When Ted Turner launched Cable News Network (CNN) in 1980, he vowed that the world’s first 24-hour news channel would cover every major story in civilization.
As it turns out, that includes preparing a network sign-off just for doomsday, according to a former CNN intern who now writes for Jaloponik.
The existence of such a video has been rumoured for a number of years. Michael Ballaban wrote on the blog that when he worked for the network in 2009, he was able to search it in the network’s MRA archiving system under the title of “TURNER DOOMSDAY VIDEO.”
Just in case the video is played accidentally by a low-level CNN employee, the file is red marked “HFR” for “Hold For Release,” warning “HFR till end of the world confirmed.”
However, the video is not much – it is merely a 4:3 standard-definition video with a U.S. Army band playing “Nearer My God To Thee,” which is also the last song the Titanic’s violinists played as the ship went under. In total, the CNN clip is only 60 seconds long and fades into black at the end.
The apocalypse sign-off was made sometime in the 1980s likely for an apocalypse caused by nuclear weapons in the midst of Cold War tensions.
With all that said, the video probably would not play very well on today’s high-definition, widescreen televisions.
CNN Apocalypse Video
“Near My God To Thee” by Sarah Flower Adams
Feature Image: CNN Headquarters entrance via Shutterstock