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Posts Tagged ‘Chris Rock’

A King-Size Comeback

There’s no debate that CNN’s John King USA” had trouble finding its footing in the first year of production.  Anxious to blast the program, critics and bloggers hit “publish” on reviews even before King signed off his debut show in March of 2010. Bashed for being too straightforward in a sea of 7pm opinion journalism and then trashed for adding controversial contributors like’s Erik Erickson, it seemed King couldn’t catch a break.  Sure, ratings have been rocky but his magic wall, his wardrobe, even King’s all-American good looks have become targets of critical fodder.

And then there’s Tara Palmeri – the former CNN desk assistant turned gossip columnist who now grinds her axe with King on the pages of the News Corp-owned NY Post.  Palmeri, who in 2009 left her entry-level gig with the network, heads up efforts to humiliate CNN for Page Six.  Although she spent less than a year as a contract employee in the network’s DC bureau, Palmeri has managed to conjure up inside sources to fuel rumors of “John King USA’s” demise since July of last year.  This week (8 months later), she reported that network execs are searching for a minority host – comedian Chris Rock, the piece strangely suggests – to fill King’s 7pm hour.

But whether or not there’s any truth to the ever-churning rumor mill, King’s recent spike in ratings has surely caught the attention of CNN brass.  For the month of March, the program’s one-year anniversary, “John King USA” enjoyed its best numbers ever, topping MSNBC’s “Hardball” in both total viewers (850k vs. 722k) and in the key demo, adults ages 24-54 (315k vs. 207k).  Despite the catty gossip columns and broody blog posts, King’s viewership grew a whopping 132% in the demo (25-54) and 64% in total viewers vs. the same period one year ago.

A strong start to John’s King-size comeback, last month’s success seems to be carrying over into April.  For the first two weeks of this month, “JK USA” gave Chris Matthews a run for his money by winning the demo (211k to 176k) – a 92% increase in key audience compared to last year (110k) .  Only time will tell if CNN can hold on to its belated success in the 7 pm time slot but if you’re counting on Chris Rock to push King from his throne, brace yourself for a long and fruitful relationship with John’s magic wall.

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A Chat With Ebony’s Man of Power: Roland Martin

40th+NAACP+Image+Awards+Red+Carpet+dxCZu5q9Le4m.jpgFor the third year in a row CNN Contributor and TV One’s “Washington Watch” Host Roland Martin has been named one of “Power 150″ by Ebony Magazine. Martin makes the list with the likes of Beyonce, Tyra Banks and Chris Rock.

We checked in to see what this powerful man has on his mind these days, aside from recently inspiring ESPN’s “Ascot Day” for wearing fashion-inspiring neck wear.

After three years on this Power 150 list do you feel powerful?
Well, I tell you what. I’ve always felt the media industry was the second strongest institution in the world. When you see folks overtake a country, they always take over the military first because you have to take the guns, Then they take over the newspapers, radio and TV stations. That is the direct way to the hearts and minds of the people, so we carry an extra burden in what we do in our daily jobs.

Does the power seem to go down after say, year two?
First of all, all these different lists are subjective. But you recognize what happens when you say something on television and you put something in print. Always good when you get feedback whether it’s pro or con. When you have the haters come out you know you’ve sparked a nerve in somebody.

Who has been the most memorable interview of your career?
Definitely Earl Woods, Tiger Woods’s father. I mean it was so awesome. First of all I’m allergic to smoke. But Earl smoked through the whole interview. (Dionne Warwick also smoked through her whole whole interview — trust me that was a little rough on the brother.) I remember asking him, ‘How do you think Tiger is going to go on playing when you’re no longer here.?’ He said, ‘Tiger will always hear my voice no matter where he is on the course. I have put an imprint on him – he will always hear my voice.’

What do you think about Tiger’s situation?.
If Earl was hear he’d go and look in his face and say, ‘You f-ed up. You’re going to have to take this public butt licking like a man. The Green Beret in him would say, ‘You made a grown man decision, you are suffering grown man consequences.’

See more Martin power after the jump and check out these Verse 9 ties he likes…

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