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Friday, March 19, 2010

Christiane Amanpour Goes to ABC

Christiane Amanpour will be moving to ABC to host
a Sunday morning talk show beginning in the summer. Here's the full
article by the associated press:

NEW YORK — ABC News has hired Christiane
Amanpour, one of CNN’s best-known personalities for her hard-nosed reporting
from war zones over the past two decades, to host its Sunday morning political
talk show starting this summer.

She replaces George Stephanopoulos, who left the show in December to take over as co-host of ABC’s ‘Good Morning

An Iran-born journalist whose expertise is in international stories, and who has complained about the lack of overseas news in the American news media, would seem an unusual choice for a job that has largely been devoted to discussions of political and domestic news. That also may
represent a real opportunity.

“With Christiane, we have the opportunity to provide our audiences with something different on Sunday mornings,” ABC News President David Westin said.

Amanpour, 52, said she was exhilarated by the challenge.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime and a unique opportunity,” she said.

She had a high profile as CNN’s top international correspondent in the days when there was only one cable news network, reporting from conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, the Balkans and elsewhere.

Since moving to New York three years ago to be with her husband, former U.S. State Department spokesman James Rubin, Amanpour has been seen much less frequently. She hosts a daily program for the CNN International network. Highlights of those are shown for a half hour each Sunday afternoon on CNN’s domestic network.

ABC has courted her for a job since back when Roone Arledge was head of the news division, more than a decade ago. She and Westin both said the time was right now.

“Of all the people I know in this business, Christiane knows herself and she knows the news,” said Frank Sesno, former CNN Washington bureau chief. “I think it’s a very interesting and wise move for her and I think it will be a very different kind of program. George was the consummate insider, a former White House staffer turned interviewer. Christiane is the exact opposite.”

She’s already a non-Washington insider, who will commute to her new job from a home in New York.

That could be a risk for ABC, whose Sunday morning program has generally run a strong second to NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ with the competition closer since the death of NBC’s Tim Russert.

Amanpour downplayed the idea that ‘This Week‘ will dramatically change.

“This is something that people have come to really know and depend on,” she said. “The creative DNA of the show will remain. What we want to do is broaden it even more.”

Ian Cameron, executive producer of ‘This Week,’ said he looked back at tapes of the show when David Brinkley was host and found there was more news of the world discussed. The more intense domestic focus is a recent phenomenon, he said, perhaps partly in response to polls showing American news viewers with less of an interest in international news.

“That will be our challenge,” Cameron said. “We’ll need to explain to our viewers why we’re doing these stories, why it’s connected to their lives and what it means to them.”

He minimized Amanpour’s supposed lack of expertise in domestic subjects, noting she can become versed in them like she had to learn about different conflicts while traveling the world

Amanpour was chosen over some internal ABC candidates, some of whom filled in since Stephanopoulos left, including Jake Tapper and Terry Moran. Former ABC ‘Nightline’ host Ted Koppel was even in the mix at one point. Tapper will fill in as host until Amanpour takes over in August.

“It’s a real good and challenging fit for her and a good and challenging fit for ABC,” Sesno said. “I don’t think the television audience needs another inside-the-Beltway, inside-the-filibuster conversation on Sunday.”

Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide, saluted Amanpour and said her work burnished the CNN news brand and gave it authority.

“CNN and Christiane helped make each other great,” he said.

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Anonymous said...

Jim Walton got it right. "CNN and Christianne helped make eachother great," and now that Klein forced her out CNN has lost its luster and a great journalist that was under utilized.

Anonymous said...

Is there any chance that Zain could possibly
get an international news show once Amanpour
leaves? Or perhaps giving us World Report and
World View on Sunday.A lot of people are not
feeling sorry for CNN these days. Their wounds
are self-inflicted.I think that when someone like
Christiane leaves there has got to be some
questions asked. Maybe Jim Walton can come
up with a plan to save CNN. One thing is pretty
obvious is that Klein can't. She seemed to be
saying CNN has a strong journalism standards
that it must not forget. Let's hope Walton
hears her loud and clear.

Anonymous said...

Christiane Amanpour is jumping ship because
she is signing on with a news operation that
is serious about revamping and reshaping the
news industry. The problem for CNN is that
they are not ahead of the game on anything.
They just keep doing the same dumb things
over and over again. Give us something fresh.
I think a couple weeks ago David Westin gave
a speech about getting away from the talking
heads. Everyone knows they are not the future
of tv news.It is all about content and original
material for multiple platforms. She is dead
right about there being an appetite for
international news. People want to see the
world and cable news is too much a part
of the political game to be considered a
free and independent press.

Anonymous said...

CNN is losing it's most prolific female
anchor/reporter and the first hire since
4 females are leaving is a conservative
blogger and you are asking why CNN
is in trouble. Great move for Christiane.
Good riddance to CNN for the shabby
treatment of female reporters/anchors.

Anonymous said...

It's was obvious that CNN no longer met Christiane's standards and she got the opportunity to move on. Good for her. One thing to note though, CNN has no standards anymore, so she shouldn't look back at all. Rick and Ali is who they want, two dopes who fall over one another from their own stupidity.

Anonymous said...

This is a huge blow. I think it is safe to
say Christiane does not think CNN is living
up to it's tradition of being a solid news
organization. You have people like Rick
Sanchez and Ali Velshi anchoring totally
lame shows I have seen better in local
television news. It will be interesting to
see who replaces Christiane. By the way
Melissa Long is now on Bloomberg.I am
still waiting to see how long it will take
for CNN to wise up and take them off
5 days a week. According to TV by the
Numbers MSNBC topped CNN in total
day viewers, Wolf was even behind
them during The Situation Room.
Wolf can't make up for 4 hours of
awful programming.

Anonymous said...

Christiane gave a wonderful tribute to the fearless photojournalist, Margaret Moth. They must have known one another well. Their passion for what they do, make them role models for women journalists today.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps CNN could hire the correspondents
that work for Vanguard on Current. Mariana
Van Zeller reminds me of a younger Christiane.