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Posts Tagged ‘Campbell Brown’

NPR on Savannah Guthrie and the Ideological Shift in Cable News

savannah_guthrie072010.jpeg 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 — 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.

‘Campbell Brown’ Ends July 21st

cb_7-13.jpgTVNewser has confirmed that Campbell Brown‘s last day at CNN will be Wednesday, July 21st.

As we reported Monday, CNN will add an additional broadcast of Rick Sanchez‘s “Rick’s List” into the 8pmET time-slot starting July 22nd likely until the new Eliot Spitzer/Kathleen Parker program begins in the fall.

Brown announced her eventual departure in May.

Previously on TVN:

Rick Sanchez: Rick’s List Moving to 8 PM

sanchez_7-12.jpg CNN’s Rick Sanchez is coming to primetime, at least temporarily. On “Rick’s List” today, Sanchez casually dropped this line:

“Pretty soon we’re going to have two things going on. A: We’re going to be doing this newscast at 8:00 at night. We’re excited about that, and my book is going to be coming out.”

Presumably Sanchez’s program will shift to 8 p.m. temporarily, until the panel show hosted by Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker is ready to debut later this Fall.

Campbell Brown, who announced that she would be stepping down earlier this year, has continued to host her program since she revealed her decision. CNN has confirmed that Brown’s last day at the network will be July 21.

A spokesperson for CNN could not be reached for comment as of writing.

Update: A spokesperson for CNN tells TVNewser that Sanchez will start his 8 p.m. show Thursday July 22, and will continue hosting his afternoon program from 3-5.

Sanchez has been a regular fill-in for Brown, and had previously anchored “Out In the Open” at 8 p.m. in 2007.

Q2 2010 Ratings: CNN’s Up and Down Quarter

cnn120.jpgWhile CNN’s primetime struggled in particularly low-rated April, the network fared a little better in June. Still, CNN saw sizeable year-to-year decreases over the whole of the quarter — the largest in cable news.

Total day (Mon-Sun): 439k total/143k A25-54
Prime (Mon-Sun): 596k total/175k A25-54

In total viewers, CNN was down -27% in total day and -31% in primetime year-to-year. In the demo, the network was down -20% and -27% respectively. Those percentages however are much lower than the year-to-year drop CNN saw in Q1.

“John King USA” (450k / 142k) struggled in its first full quarter to match its predecessor. The program is down -41% in total viewers (-36% demo) compared to Q2 of 2009 — when Lou Dobbs was in the time slot. In total viewers, “JK, USA” saw the largest percentage decrease in all of cable news.

“Rick’s List” is still besting the non-Fox competition — topping MSNBC Live and “Dylan Ratigan” by almost 200k total viewers — but is down considerably from a year ago. The 4pmET hour (520k / 138k) is down -40% in total viewers and -22% in the demo, while the 3pmET hour (497k / 142k) is down -31% and -14%.

The program with the biggest year-to-year drop in the demo? “Larry King Live” (677k / 177k) which was down -37% in both total viewers and A25-54. King finished third in behind Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow in both categories.

Anderson Cooper also saw decreases. TVbytheNumbers reports, “The second quarter of 2010 was AC360′s 3rd lowest ever for average viewership and 2nd lowest ever for adults 25-54.”

Campbell Brown, who announced in May that she would be stepping down from her 8pmET program due to a lack of viewership, saw her lowest-rated quarter since the show’s launch (477k / 139k).

The CNN release is after the jump.

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Campbell Brown’s Time at CNN Coming to a Close

brown_6-24.jpgIn a Q&A with The Wrap’s Dylan Stableford, CNN/US President Jon Klein confirms that anchor Campbell Brown will be “hosting her show until the end of July.” A CNN spokesperson tells TVNewser no firm date has been scheduled.

Brown’s departure comes as CNN has announced her eventual replacement, a new debate program with former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and columnist Kathleen Parker. In The Wrap interview, Klein was asked about the network’s change in stance on “opinion-based programming:”

We’ve never resisted opinion. If you’ve watched our election programming, we’ve quite famously had a wide range of opinions on those shows. What we have resisted is having our anchors insert their personal points of view for an hour and shoving them down people’s throats. What we want to do here is facilitate lively, smart discussion, with multiple points of view. It’s not that we’re suddenly endorsing one side or another. This country already has a super-conservative network and super-liberal network.

Klein says he had been evaluating the new duo over the last two months, reading Parker’s columns and seeing Spitzer “on various shows,” which indicates that Spitzer’s recent stints at MSNBC played a part in landing him the CNN job. Klein also said that replacing Larry King “is not a priority” at the moment.

The NY Post today quotes a number of unnamed CNNers who say they are dismayed with the new hires and the reflection on the network’s brand. Former CNN 8pm host Connie Chung tells The Post, “It’s sadly comical… and this is terribly disillusioning. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will give you more solid journalism than this program could possibly give.”

> Interesting: It was roughly three years ago — July 26th, 2007 — that Campbell Brown and Jon Klein announced that Brown would be the host of a new evening show on CNN.

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Eliot Spitzer, Kathleen Parker Hired by CNN


Breaking: TVNewser has learned that former NY governor Eliot Spitzer and columnist Kathleen Parker have signed a contract with CNN.

The pair will host an 8pmET roundtable discussion show to replace Campbell Brown‘s primetime program, according to a memo CNN/US President Jon Klein sent to staff. The network is looking for an executive producer.

Klein wrote that CNN’s “Program Development and Research teams identified scores of interesting candidates” before settling on the two and that the network is looking to launch the program in early fall.

“Our new hosts’ backgrounds and perspectives bear obvious differences,” Klein explained of his new hosts, neither of which are established television journalists. “But they agree on at least one thing: that honest, vigorous, wide-ranging debate and discussion — driven by facts, not hysteria — is the best means of uncovering the solutions America craves.” Read the full note after the jump.

Brown announced she would be stepping down from her hosting duties in May. In a personal note, she had acknowledged ratings struggles and wrote, “I owe it to myself and to CNN to get out of the way so that CNN can try something else.”

Speculation ensued and Spitzer’s name continued to pop up as a favorite for the job. At the time, the former Governor had been regularly filling in for Dylan Ratigan at MSNBC and there were rumors that he was also talking with that network about a potential role.

Update: It’s official. Press release put out by CNN (after the jump) and story posted on CNN’s Political Ticker.

Kathleen Parker, Future CNN Co-Host?
Eliot Spitzer: Bringing ‘Intellectual Heat’ to Cable News

More on Spitzer/CNN Speculation…

Will We See More Eliot Spitzer on Cable News?
Who’ll Be Next for CNN at 8pm?

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More on Piers Morgan at CNN and His Other Television Resume

cnn_6-14.jpgThere’s been a flurry of tips and chatter today about Piers Morgan joining CNN’s line-up in the very near future and The Guardian is now reporting that Morgan flew to New York for meetings “to clear the way for a possible multimillion dollar deal with the cable news company CNN, which is believed to have approached Morgan about hosting a primetime interview slot.”

Many in the British press are reporting that CNN is looking at Morgan to replace Larry King, though, as we noted earlier, it seems more plausible that the network would be looking to fill its 8pmET slot.

A CNN spokesperson tells TVNewser: “Not surprisingly, there is no shortage of people who would love to succeed Larry King if and when he moves on, but rumors that we are close to signing a deal for a Larry King replacement are untrue. We are currently looking at replacing our 8pm program and that is our priority. Larry is a beloved member of the team, and he will continue to be part of the CNN family into the future.”

U.S. viewers may know Morgan from his stints here on “America’s Got Talent” and “Celebrity Apprentice,” but some stateside might be unaware of the remainder of his resume. In the 1990s and 2000s, Morgan was editor of UK tabloids “News of the World” and the “Daily Mirror.” He’s also hosted a number of television programs in the UK including talk shows and a travel program called “Piers Morgan On…”

Two of those programs are of particular note right now.

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Is Piers Morgan Really Replacing Larry King?

Morgan061410.jpg Over the weekend a flurry of reports from the UK tabloids said that “America’s Got Talent” judge Piers Morgan was “close” to signing a rich $10 million contract to replace Larry King at 9 p.m. on CNN.

While the reports are surprisingly specific, the details don’t quite add up.

For starters, CNN currently has a massive hole to fill at 8 p.m. in the slot being vacated by Campbell Brown. By all accounts network executives are focused on figuring out what to do about that timeslot.

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Smerconish: ‘No Room for Nuance’ on Cable News

Smerconish061110.bmp Radio and television personality Michael Smerconish writes an editorial in the Washington Post decrying the partisan state of cable news.

Smerconish argues that television and radio is shaping the partisan climate in Washington, and writes that the forthcoming departure of Campbell Brown from CNN “marks another tombstone in the graveyard of moderate, thoughtful analysis.”

CNN is rumored to be looking at a “Crossfire” type debate program to plug into Brown’s slot, though no programming decisions have been made. Eliot Spitzer has been said to be in consideration for that show, and today the New York Post‘s Claire Atkinson writes that her fellow Brit Piers Morgan has been approached about the program.

Smerconish also talks a bit about how the TV news sausage gets made, recalling calls from CNN and Fox News producers seeking guests that fit a predetermined mold.

The message of both episodes is clear: There is no room for nuance. Either you offer a consistent (possibly artificial) ideological view or you often don’t get a say.

So why is there a lack of centrist voices? The answer, according to Smerconish, is about as straightforward as it gets:

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Keith Olbermann on Campbell Brown and Why CNN’s 8pm ‘Failed’

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann admits he “likes” Campbell Brown, but he had some harsh criticism in last night’s WPITW for the “lame duck” CNN anchor and some recent comments she made to the LA Times.

“CNN’s 8 o’clock news programs haven’t failed because they are competing with opinion and interpretative news programs,” Olbermann said. “They’ve failed because CNN hasn’t figured out that everything it puts on the air is available to everybody who watches all day on the internet, and if you don’t bring something else to the table, they’re not going to watch.”

He did, however, wish the network a “happy 30th birthday.” Video:

More: A CNN spokesperson fires back, “By the end of the day some people may know what’s happened in the world — but that’s no thanks to MSNBC, which didn’t even bother to cover the press conference announcing that Top Kill had failed to stop the Gulf oil spill. As a news organization, CNN provides viewers both content and context to the days’ news, unlike the partisan networks.”