13] With 912,000 viewers (not counting four repeat broadcasts, which brought the total to 2 million), the broadcast was "the most watched regularly scheduled, non-news telecast" ever on HLN.[14]

In November 2013 Clark Howard ended his five-year relationship with HLN, including the shows Morning Express with Robin Meade and Evening Express, because of programming changes as HLN "rebranded as the first TV home for the social media generation."[15]

Transmission and reception[edit]

Due to the channel's tradition of airing rolling news coverage, HLN has become popular with people who may not have time to watch lengthy news reports, in addition to places where a high demand for "get to the point" news exists, such as airports, bars, and many other places.

Since its inception, Headline News has been syndicated to broadcast television stations (especially network affiliates) in the United States, mainly airing in overnight time periods as stations began to transition from signing off at night to carrying a full 24-hour program schedule. Until the early 1990s, much of Headline News' programming was simulcast on CNN International.

Audio of the channel was also simulcast on AM radio stations across the country via Westwood One; all of CNN's U.S. radio operations (including the HLN simulcast) were discontinued April 1, 2012 as part of Westwood One's dissolution into Dial Global. The audio feed is also carried on XM Satellite Radio channel 123, and Sirius Satellite Radio channel 116.


In the mid-2000s, the channel has been made available to some viewers outside the United States, particularly in Asia and Latin America. While the international version's program lineup is exactly the same as in the U.S., weather forecasts for Asian and Latin American cities are used as break fillers in lieu of commercials (see External Links section for a YouTube clip of this).

High definition[edit]

The 1080i high definition simulcast feed of HLN is available nationally on most cable and satellite providers within the United States, and in Canada on Bell TV, which downconverts the HD feed's picture resolution to 720p.


HLN presents a variety of programming, providing rolling news coverage from the early morning through the late afternoon (Eastern Time), followed by subject-oriented programming during primetime hours.

Current shows[edit]


ET Program Description
Morning Express with Robin Meade
The channel's morning news program bringing you a pin wheel of news, weather, sports, entertainment, finance and travel. Hosted by Robin Meade with Bob Van Dillen, Jennifer Westhoven and Brian McFayden.
Stories that everyone's talking about on social media anchored by Mike Galanos with Christi Paul.
HLN Now: On The Case
Susan Hendricks and the legal team covers the court trials and criminal cases that you are talking about.
Forensic Files
Experts assemble the pieces of a crime puzzle. Viewers are shown multiple choice questions looking at the proof and questioning the accused.
Jane Velez-Mitchell
Program featuring legal analysis and crime stories.
Nancy Grace
A justice themed/interview/debate show. Replays at 2–3 a.m.
Nancy Grace Mysteries
A documentary series that looks at America's most notorious crimes. Airs Fridays at 8–9 p.m.
Dr. Drew On Call
Medical and psychological views about current events airing Monday–Thursdays.
Forensic Files
A documentary series that looks at solving fascinating crimes, unfortunate incidents and disease outbreaks using the technique of forensics. Replays at 3–6 a.m. Also airs Fridays at 9–11:59 p.m. and Saturdays at 12–7 a.m.
Right This Minute
A show about popular or shocking online videos that go viral tailored to young adult viewers hosted by Gayle Bass, Nick Calderone, Steven Fabian, Beth Troutman and Christian Vera; acquired program in broadcast syndication. Airs Tuesday through Fridays at 1–2 a.m.


ET Program Description
Weekend Express
Lynn Berry gets you up to speed with a glance at the trending news of the day along with lifestyle information.
Forensic Files
A documentary series that looks at solving fascinating crimes, unfortunate incidents and disease outbreaks using the technique of forensics.


ET Program Description
Weekend Express
Lynn Berry gets you up to speed with a glance at the trending news of the day along with lifestyle information.
Forensic Files
A documentary series that looks at solving fascinating crimes, unfortunate incidents and disease outbreaks using the technique of forensics.

CNN Student News[edit]

HLN broadcasts CNN Student News, a news program designed for schools that is produced as part of the Cable in the Classroom initiative, which airs Monday through Fridays from 4 a.m. to 4:10 a.m. (Forensic Files immediately follows as an abbreviated 50-minute edition); the program is anchored by Carl Azuz, with reports on the day's news presented in a simplified format (and with stories featuring graphic imagery or adult themes usually left out from the program). CNN Student News is also available as a free podcast on the program's website and on iTunes.


The channel's mnemonic sonic logo was produced by Musikvergnuegen and written by Walter Werzowa from the Austrian 1980s sampling band Edelweiss.[16]

Anchors and reporters[edit]

Former anchors and reporters[edit]

Network slogans[edit]

  • "You're In Tune with the World" (1982–1984)
  • "Anytime, All the Time" (1983–1999)
  • "Around the World in 30 Minutes" (1987–1994)
  • "A Whole Day's News Every Half Hour" (1994–1995)
  • "Bringing You the World for 15 Years, 30 Minutes at a Time" (1997; used for the channel's 15th anniversary)
  • "24 Hour Non-Stop Headlines" (1999–2000)
  • "Get to the Point News"/"The Get to the Point News Network" (2000–2002)
  • "Real News, Real Fast" (2002–2008)
  • "News And Views" (2008–present)


  1. ^ Seidman, Robert (August 23, 2013). "List of How Many Homes Each Cable Networks Is In - Cable Network Coverage Estimates As Of August 2013". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  2. ^ Alloca, Kevin (July 30, 2010). "Chuck Roberts departing HLN". Media Bistro. Retrieved August 5, 2010. 
  3. ^ "CNN.com 'Godfather' dies at 63 after battle with cancer". CNN. February 11, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  4. ^ Brown, Rich. "Headline News gets retrans boost: Local Edition was part of deals for 45 TV stations", Broadcasting & Cable, November 8, 1993. Retrieved March 16, 2011 from HighBeam Research.
  5. ^ "TV almost reports Bush's death". The Milwaukee Sentinel. 1992-01-09. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  6. ^ McDougal, Dennis (1992-01-10). "CNN Averts Hoax About Bush's 'Death'". Los Angeles Times. 
  7. ^ Rosenthal, Phil (December 16, 2008). "CNN news Ticker is replaced by the Flipper". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 2008-12-16. 
  8. ^ "Headline News Becomes 'HLN'", TVNewser, December 17, 2008
  9. ^ Stelter, Brian (12 June 2011). "Casey Anthony Coverage Gives HLN an Identity". New York Times. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  10. ^ Boedeker, Hal (9 March 2011). "Casey Anthony: Trial is ‘gigantic deal’ for HLN, boss says". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  11. ^ Marguerite Reardon, CNET. "CNN live news comes to iPad, other mobile devices." Jul 18, 2011. Retrieved Jul 18, 2011.
  12. ^ Weprin, Alex. "HLN Finally Launches a Website To Call Its Own". HLN Finally Launches a Website To Call Its Own. TVNewser.com. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  13. ^ "Daytime Emmy Update". Soap Opera Digest. 2012-05-03. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  14. ^ de Moraes, Lisa (2012-06-25). "Daytime Emmy Awards’ 912,000 viewers sets record for HLN and franchise – high and low, respectively". Washington Post. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  15. ^ Owen, Rob (April 4, 2014). "TV Q&A: 'Bones,' 'GMA' and various local news anchors who dared to take vacation time". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved April 4, 2014. 
  16. ^ Paul Morley (2003-10-19). "Boot me up, Dessie". The Observer (London: Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 2009-01-17. 

External links[edit]