Home Sweet Trapezoidal Bench

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Talk about crossfire. CNN is now the subject of attack ads from not only Fox News but MSNBC.That was top of mind for attendees of a birthday party for sister network Headline News to celebrate the second year of its prime time block, the aptly named Headline Prime.

Among the huddled masses having cocktails at the Time Warner Center's "home of the future" Tuesday night were HP's Nancy Grace and AJ Hammer, along with CNN prime's Paula Zahn and CNN Worldwide chief Ken Jautz, who oversees Headline.

No specific comments, but the competition's negative ads did come up in various conversations, mainly regarding what sort of response - if any - would be most appropriate from CNN. In any case, the ads didn't cast any pall over Headline's well attended event. Guests stayed well past the planned conclusion at 8 p.m., listening to the pumped-in jazz and nibbling on fish and chips and potato pancakes.

While the vibe was warm, the home of the future? Not so much. If Time Warner's approximation is actually realized, we'll all be trading our livingroom sofas for sterile orange and green, trapezoidal benches. Certainly not optimal for TV viewing, whichever the news network.

By Anne Becker