Pretty cool get from the folks over at Jalopnik. Back in the 80s, when cable was new and the idea of a 24-hour news network was more mind-blowing than Velvetta (…is it really cheese?), Ted Turner made a claim that CNN will “cover the end of the world, live, and that will be our last event. ” The eccentric media tycoon claimed that CNN would be prepared for humanity’s final moments, stating “when the end of the world comes, we’ll play ‘Nearer My God To Thee’ before we sign off.” After that? The wrath of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
This has become the stuff of media folklore over the years. But today Jalopnik editor Michael Ballaban, who once-upon-a-time interned at CNN, uncovered the so-called “Turner Doomsday Video” that was buried in CNN’s archive, only to be played when the end of the world was confirmed. As Turner said at the time, it’s of a military band playing “Nearer My God To Thee,” the song the band on the Titanic played while the ship was sinking. It’s so grainy and so ’80s, recorded in standard definition, but pretty fascinating as an artifact of news network history.