TCA Day 6...Listening in to the King of CNN
Today's cuppa: Yet more Beverly Hilton coffee (still not sick of it, so it must be good).
PBS continues today, with "NOVA," "Masterpiece" and more.
He's the wizard of a large in-studio monitor (he showed off a smaller, portable version here last week at the Television Critics Association Press Tour) called, formally, the Multi-Touch Collaboration Wall, or colloquially, the Magic Wall. It's a touch-sensitive screen that allows King to display a wide variety of maps and graphics to illustrate voting trends, demographics etc.
It made its debut during the primaries earlier this year, and here's a good technical description of how it works.
Describing himself as a wire-service sort of guy, King told me had to warm up to the technology, but now he's starting to appreciate its capabilities.
We also spoke about how he's presenting the presidential candidates -- the presumptive nominees are Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for the Democrats, and Arizona Sen. John McCain for the Republicans -- to the voters in the viewing audience.
Here's King on the candidates' relative executive experiences:
And on the candidates' generational differences in communication styles:
King is also working on a one-hour documentary on the presumptive GOP nominee, called "McCain Revealed" (his CNN colleague Suzanne Malveaux is working on an in-depth Obama documentary). While King describes the film as a "work in progress," he does share an anecdote about McCain that might make it into the final cut. It focuses on the contradictory nature of McCain, as reflected in stories from his former physical therapist: