CNN Closes Space/Tech/Environmental Reporting Unit; Miles O'Brien Departs

Oh, man, this is sad and unexpected news: 16-year veteran CNN reporter and anchor Miles O'Brien will be departing CNN, as the network closes its sci/space/enviromental/tech news division. Snip from mediabistro:

O'Brien's departure comes as the network dismantles its science, space, environment and technology unit in Atlanta. That includes O'Brien as well as six producers. O'Brien has been CNN's chief technology and environment correspondent since being replaced as anchor of American Morning in April 2007.

The network's environmental coverage will continue through the Planet in Peril franchise, which is part of the Anderson Cooper-hosted show AC360. The LA Times has an item about these changes, too. I won't go through a laundry list of the departing names here, but I've had the pleasure of meeting and/or briefly working with a number of them as a guest on various CNN shows. They're talented, dedicated, rare professionals.

Miles is truly one of the greats. I can't think of a single broadcast journalist as knowledgeable on space, aeronautics, and other tech topics. I am so sorry to hear this news.

Update: The screengrab above from Miles O'Brien's twitter feed. (Thanks, Matt West)


  1. Dammit, Miles was awesome. He will be missed, though I already miss him since I am a regular viewer of American Morning.

  2. Urshrew, everybody knows real Americans got no use for elitist book learnin’.

    I came here for Star Trek references, and left satisfied.

  3. It disturbs me that they are closing down the space/science/environment/tech news department. Any news if they are replacing it with a religion department?

  4. It’s especially surprising as O’Brien did a very good job subbing for Blitzer recently when the Indian Bombing story first broke.

  5. Absurd! So, will CNN spend all its time telling us stuff we’ve already figured out about politicians, and things we don’t want to know about “celebrities?” I’d really like to stay informed on things like XCOR.

    I guess CNN won’t be used as a prop in thriller movies any more.

  6. Why do I envision some “Editor of the Daily Planet” sort of gruff old newsman sitting at a desk smoking a short cigar saying, “The people don’t want science! The people want movie stars showin’ vag gettin’ out of cars, see? They want round-table discussions about the breed of dog the Obamas are getting, yeah! That’s the ticket!”

    Ah, man, where’s Jon Lovitz when you need him?

  7. Its not like science is all that engaging or interesting anyway.

    Now for a three-hour partisan wank-fest on what Barack Obama ate for breakfast and what his choice of toast means for the economy.

  8. That’s a shame. Miles O’Brien was always one of my favorite people on CNN, way back to the days where he hosted a ‘Science and Technology Week’ show. He was great to watch on space issues, and even when he was a regular afternoon anchor his enthusiasm for the space subjects was clear and infectious. Here’s hoping somebody sees your worth and you land on your feet.

  9. CNN is slowly becoming less of a reliable source for news and accurate reporting and more of a cacaphonous din of two week old regurgitated scrapings from the Internet. It’s truly a shame that he’ll be gone as he was one of the more level-headed reporters there.

  10. When your entire show during the day involves commenting on Twitter and Facebook updates, you know you’re in trouble. CNN sucks now.

    “CNN is slowly becoming less of a reliable source for news and accurate reporting and more of a cacaphonous din of two week old regurgitated scrapings from the Internet.”

  11. So you’re telling me the same channel that less only a month ago gave us the first ever live TV hologram is now no longer covering technology? Was it all the hologram jokes? If so, I take them all back.

  12. Dammit, that should have said “less than a month ago” or “only a month ago”. I did both instead.

  13. It took me a long time to get over the dumping of Aaron Brown and start turning to CNN again. They’ve lost me for good now.

    Anderson Cooper must have asked for a raise. Can’t stand that guy anymore..but I digress.

    Miles you rock.

  14. hehe, I admit I hadnt heard of this before, but as others referenced, I am quite amused his name is Miles O’Brien. How totally appropriate. :P

  15. As an engineering student I am saddened by this developement. While this event in itself is of great concern to me the trend it betrays.

  16. Advertising’s slumped all over the media. It wouldn’t surprise me if CNN had to make cutbacks. They didn’t just get rid of O’Brien; they’ve canned the whole sci/space/enviromental/tech news division.

    One of the least civilized habits of the publishing and electronic media industries is their tendency to do their major staff cutbacks in December. At least CNN’s canned the science division early in the month.

  17. Very short-sighted of CNN, given the fact that the Obama administration is going to invest alot of money in this area.

  18. It is not the economy, stupid.

    It is that techies want tech news better (faster/accurate/whatever) than a media channel like CNN can deliver. Period. They lost us a long time ago. And it’s US this time, not lameness at CNN. We just didn’t want their product, although it wasn’t even poor quality.

    Reading BoingBoing is a trade-off with attention to CNN. Blame yourselves why a tech person doesn’t merit a major media position.

  19. Frankly, what scares the crasps outta me is that CNN’s entire science/space/environmental/technology news will be covered in the “Planet in Peril” slot.


    No news is now officially good news, I guess.

    /CNN breaths out last whisp of credibility …


  20. Noooooooooo! I *love* Miles. Sane, intelligent, solid judgement, clearly loved his job, good at covering everything he was asked to report on. I stopped watching CNN for the most part after they took him off American Morning.

    Pssst, MSNBC: what #4 said. yeah!

  21. As says… “It’s not news, it’s”. What a sorry state for news when its reporting has been turned to 24 hours of the same 3 sentences and video clips repeated over and over again (oh, how many times did I see that video of the police SUV drive by the camera in Mumbai) interspersed with “Yeah, we ARE the BEST political team on the f’ing planet! (And we surf Facebook while on air!)” self-promotion that knows no shame.

    They once showed a video of Palin shaking some hands.. a lot of hands.. very many hands.. waitaminute, it’s the same people, the same kids, in a loop! It was like the background of the Flintstones’ car rides. This isn’t journalism…

    This is Sparta?

  22. Astonishing, absurd and preposterous!

    The decision taken by CNN’s Jon Klein to shut down the division on science,space, environment and technology is a real insult to the viewers.

    I want to express my solidarity with the excellent journalist Mr. Miles O’Brien and I wish he could be soon called by another network to continue working.

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