CNN Live Broadcast Halted As Building Evacuated For Bomb Threat On Thursday

CNN anchor Don Lemon speaks at the 2017 GLAAD Gala at City View at Metreon on September 9, 2017 in San Francisco, California.
Kimberly White / Getty Images

“We were evacuated in the middle of my live show. Bomb threat. We’re running taped programming. NYPD is investigating. Stay tuned,” CNN anchor Don Lemon tweeted this Thursday night after his newsroom was cleared in the wake of a bomb threat.

Alarm bells began ringing inside the New York CNN building just after 10:30 p.m., according to CNN. Don Lemon’s CNN Tonight was taken off the air mid-broadcast as staffers fled the building.

West 58th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenue, was blocked to all vehicle and pedestrian traffic Thursday night as police and fire trucks arrived on scene. This is where the Time Warner Center is located, and where the police are conducting the investigation. This is where CNN headquarters are located, according to Variety.

CNN is one of over 10 targets that received a bomb in October through the mail. Cesar Sayoc, a Florida resident, was arrested for sending the bombs on October 27, according to CBS News. Sayoc targeted Democratic politicians and entities considered to be in opposition of Donald Trump, the sitting president.

Sayoc was indicted on more than 30 charges, and could spend more than 50 years in prison. None of his bombs detonated, and nobody was injured.

Soon after news broke of the bomb threat Thursday night, Twitter users pointed out that Donald Trump called CNN “fake news — enemy of the people” minutes before CNN was evacuated.

Trump has often called CNN fake news in the past, and famously banned CNN reporter Jim Acosta from White House press briefings recently. Shortly thereafter, a judge ordered the White House to restore Acosta’s credentials.

By 11:30 p.m. Thursday night, CNN was back with live programming, but not from the New York studio. Anchors began broadcasting from the street while still surrounded by emergency vehicles. The NYPD is still actively investigating the scene and, as of this writing, the Time Warner building is still empty.

According to CNN anchors, there are potentially up to five bombs hidden somewhere in the Time Warner Center. As of Thursday night, the news network had little information about the threats due to the ongoing investigation. The bomb squad will want to go over the building with extreme care, and will not allow people back inside until all dangers have been assessed. This could take hours, leaving CNN on the street for most of the night.

CNN’s response to the threat and determination to continue broadcasting, even from the street outside the studio, is nothing short of heroic. CNN was the first 24-hour cable news network on the air, with a history that dates back to 1980.