November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from 'Morning Express with Robin Meade'

Posted: 05:50 AM ET

Happy thanksgiving from "Morning Express with Robin Meade"

It's easy to get caught up in the cooking and cleaning and traveling and planning and shopping that all slam together in a pumpkin spice scented whirlwind on Thanksgiving. Easy to forget that at it's core... the 4th Thursday in November (2nd Monday in October in Canada) is a day to stop and reflect on the blessings in our lives. To say thank you to the people and circumstances responsible for bringing good things into each day. All of us at "Morning Express with Robin Meade" and HLN hope you have more than your share of things to be thankful for this year... here are some of the things (in no particular order) we are giving thanks for today:

HLN Anchor Jennifer Westhoven:
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite - this year Im deeply grateful for the new seat at the table – a high-chair. Last year at dinner was the moment when, after years of effort and some heartbreak, I told my family that a baby was on the way. Baby Jamie is my biggest dream come true. Also thanks to my company’s benefits to support that! And thanks to friends & family, for the support and love they give.

Morning Express Producer Wade McKinney:
I am thankful for a God who knows my name and loves me unconditionally, and pursued me even when I turned my back on Him. I'm also thankful for the wonderful family He has put in my life: my wife, Michelle, and my two awesome boys, Bennett & Alex.

Morning Express Anchor Robin Meade:
I am thankful for our troops who are braver than I.
I am thankful for the unconditional love of pets.
I am thankful for a family that mostly has a great longevity gene and a funny bone too.

Writer/Producer Rick B.:
I'm thankful for First Amendment rights. And the Muppets.

Morning Express Web Producer Grayson Thagard:
Thankful to BE thankful! Thankful for all of you who are reading this because without you I wouldn't have this amazing gig that allows me to work with the people on this page. Thankful to the volunteers at Meals on Wheels in Atlanta who have shown me how easy and fulfilling it is to give back. And mostly, thankful for the love of the two families in my life who are the most open, honest, welcoming and accepting people on Earth.

Morning Express Producer Shaneika Dabney:
A wonderful family, the greatest friends in the world and my soul mate puttin’ a ring on it!

Morning Express Producer Tim Melligan:
Be thankful. You hear it a lot around this time of the year. It’s something I try to remember each and every day, but fail to. In the past week I have been given true reminders of just why we should all stop and be thankful. I’ve lost friends and co-workers this past week to sudden and long fought illnesses. I have other friends and loved ones dealing with serious illness. We look around and see people out of work, people fighting for their lives and for freedom-both theirs and ours. There is so much that we-I take for granted, and that shouldn’t be taken for granted. These real-life reminders make me so thanksful for everything I have, especially my wife and sons, our health, our loved ones, friends and our life and all that comes with it. I AM THANKFUL TODAY, TOMORROW, AND HOPEFULLY REMEMBER TO BE THANKFUL EACH AND EVERY DAY AFTER. I wish all of you reading this, a very Happy Thanksgiving.

HLN Sports Anchor Carlos Diaz:
I'm thankful to be spending my first Thanksgiving with my new broadcasting family at HLN. Robin, Jen and Bob are like my new brothers and sisters... only a tad more dysfunctional. :)

Morning Express Writer Mike F.:
I am thankful that my father’s recent tumor surgery went well and that he is doing great. I’m also thankful I got 3rd row seats to the upcoming Noel Gallagher concert.

HLN anchor Susan Hendricks:
I am thankful for my 2 year old daughter. I am also thankful for the opportunity to meet Eric LeGrand who showed me what the true definition of bravery and inspiration really is. :)

Morning Express Writer Erin Lindsay:
I’m thankful my boyfriend made it home safe from deployment, and even more thankful for his teammates who helped make it happen.

HLN Meteorologist Bob Van Dillen:
I am thankful for the health of my family, and having a job I love even with my limited skill set.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Filed under: Bob Van Dillen • Carlos Diaz • Extras • Jennifer Westhoven • Morning Express crew • Producer Shaneika • Robin Meade • TV Web Proudcer Grayson • Writer Mike Fink

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September 22, 2011

'Morning Express with Robin Meade' on Twitter

Posted: 04:42 AM ET


Yes... they tweet... and they read all of your tweets. And yes, it's really them. Follow the "Morning Express with Robin Meade" crew on Twitter.

Robin Meade: @RobinMeade
Sample tweet: "Some of your fav shoes may be really bad for your feet & I don't mean the stilts that I wear: [pic] Just the opposite!"

Bob Van Dillen: @BobVanDillen
Sample tweet: "Man, even I'm tired of hearing my voice after this Irene coverage. I feel sorry for u, the viewer! #WishIWasSurfing"

Jennifer Westhoven: @JenWesthoven
Sample tweet: "A tip of my hat to Steve Jobs. He raised the bar for all consumer products. [pic] #DressUpLikeSteveJobsDay"

Carlos Diaz: @CarlosHLN
Sample tweet: "Tom Brady to fans: "Start drinking early." Drinking what? My new blog post:"

Ryan Smith: @RyanSmithTV
Sample tweet: "Sleep doc #drfeinberg showing the proper admin of propofol #MJ #Murray @morn_eXpress"

Morning Express show account: @morn_eXpress
Sample tweet: "Did you see today's uber-sweet @USArmy #SaluteToTroops – – Newlyweds... sigh. @GoArmy"

HLN network account: @HLNTV

Filed under: Bob Van Dillen • Carlos Diaz • Extras • Jennifer Westhoven • Morning Express crew • Robin Meade • Ryan Smith

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August 12, 2011

A bad day for Tiger, chicken wings, and fair-weather Giants fans

Posted: 07:00 AM ET

A wise person once said… "It’s Friday. Friday. Gotta get down on Friday."

Tiger Woods' golf game is now at an all-time low. He shot his worst first round of golf as a pro yesterday at the P-G-A Championship. That's worth repeating: Tiger has never started a tournament on a worse note than he did yesterday. And now he's 14 shots behind the lead after the first day! Tiger ended the day tied for 129th place, and now he needs to have a career day today just to make the cut for the weekend. And to salt the wound, it's not like the playing conditions were tough. The guy who's currently leading the tourney, Steve Stricker, shot a 63, which is tied for the best round ever at a major.

After a summer of depressing N-F-L Lockout stories, football players are now back on the field! Preseason started last night, and a lot of fans feel the world is now a better place... including me! Last night, the spotlight was on two quarterbacks: Tim Tebow, who's trying to become a star, and Michael Vick, who regained his super-stardom last year. Vick played only one possession, as most starters usually do in the first preseason game, but he led his Eagles on an 80-yard touchdown drive against the Ravens. Meanwhile, down in Dallas, Tebow looked strong as he fought for the starting quarterback spot on the Broncos roster. Tebow hit his receivers better than first string quarterback Kyle Orton, and that's going to add to that quarterback controversy. Get more on the NFL Preseason at

The New York Giants Vice President of Communications Pat Hanlon is sounding off on some fair-weather fans, and I love it! After a Giants fan tweeted, "Can you say definitively the Giants are better than last year?" Hanlon tweeted back, "Can you say we're worse, knucklehead?" Another fan tweeted, "All teams need to rebuild" and Hanlon replied, "Re-build my (blank)! I got your re-build." And then, my favorite response to a fan who said the Giants don't look good on paper: Hanlon hit him back with, "We don't play on paper. You know what you can do w/ that paper?"

The tennis organizers at the U.S. Open are going to paint the numbers "9-11-01" in white next to the court for the men's and women's singles finals. It's part of the The Grand Slam tennis tournament's efforts to honor the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. The men's finals are on Sunday, September 11th, and the women's finals are the day before.

Why did Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto throw so well yesterday against the Rockies? "I didn't have any chicken wings," he said! Before his previous start in Chicago, Cueto went out and grabbed some chicken wings. Then, those tasty wings gave him an upset stomach, causing him to have his worst day on the mound all season against the Cubs! So Cuerto is now swearing off the wings (and the celery, and the ranch dressing) before all games!

That's all for today. Have a great weekend! Go out a celebrate the final few days of summer!!

*Follow "Morning Express with Robin Meade" sports anchor Carlos Diaz on Twitter: @CarlosHLN

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Filed under: Carlos Diaz • Sports

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July 13, 2011

The gang's all here!

Posted: 11:00 AM ET

Left to right: Robin Meade, meteorologist Bob Van Dillen, personal finance expert Jennifer Westhoven, sports anchor Carlos Diaz & correspondent Ryan Smith at "the biscuit."

Great to have the whole team back on set! Between Carlos Diaz's fairly recent addition to the show, Ryan Smith's extended stay in Orlando covering the Casey Anthony murder trial and Jennifer Westhoven's maternity leave, it's been a while since the full 5 have been all together in the studio. In fact, today is the first day that Carlos and Jennifer have even worked together. This definitely called for a photo... which was easier said than done.

You might not realize that even during the show the "on-air" group is RARELY (if ever) all in the studio at the same time. Only Jennifer and Robin spend most of the morning in the studio. Ryan's office is upstairs in the "In Session" newsroom, Carlos spends most of his day at his desk in the "CNN Sports" newsroom and Bob's weather computer is out the sound-proof door and down the hall. They come in-and-out of the studio all morning which you'd think would be quite distracting for Robin, but watching the show, you'd never know.

For more behind the scenes pics, LIKE "Morning Express with Robin Meade" on Facebook or on Twitter follow @RobinMeade, @BobVanDillen, @CarlosHLN and @RyanSmithTV (Jennifer Westhoven coming to Twitter soon).

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Filed under: Behind the Scenes • Bob Van Dillen • Carlos Diaz • Jennifer Westhoven • Robin Meade • Ryan Smith

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June 16, 2011

Toddler taunts lioness

Posted: 07:10 AM ET

Yes, yes... the cat is behind a see-through wall... but it's still a little unsettling to see it "play" with the little boy on the other side.

Click HERE to see the full clip on YouTube.

Robin says the lioness is just trying to "mother" the little guy, but Bob says that cat is looking for lunch... what do you say?

Filed under: Bob Van Dillen • Carlos Diaz • Robin Meade • Viral Video of the Day • YouTube

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May 17, 2011

Welcome to 'Morning Express' Carlos Diaz

Posted: 12:07 PM ET

It's never easy to be the 'new guy' but as new HLN Sports Anchor Carlos Diaz finds out in this video, there's more to being on 'Morning Express with Robin Meade' than just getting up really, really, really early.

Filed under: Bob Van Dillen • Carlos Diaz • Extras • Jennifer Westhoven • Morning Express crew • Robin Meade • Ryan Smith • Sports

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July 30, 2010

Robin is going to the biscuit! The where?

Posted: 09:07 AM ET

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Hi guys! My name is AJ, I’m one of the floor directors on Morning Express. People always ask me what it’s like to work on such a cool show, so I thought I’d give you all a taste of our world behind the scenes. Check back every so often for the dirt on your favorite morning crew and some show secrets, too.

I’m kind of glad you can’t hear a lot of the stuff we yell in the commercial breaks. I’m sure we sound like crazy people, because there’s a lot of weird terminology for stuff around the studio. The big screen that Bob does most of his weather from is actually a giant projector called a Christie, named after the manufacturer. We’re pretty sure our bosses would get mad at us, but it’s kind of tempting to want to pop through the middle of the screen while wearing a feather boa and singing Happy Birthday Mister President (hey, a girl can dream).

Carlos, Jen & Ryan use the main anchor desk a lot, but we call it "the biscuit," because if you look closely, it’s shaped like a biscuit. Not a yummy buttery biscuit, more like a joiner biscuit that a carpenter might use to connect two pieces of wood.

Robin’s main desk is called "the bar," because well, it looks kinda like a bar. And just like a real bar, it’s a super fun place to be. It’s also acceptable to hang out there early in the morning. Which is usually not okay in a real bar.

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Filed under: Behind the Scenes • Bob Van Dillen • Carlos Diaz • Extras • Floor Director AJ • Jennifer Westhoven • Morning Express crew • Robin Meade • Ryan Smith

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About this blog

It's Morning Express like you've never seen it before! Hear from Robin Meade and the rest of the show crew for our thoughts on everything from politics to sports... to those bizarre stories that have us buzzing behind the scenes. Plus, plenty of material you might not see on the air. Don't miss OUR TAKE on what's happening in the world. Then tell us YOURS!

Robin Meade
Delivering your dose of morning news, to get you out of bed and off to work.
Robin Meade
Bob Van Dillen
From tracking storms to airport delays, Bob is your weather and travel expert.
Bob Van Dillen
Jennifer Westhoven
Jennifer has the tips you need to take action on stories affecting your wallet.
Jennifer Westhoven