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Posts Tagged ‘Joel Cheatwood’

Can a Married Couple Save CNN?

The dynamic CNN duo of Mark Whitaker and Amy Entelis were at it again Friday, shooting another pilot that they hope could potentially be the savior for a network going through growing pains.

Whitaker, Executive VP and managing editor of CNN Worldwide, and his hire to head program development, Entelis, are joined at the hip in trying to come up with new ideas for the network, desperately hoping the next boss will keep them around when the anticipated senior executive bloodletting comes to pass.

Who is playing Batman and Robin this time? CNN contributors John Avlon and Margaret Hoover an independent and moderate conservative on air, and off, married. That’s right, CNN is seriously thinking about launching a show with a married couple. They’re no James Carville and Mary  Matalin, a big liberal and conservative. Some still find them entertaining.

Avlon, a columnist for The Daily Beast, has fast become a favorite of the CNN suits in New York, especially with Whitaker, a longtime member of the NY/DC media elite who, insiders say, would love nothing more than turn CNN into a TV version of the NYT.

Avlon is the designated independent voice on the network, even though he is a former speechwriter for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He also has a fantastic head of hair.

Hoover, a middle-of-the-road conservative, also has the kind of pedigree that makes Whitaker salivate. She’s the great-granddaughter of former president Herbert Hoover; an author; and landed at CNN several months ago after failing to come to contractual terms with Fox News. She also brings some of that Fox News hotness, which some think CNN could stand to adopt.

The pilots generated by the program development unit at CNN have left much to be desired as of late, so Entelis reached out to the force behind the CNN Heroes initiative, Kelly Flynn, to helm the pilot. She was a former exec in the program development unit when CNN’s former Executive Director of Program and Talent Development  Joel Cheatwood, who left for Fox News and is now Exec. VP of Mercury Radio Arts, ran the joint. (Boy is he missed!).

Entelis, Flynn, Avlon and Hoover spent all of Friday shooting the pilot in New York, hoping it will be good enough to impress outgoing CNN head honcho Jim Walton, and Phil Kent, head of Turner. With Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes applying the pressure to resuscitate the dying brand, the effort has an urgent feel.

But Avlon and Hoover should beware of mixing it up on the air. The last CNN married couple that was seen daily – John King and Dana Bash – later headed for Splitsville. Sure, she wasn’t a co-host on John King, U.S.A., but she was on so much when it launched that it should have been called the John and Dana Show.

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Morning Reading List 03.30.09

Good Morning FishbowlDC!

Got a blind item, interesting link, funny note, comment, birthday, anniversary or anything of the sort for Morning Reading List? Drop us a line.

Its day 70 covering the Obama administration and week nine for us. What we know and what we’re reading this Monday morning…



Newser: The NYT, as we know it, has been disappearing for some time. It may — diminishing as though by half-lives — have degraded to the point where, in any practical sense, it has long since ceased to be the leading voice in either journalism or the establishment. Vanity Fair: The NYT and 57-year-old Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. are at the edge of a precipice.

Slate’s Jack Shafer says its time to kill the idea that newspapers are essential to democracy: “I so love daily newspapers that I subscribe to four of them out of my own pocket, so please don’t lump me in with the haters. But I can imagine citizens acquiring sufficient information to vote or poke their legislators with pitchforks even if all the newspapers in the country died tomorrow.”

Does President Obama hate our important newspapers?


The Daily Beast bring us the “Top 6 Moments from Sunday Talk.” It was a big week- President Obama was a guest on Face the Nation, Secretary Timothy Geithner was on Meet the Press and This Week, and Secretary Robert Gates was on Fox News Sunday.

Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren ripped Politico on her blog for alleging she advises Gov. Sarah Palin, calling it “silly.” Find the Politico piece here.

Howard Kurtz: With Fox Nation, an opinionated HuffPo-like Web site that launches this morning, Fox News is hoping to leverage its brand online. “We felt that giving people a real destination to go and express themselves would give them a feeling of belonging,” says SVP Joel Cheatwood.

AP: CNN is poised to finish March third in the prime-time weeknight ratings behind Fox News Channel and MSNBC, the first time this has ever happened for the channel that pioneered the cable news genre nearly three decades ago. TVNewser: CNN’s Jon Klein / MSNBC’s Phil Griffin verbal battle as CNN cedes second place in prime to MSNBC.

CBS Early Show launches Backstage Live.

This Wednesday is NBC4′s Miguel Almaguer last day before becoming a national NBC network correspondent. He tells DCRTV: “When I came here, I wanted to be in the heart of the nation’s country…I’ve had the ability to cover some of everything — whether it’s government, local politics, crime. There’s a little bit of everything that the Washington area offers to a reporter, and that has been a great thing to experience over the last three years.”

In memoriam: Susan Myers, ABC News.


NPR is considering a pledge drive to assist a projected $8 million budget deficit.


HuffPost has launched a non-profit investigative journalism venture, bankrolling a group of investigative journalists and directing them at first to look at stories about the nation’s economy. The site is collaborating with The Atlantic Philanthropies and other donors to launch the Huffington Post Investigative Fund with an initial budget of $1.75 million.

A Gridiron Dinner for bloggers?


NYT: Obama Brings Flush Times for Black News Media. “For the nation’s black magazines, newspapers, and television and radio stations, the arrival of the Obama administration has ushered in an era of unprecedented access to the White House.”

Variety: Obama reaches out beyond DC, View of President different outside of bubble.

HAT TIPS: Mediabistro; Romenesko, Playbook

JOBS after the jump.

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