Through the magic of Skype, CNN’s Deputy Bureau chief, spoke to students in Prof. Keith Oppenheim’s Broadcast Seminar on Wednesday, March 21st. Chapin was Oppenheim’s bureau chief at CNN Chicago, and now helps manage a staff of 380 in Washington, including correspondents, producers and technical staff. Chapin spoke about the general demands of running a network bureau in Washington, but also about the particular challenges during an election year. For example, she noted the enormous efforts that go into preparing for conventions. This year, the Democrats will require networks to move gear frequently, as plans are for three separate venues for that party gathering in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Chapin also announced some personal news, which had been announced to CNN staff just hours before her Skype to Grand Valley. After 25 years at CNN, she’ll be leaving the network to accept the job of Senior Foreign Editor at National Public Radio. One way of looking at it is she’ll be switching her focus from federal politics to international affairs. Another way: she’ll be moving her job just a few blocks down the street.