CNN nabbed pre-convention interviews with both President Barack Obama and presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Politico was first to report the news.
Like MSNBC, CNN will air documentaries on Obama and Romney as part of the network's conventions coverage. However, the president decided to grant an exclusive interview to CNN, not MSNBC.
As previously reported, Romney agreed to sit down with NBC News' Chuck Todd for an hour-long MSNBC documentary titled, "Mitt Romney: The Making of a Candidate." The special will air on August 24, just ahead of the Republican National Convention.
MSNBC's hour-long documentary on Obama titled "Barack Obama: Making History," will air on September 3, coinciding with the the Democratic National Convention. MSNBC's Chris Matthews will host the documentary and interview Vice President Joe Biden.
CNN's Jessica Yellin will host the 90-minute Obama documentary titled, "Obama Revealed." In addition to an interview with the president, the CNN documentary will include an interview with Sec. Clinton. The special will air on the same day as MSNBC's Obama documentary, September 3.
CNN also interviewed Romney, his wife Ann, and their eldest son Tagg, for the pre-convention documentary titled, "Romney Revealed: Family, Faith and the Road to Power." The special will be hosted by Gloria Borger and air on August 26.
Speaking of the Obama exclusive and interview with Romney, CNN's senior vice president of programming Bart Feder said, "We're very pleased we were able to work out access to both presidential candidates so that we could produce comprehensive portraits. These documentaries deliver informative, nonpartisan political reporting, revealing surprising facets of these men’s lives, and what has shaped them, just before they take center stage at their conventions."
The Obama exclusive comes on the heels of The Commission on Presidential Debates selecting CNN's Candy Crowley to moderate a presidential debate, making her the first female journalist in 20 years to moderate such a forum.
The two events are significant for the network that has suffered in the ratings and undergone significant leadership changes in recent months. CNN hit a 21-year low in the second quarter of 2012, and chief Jim Walton stepped down as CNN Worldwide president last month.