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From the Publisher: Dec 26 1988

2 minute read
Robert L. Miller

And TIME’s Man of the Year for 1988 is . . .

Sorry about that, but you will have to wait until next week’s issue to read all about our choice for the newsmaker who most dominated events over the past twelve months. But, thanks to Cable News Network, you can find out who it is before next Monday.

On Dec. 24 at 4:30 p.m. EST, the news will be broken, when the Atlanta- based network airs CNN Presents the TIME Man of the Year, with anchor Mary Anne Loughlin and correspondent Mark Walton as co-hosts. The 30-minute program, produced in association with TIME, will explain how the selection was made and offer an in-depth profile. “It was a unique challenge to translate something that is essentially a print story into a visual and dynamic television presentation,” says David McGowan, TIME’s special-projects director, who assisted CNN’s effort. “CNN’s life was not made any easier by the fact that it had to operate on such short notice.”

CNN executive producer Stacy Jolna and his eight-person team began shooting in early December, shortly after TIME made its pick. “To us, TIME’s choice of Man of the Year is a compelling news story in its own right,” says Jolna. “By the end of the first week, we had knocked off a dozen interviews and had begun amassing file footage that would help tell the story of the Man of the Year visually.” Altogether, CNN shot 40 hours of videotape and planned to be editing the program right up to airtime.

To keep TIME’s choice under tight wraps, we swore Jolna and the members of his unit to secrecy. They quietly came and went from an unmarked office two floors above the bustling CNN newsroom that was cryptically known around the network as Edit Booth X. “Occasionally, CNN colleagues not involved with the program would ask me to whisper who it was,” Jolna says, smiling. “I would mutter that it was a sports figure, or something like that, and they would walk away scratching their heads.”

The scratching can stop when the program airs this Saturday, a video curtain raiser to the full show between our covers, which will be in your hands a few days afterward.

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