CNN announces convention plans at TCA

'Multitouch' video wall to be on hand

The John Madden of "multitouch" walls is taking his act on the road.

CNN veteran political correspondent John King and a smaller version of the video wall that made its mark during the channel's coverage of the presidential primaries will be on hand at next month's Democratic National Convention in Denver and September's Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.

CNN became the first network to announce its convention coverage plans with a presentation Friday during the network's event at the Television Critics Assn. summer gathering. Wolf Blitzer, Campbell Brown and Anderson Cooper will anchor its convention coverage, with a special Larry King-anchored wrap-up at midnight EDT plus HD coverage of the events and wireless microphones and the CNN Election Express bus that has been covering the campaigns since Iowa.

CNN again will have an anchor space on the floor at both conventions -- in this case the Pepsi Center in Denver and the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The network first used the floor for an anchor space four years ago, eschewing the traditional network skyboxes. That's where King and the multitouch wall will be.

"It's a smaller version of the wall and more portable," King said. "It's got all the same remarkable technology and capability, just a little smaller so we can use it on our anchor locations."

King said that the wall will have floor plans of the delegations and a connection to the electoral map and be able to focus on the demographics in the swing states, among other features.

"Some of it is to be determined based on what the story lines are," King said.

Also building on the 2004 conventions, the network will have a so-called CNN Grill, renting out an eatery that will serve as another place for live interviews.