Jack Cafferty, resident curmudgeon on “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” whose TV news career began 52 years ago in Reno, has left CNN, TVNewser has learned.
Cafferty has provided commentary and insight for “The Situation Room,” since 2005. Previously at CNN, he was co-host on “American Morning,” and of a weekend business show. Before joining CNN, Cafferty was with the now shuttered CNNfn business channel.
Cafferty was a fixture in the New York market where he spent more than 20 years at three stations: WPIX, WNYW and WNBC.
Cafferty was last see on “The Situation Room” Nov. 15 which was his last day. Cafferty’s contract with CNN was not renewed.
“There is no one like Jack Cafferty,” says a CNN spokesperson. “He’s brought a lot of wit and wisdom to viewers over the years.”
After news Wednesday that Sue Simmons — who made up half of one of the longest-running local news anchor duos in the nation — was being cut from WNBC, we got this in the tipbox:
Maybe CNN will hire Sue Simmons and pair her with Jack Cafferty. They could call the show, “Live at Five…Four Central…Two Pacific”
That’s a nod to one of the iterations of WNBC’s “Live at Five” when Cafferty and Simmons shared the anchor desk in the mid-1980s. The screengrab, above, shows the two along with Don Pardo who did live talent introductions and other voice overs. At the time, Al Roker did the weather and in later years Simmons shared the “Live at Five” anchor desk with Matt Lauer.
During an extended at-bat by Jacoby Ellsbury during last night’s Red Sox-Padres game, Red Sox announcers Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy become transfixed by two women sitting along the first base line, one of whom was wearing a chicken hat while the other had a chicken dressed in a Red Sox uniform. If you’re unfamiliar with Orsillo and Remy’s repartee, these are the kind of amusing asides that keep them entertaining and unique. And if you’re unfamiliar with insane people, check out the woman in the chicken hat, ’cause she’s off the reservation.
CNN launches its latest “Broken Government” series of reports and analysis next week, just a few days after Vice President Joe Biden declared on CBS: “Washington, right now, is broken.”
Segments will air throughout the day starting during “American Morning” and ending with “AC360″ in the evening. Jack Cafferty hosts “Broken Government: A Cafferty File Special Report” next Friday at 7pmET.
Carol Costello and Dr. Sanjay Gupta deliver the first two segments on Monday’s “American Morning.” Costello reports on the middle class and Gupta reports on a Louisiana town’s struggle with the EPA.
TIME magazine, which featured “Why Washington Is Frozen” as its most recent cover story, has also partnered with CNN on the programming. You can read more about that, as well as the press release, after the jump.
TVNewser headed over to Michael’s this afternoon for a launch lunch for Christiane Amanpour‘s new international news program, “Amanpour.” It’s a culmination of sorts for Amanpour who “grew up with the network” having gotten her start 26 years ago on CNN’s foreign desk when she was a self-described “little dweeb.”
The new show will be quite a shift for Amanpour who, as CNN/U.S. President Jon Klein put it, “made her name in a war zone.” But Amanpour certainly doesn’t expect it to be any easier. “It might sound strange but my comfort zone is out there dodging the bullets and the bombs, fighting to get the story. This, for me, is going to be the danger zone because I’ve never done this before. There’s a lot of competition, even at our own network.”
“Nightline” co-anchor Cynthia McFadden was there and tells TVNewser, “I think it’s an obvious move. She is such an important voice and it’s great for everyone interested in serious journalism. Everyone who cares about what’s going on in the world will be tuning in to get her perspective.” CNN SVP Bart Feder says the Sunday line-up of “State of the Union with John King,” “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” and now “Amanpour” is “one of the smartest three hours of TV you can find. You’ll feel smarter after watching it.”
Today on the mediabistro.com Morning Media Menu we were joined by CNN’s Jack Cafferty, author of the new book, “Now or Never: Getting Down to the Business of Saving Our American Dream.”
He says he decided to write the book as a response to the Bush administration. “I just felt like the country was badly damaged following the eight years of George W. Bush and that collection of morons that he had around him running this country into a ditch, so without the recession we were in enough trouble,” he says.
Cafferty thinks those who are already criticizing President Barack Obama are jumping the gun. “That’s convenient for everybody to say, ‘Oh it’s the media,’” he says. “But the fact of the matter is the American public is an impatient group of people and always has been.”
As for the Cafferty Files, he says the viewer interaction is good. “I hear from thousands of people every day, so I’ve got a pretty good ongoing sense of the mood of people. So that’s helpful,” he says.
Also discussed: how Obama did in Tuesday’s news conference, what it means for the President to appear at the Univision awards tonight and NCAA brackets.
Jack Cafferty of CNN is our guest tomorrow on the mediabistro.com Morning Media Menu podcast.
Cafferty’s new book, out this month, is called, “Now or Never: Getting Down to the Business of Saving Our American Dream.” We’ll talk to him about the Bush administration, the Obama administration, and, well, how to get down to business.