There was a lot of buzz on the Internet last week about changes that may or may not be coming to CNN. As a long time AC360 watcher I have noticed a difference in the program's direction during the last few weeks. Less panels and more diverse stories on a wider range of topics have been a welcome change. Here are a few observations from insiders about what maybe in the works for American Morning. The Wrap wrote:"CNN – which has been shuffling its weekend and evening lineups of late – is developing a new morning show pilot, with a format closer to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and “Fox & Friends” than anything it has ever done, TheWrap has learned......
But according to one source familiar with the network’s development process, CNN is testing a concept that would include personalities with dueling political ideologies and opinions. That would be a bit of a departure for CNN, which considers itself to be a bipartisan, journalistically-driven network unlike its rivals at Fox News and MSNBC. (CNN does have a roving band of politically-charged commentators like Mary Matalin and Ed Rollins, but other than Lou Dobbs and the late "Crossfire," never had them host.)
A CNN insider, however, stressed that the programming and talent department are “always testing new talent” and formats, and that the pilot in question is not similar to “Morning Joe.”
It’s also unclear how the pilot would affect CNN’s current a.m. offering, “American Morning.” While the show, hosted by Kiran Chetry and John Roberts, is in second place in the ratings behind “Fox & Friends,” the gap is widening.
According to Nielsen, “American Morning” is down 30 percent across the board in 2010."Medialite took The Wrap's story a few steps further and wrote:
"In some ways, what’s happening in the morning at CNN is symptomatic of a larger issue at CNN – where hard news continues to drive prime time as well. While the formula may have worked in the past, the ratings are declining, and CNN hasn’t evolved in the same way the competition (FNC, MSNBC and even sister-network HLN) have.
Another element to this is Kiran Chetry, who came over from Fox News (very suddenly) almost three years ago exactly. Would a change at CNN in the morning coincide with her contract being up? CNN had no comment (although, regarding Chetry, others yesterday did).
One final note – in TVNewser’s write-up yesterday they highlight “another top-line talent may bolt the cable channel when her contract expires. We hear she’s being wooed by one of the big 3 news divisions.” It would make sense that this person is Christiane Amanpour, whose name has been rumored for the vacant This Week job. In that case, it wouldn’t directly related to CNN’s morning show changes (or non-changes). "
And while we're on the topic of Christiane Amanpour,
TVNewseris reporting that she was offered the job at ABC News and has not decided where her future lies.
Someone who has found her future is Gerri Willis, who has signed with Fox Business News. Willis will host a primetime weekend program called Willis Report. When announcing the new hire Roger Alies,FBN chairman and CEO, said "Most of the CNN talent have been restrained from showing what they can do."
So there you have some of the latest developments in CNN's struggle back up the viewship ladder. We look forward to your views on the news.