May 1st, 2009
05:58 PM ET

I deserve the month of May off!

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/01/art.time100.jpg]

Kay Jones
Coordinating Editorial Producer

I got the assignment in early January, not realizing how difficult it would be.  CNN, and specifically the 360 staff, would be working on a TV special about the TIME 100 list that comes out today.  At the time, we had an idea of how we wanted to produce this, so all I was waiting on was the list.

As we got names on the list from the TIME editors and PR team, I started making calls and sending emails to various publicists, assistants, managers, and whatever other contacts I could get my hands on.  The idea for our special was to get those who wrote the profiles of the honorees to actually do an on camera interview.  It sounds so simple, but we decided to make it that much harder:  we wanted the honorees and those who wrote about them to be in the same location for the interviews.  That was not going to be easy.

After a few weeks of calling and sending emails, I finally got my first “yes”.  CNN founder Ted Turner was thrilled to be included in the special, but he only had a few days available to go on camera.  After several calls to T. Boone Pickens’ office, I finally got a “yes” from them as well.  Success!  Right?  Not so fast, my friend.  This is TV and it’s just not that easy.  After much back and forth, they were not going to be in the same city on the same day with the same time available.  We finally came up with a compromise and had Ted at CNN Headquarters in Atlanta, and T. Boone at CNN’s studios in NY.  Not the ideal way to do an interview, but it definitely worked.

From that point on, it was on to the other honorees.  After making roughly 100 phone calls, I finally got my second “yes” from George Clooney’s publicist.  Several days later, Bono’s press person called me and said he’d be interested in interviewing George.  They are friends and know each other’s work, so I knew we’d have a great interview.  I wasn’t disappointed.  The interview was fantastic, and it was clear that they admired one another.  They also were really cool with the crew, which always makes these interviews easier.

The next interview on my list was Suzy Welch interviewing Suze Orman.  That interview literally came together in less than a day and was surprisingly easy to get together even though both women had limited time available.  Fortunately, we had good luck getting the NY Stock Exchange to help us out, and a crack team of producers to put this together in no time.

Finally, the women of The View let me know they were interested. After much back and forth on timing and schedules, we decided to shoot it on Wednesday after their show.  Unfortunately, Whoopi Goldberg was sick that day. But because we had spent 6 hours setting up and this was the only day the other ladies would be available, we had to go ahead and get it done.  The ladies were great, and seemed to enjoy the conversation with Anderson.  There was a lot of laughter and we were all glad that we were able to make that one happen.

The interview ended around 12:40pm on Wednesday, and ever since then, producer Maryanne Fox and Senior Producer Sean Yates have been working with our editors to get the show together.  It’s in the final editing process now, and I’m anxious to see the final product tonight at 11pm.

Filed under: Behind The Scenes • Kay Jones
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. LisaL - Canada

    Watched the special this weekend, and must say I enjoyed it quite a bit – thought the duality of the interviewer-interviewee segments was a unique perspective on presenting various viewpoints.

    I liked the way Anderson's commentary pulled the clips together. It is always nice to see interaction from people you read about now and then. Could easily have watched more – I think you know your audience!

    May 3, 2009 at 9:42 pm |
  2. Mary Jean from S.C.

    All the interviews that I have seen look great. I think Anderson had more fun than the ladies of the view. He laughed and smiled throughout the show. Great interview Anderson. I think we all have to do our part in helping make the world better and safer for everyone. Great CNN team effort and special thanks to Anderson.

    May 3, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  3. Isabel

    Glad that the Special was broadcast on CNN International.

    I liked so much the special “100 Most influential People.”
    The program was very well done, interesting. Went so fast, I wanted more.

    Anderson Cooper and 360 team,
    You all also influence people!

    Congratulations! And thank you!

    May 2, 2009 at 3:28 pm |

    Good program on Friday such as View Ladies, Turner ,Pickens, etc.Enjoyed the cats. Who owns them?

    May 2, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  5. Anna, HK

    Kay, job well done. Also, grateful the special was scheduled after AC360, so managed to catch it this morning. (I really must pay more attention to the promotions between program segments!) TIME is a very reputable magazine, & I enjoy reading it, when I get the chance.

    May 2, 2009 at 8:01 am |
  6. Marilyn

    Anxiously waiting for 11 p.m. to watch Anderson "wrestle" with these gals!!!!

    May 1, 2009 at 9:13 pm |
  7. Shirley

    Anderson you should have the month of May off you have the best specials on T.V. that I have ever watched. I have followed your career for years and you are amazing, keep up the great work but do take some time for yourself.

    May 1, 2009 at 8:52 pm |
  8. Annie Kate

    You deserve a day off Kay! I'm sure this was a hard one to pull together. I'm looking forward to seeing it. I've seen the Time list and I have to say there are people on it that I never thought would be as I consider them pests rather than influential people but I guess you can be influential in a negative way as well as a positive way. Looking forward to tonights show!

    May 1, 2009 at 8:21 pm |
  9. Nicky

    its a keeper !

    May 1, 2009 at 8:10 pm |
  10. cindy anderson

    Love Suzy cannot wait to see her. This was the year of financial upheaval, (this family being in mortgages, real estate and spec construction!) Learned what not to do anymore, and always love her advice. Look forward to it.....you have my permission to take may off! as long as you get paid! : )

    May 1, 2009 at 7:39 pm |
  11. Lori

    Hey, there!

    Wow, what a project!! I'm excited too. and, i have RT the time and info on Twitter. i think it will be a good view for all to see. Sorry to hear Whoopi Goldberg was sick:( On the note of a vacation for the month of May, i hope you get it! Thanks ~ Lori in MN

    May 1, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  12. Isabel

    I also would love to watch!
    Will it go on CNN International?

    May 1, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  13. Michelle

    I am looking forward to the Time mag special.
    I think it is one of the best magazines ever.
    In fact my family has saved the memorable
    issues from many years.

    May 1, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  14. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    That is my favorite “The View” show, I love funny ladies, they are awesome ladies I saw this morning, Whoopi, Barbara and Joy are my favorite fans of mine. I adrimed them, they are charming, honest, and smart.
    I can’t wait see them “The View” tonight “The Time 100/AC360 special “The World’s Most Influential People” That will be interesting show! See you tonight!

    May 1, 2009 at 6:09 pm |