Former CNN and NBC News anchor Campbell Brown is back — on Broadway. Brown will appear in a one-night only staged reading of “8,” a new play about California’s Proposition 8 next Monday. Brown plays the role of — wait for it — “broadcast journalist.” Actors Bob Balaban, Bradley Whitford and Marisa Tomei also star, with Morgan Freeman and John Lithgow playing David Boies and Ted Olson, the two attorneys who lead the case to overturn Prop. 8.
The midterm elections didn’t do help CNN much in October, with nearly all of the network’s programming down compared to October ’09. The only program to see a gain was “AC360″ at 10 and 11 PM. Likewise, new program “Parker Spitzer” failed to improve upon the time period from a year ago, when Campbell Brown was in the anchor seat.
Total Day (Mon-Sun): 410K total/122k A25-54
Prime (Mon-Sun): 562k total/165k A25-54
Anderson Cooper’s “AC360″ was the highlight for CNN, with the program improving in both Total Viewers and A25-54 demo viewers for both hours. “AC360″ was up +5% in Total Viewers and up +9% in the demo at 10 PM, and up +26% in Total Viewers and +15% in the demo at 11 PM.
Speaking before 300 talk-radio executives and talent, the Fox News host ridiculed the 30-year old network for not being authentic.
“Paula Zahn‘s not working, so we’re gonna go way out on a limb: We’re gonna bring in Campbell Brown, said Beck with a sarcastic impression of CNN execs, “We gotta get change in here.”
“Then they go to Eliot Spitzer. There’s a change, if you just have a guy who frequented hookers on by himself. But you can’t do that. That’s too risky. ‘Let’s not have the hooker guy on by himself, let’s have some chick on with him. Now America will watch!’”
Beck was the keynote speaker at the Talk Media Conference Saturday night in Marina del Rey, California
Last night’s “Parker-Spitzer” saw the lowest numbers yet for the program and the show did little to help the one that followed on the schedule — “Larry King Live” which had its worst numbers in more than 10 years.
In its sixth outing, “Parker-Spitzer” drew 311,000 Total Viewers and 86,000 A25-54 viewers. That’s lower than the previous low for the time period set by Campbell Brown earlier this year. (332,000 / 87,000). Last week, Parker-Spitzer finished fourth in the time period averaging 465,000 Total Viewers and 124,000 A25-54.
At 9pmET, “Larry King Live” put up its lowest A25-54 demo viewership since July 2000, averaging just 63,000 viewers in the demo (and a paltry 196,000 Total Viewers). King’s guest for the hour was Afghan president Hamid Karzai.
With her television future still unknown, Campbell Brown said goodbye to a three-year stint at CNN tonight. “To each of you who tuned in every night or even every now and then, thank you,” said Brown. “I mean that.”
Brown thanked her staff, who were all waiting in the wings at CNN’s New York studios. “I cannot say enough about the people who work on this show. They are the most talented dedicated loyal caring group of people. I have really loved working with each and every one of them.”
Brown was given a bouquet of flowers and, probably more importantly, champagne. The cork was popped before the studio lights went down.
Former-USDA employee Shirley Sherrod is still making headlines this morning across the news nets. Sherrod was pressured to resign Monday after an edited video of remarks she made led to allegations of racism.
After reviewing the tape thoroughly, the NAACP, which had initially denounced Sherrod, released a statement yesterday evening saying, “With regard to the initial media coverage of the resignation of USDA official Shirley Sherrod, we have come to the conclusion we were snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart into believing she had harmed white farmers because of racial bias.”
CNN’s Campbell Brown conducted an aggressive interview NAACP’s Hilary Shleton on her program Tuesday night, asking if those who aired the video should really be to blame for the NAACP’s quick judgment:
This morning, “Fox & Friends” co-host Steven Doocy said, “For anybody to say that Fox News pressured her out, that is simply a lie.” Last evening, Fox News’ Bret Baier and the panel on “Special Report” also discussed the circumstances surrounding this “snookered” statement, which was in part directed at their network…
Page Six got their hands on some salary details for CNN’s soon-to-be-launched 8pm show. The gossip column claims Eliot Spitzer is set to make an annual salary “closer to $500,000 than $1 million, as is his co-host, Kathleen Parker.”
Insiders say CNN isn’t spending a lot on talent for the 8 p.m. show because its chances for success are slim.
There is still no EP for the show, but insiders tell TVNewser MSNBC’s Bill Wolff was wooed by CNN for the job. But we’ve learned Wolff is this close to signing a new deal to stay at MSNBC where he’ll continue to oversee “The Rachel Maddow Show” and remain VP of primetime programs for the network.
NPR’s “Morning Edition” profiled NBC’s Savannah Guthrie today. Interestingly, the profile morphs into an analysis of the current ideological state of cable news about halfway through.
The profile touts Guthrie as a “rising star” at NBC News, going into her background as a local TV reporter and her time at Georgetown Law, before asking the ideological question.
Nowadays, the paper-or-plastic question involves whether to seek a network presence, with more viewers and a chance at a bigger payoff, or cable prominence, with more chances of personal recognition. NBC News holds a unique place in broadcast journalism in that it offers both: It has a network news division that clings to the concept of journalistic impartiality, but its sister cable channel MSNBC only found ratings success with a prime-time ideological tilt â€” in its case, toward the political left.
On cable, many of the more successful personalities find themselves standing out by adopting a sharper tone. Guthrie says she harbors no such desire, though the cable network on which she appears daily has won its greatest ratings successes by doing just that.
“I know what everybody says,” Guthrie says, “but … we just do straight news, and no one has ever asked me to do anything other than that.”
From there, the piece focuses less on Guthrie and more on cable news in general, discussing Campbell Brown‘s departure from CNN, and Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly, who it says “has taken on a noticeably sharp tone,” in recent months.