Christiane Amanpour has returned to the cable network that employed her for decades.
"Amanpour," which will air weekdays on CNN International at 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST, and during prime time hours in the United Kingdom and Western Europe, debuts on Monday, April 16.
It was an interesting 2011 for Amanpour, who spent her time anchoring "This Week," ABC's Sunday talk show. In December, Amanpour announced that she was leaving "This Week" to launch her CNN show. ABC replaced Amanpour with former "This Week" anchor and current "Good Morning America" host George Stephanopoulos. Prior to her announcement, Amanpour's exit was a subject of intense rumor in the press. She currently holds a dual contract with both networks, remaining as "global affairs anchor" for ABC. The twin roles mean that American viewers will almost solely see her on ABC, while international viewers will almost solely see her on CNN International.
Though "This Week" failed to resonate with audiences with Amanpour behind the anchor desk, her presence hosting the broadcast news program was a notable one during a year that saw oppressed societies rise and dictatorships fall in countries across the Middle East.
"I took an incredible opportunity...to join one of the major Sunday morning broadcasts on a broadcast network, which is still an area of real estate in the broadcast landscape that is devoted to serious news," Amanpour told a group of journalists last Wednesday during a sitdown at CNN's New York headquarters. "And it was to fulfill my mission, which is to bring more global perspective, more international views and news to a big and important American audience." She later added, "Americans are the most educated, the brightest, [have] the most opportunity, the strongest economic power, the strongest military power, uphold the strongest values, but unfortunately, they're not very broadly traveled and their thought leaders believe that they don't care about international affairs or whatever happens beyond their borders. We all know at CNN that that's not true. And that's in my DNA."
"Amanpour" keeps the famed international correspondent in the anchor chair. Amanpour said she is looking forward to "bringing the field into the studio," trying to broaden perspectives, and "seeking voices that don't automatically appear on every other show, on every other network," on her new program.
For example, she said, "Iran--the story is told often from an American or western or an Israeli perspective, and partly because [Iran doesn't] talk enough. The Iranian perspective is generally not taken into account. So without making any value judgments or any political judgments or any judgments on anything, I still want to get all sides of the story."
The dual contract is an intriguing one, especially coming off a year that was so heavily weighted in international news. In the case of breaking news, one journalist asked, which chair will Amanpour rush into to anchor the coverage?
"Primarily, my job is global affairs anchor at ABC News," Amanpour said. "That involves me doing big, breaking international stories and it also involves me doing a certain number of prime time specials on international subjects...At CNN, I am chief foreign correspondent and host of 'Amanpour'...perhaps they'll be sharing [coverage], perhaps one will want something and one won't." In short, "I just don't foresee any problems," she said confidently.
BEFORE YOU GO
Amanpour around town: