New York: CNN’s New York studio was evacuated Thursday night in the middle of a live programme following a phoned-in bomb threat, according to the news network. The threat came Thursday night when a caller indicated there were five devices in the building, according to a law enforcement source.
Several fire alarm bells rang inside CNN’s New York newsroom, signalling an evacuation after the call was received shortly before 10 pm, the company’s security said. Staffers evacuated the CNN New York offices in the Time Warner Center building and Don Lemon’s “CNN Tonight,” which had been on a commercial break, was taken off the air.
The network temporarily went to taped programming for about half hour before going live from the street while police investigated. The New York Police Department (NYPD) said that about 10.07 pm “a bomb threat was called into the Time Warner Center & the building was evacuated.” The surrounding area, which includes the studios and a number of shops, was shut down.
An all-clear was confirmed just before midnight after the NYPD conducted a floor-by-floor sweep of the building. “Out of the abundance of caution, 25 Columbus Circle was evacuated,” the NYPD wrote on one of its official Twitter accounts at 11.54 pm. CNN confirmed in a statement that a bomb threat had been called into its New York offices and employees had been evacuated.
As of 11.53 pm, Lemon said the department had issued the all clear and he and his colleagues would begin to re-enter the building and continue his show from the studio. “It’s kind of a repeat situation of what happened back in October,” Lemon said. “These are the times that we are living in where you’re having bomb threats called into media companies and called into offices and disrupting people’s lives.”
The network’s New York studios were evacuated in October after a man sent an explosive device to the network. Another device addressed to the news giant’s headquarters in Atlanta was intercepted at a postal facility. CNN Crime and Justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz and some of his other colleagues speculated that the NYPD had such a large response because the network has been a target of anti-media invective.