DOCUMENT: Celebrity

CNN's Premature Obituaries

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CNN's Premature Obituaries


APRIL 16--While all news organizations prepare obituaries in advance of the deaths of famous individuals, the folks at CNN inadvertently gave the Internet-surfing public a chance to preview how the network's web site would note the demise of Vice President Dick Cheney, Ronald Reagan, and a few other prominent figures.

Until earlier this afternoon, a CNN server housed mock-ups of web pages announcing the yet-to-happen deaths. The CNN pages, which were discovered by the intrepid folks at, were yanked about 20 minutes after being exposed (though TSG was able to grab a few of the pages for posterity's sake).

The premature obituaries, housed in a publicly accessible area of the CNN server and searchable via Google, were apparently the work of Peter Rentz, a senior multimedia designer at CNN. The mock-ups are virtually identical to the obituary design currently used by CNN when a notable person dies.

In addition to Cheney and Reagan, CNN also prepped online farewells to Fidel Castro, Bob Hope, Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela, and Gerald Ford. (7 pages)