5 Minutes with… CNN’s Andrew Morse

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Andrew Morse, EVP of Editorial for CNN US and GM of CNN Digital Worldwide, has been more than a little busy of late.

Between launching a new video network and overseeing CNN’s Democratic Debate in VR, it’s a wonder I got a chance to talk to him at all.

Luckily I did, and I took the opportunity to get the lowdown on what he’s been up to.

You just launched Great Big Story, a new digital video network. What makes this network different? 

Great Big Story is not a website and it’s not an app, video series or cable channel. Great Big Story is something else: an independent network, custom-built for the mobile and social platforms that are changing the way we watch video.

It was conceived as a way to reach new audiences in new ways, with an authentic and original voice.

great big story

Great Big Story is laser focused on just one thing that sets itself apart: unparalleled and optimistic storytelling.  

It is neither cynical nor silly. Its MO is: “Show me something I’ve never seen. Tell me something I didn’t know.”

How do you find the balance between reporting on the stories that matter and reporting on stories that will increase CNN’s ratings and online traffic?

Nothing is more important than our responsibility to report the news. We put journalism and storytelling before anything else.

As long as we always stay true to that, ratings and traffic will follow.

CNN live streamed the October 13 Democratic Debate in virtual reality. Do you see VR becoming an essential part of news broadcasting in the future?

Thirty-five years ago CNN broke the mould by expanding into that era’s latest technology – cable television – to deliver news in an innovative way. Since then CNN has expanded and advanced on other platforms as they’ve developed.

CNN Digital is now the news organisation with the most multi-platform visitors and the highest social following.


So for us, virtual reality is the next logical step — it’s a bleeding-edge technology that will change the way people experience the news and we were excited to be the first network to offer a live news event in VR.

We are looking forward to more experiments with virtual reality, and to giving the audience a front row seat to history all over the world.

What speakers are you excited to see at Web Summit?

It’s a great lineup and I’m looking forward to connecting with people I’ve worked with for years and meeting people to work with moving forward.

I’m interested in hearing from Nuzzle and other content distributors, but of course I won’t miss Samantha Barry and Laurie Segall’s panels (CNN’s Head of Social Media and Tech Correspondent).

Finally, what words of wisdom do you live by?

“When a rocket ship lands in your backyard, you get in.”

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