There have been some very interesting ideas for replacing Campbell Brown bouncing around the Internet. One has CNN hiring Eliot Spitzer and bringing back Crossfire. Another has Katie Couric taking over for Larry King when (and if) the CNN/CBS merger happens.
I also found a poll on polldaddy.com that listed these choices for what to do with Campbell's hour:
•Anderson Cooper Talk Show
•Late Edition with Katie Couric
•NewsNight with Eliot Spitzer
•Sanjay Gupta Live
•Jake Tapper Tonight
•Crossfire with James Carville and Mary Matalin
•Another debate program with CNN contributors/analysts
•Ali Velshi Now
•David Shuster: No Bias, No Bull
•None of the above
This morning Mediaite posted odds on some of the possible replacements:
• Crossfire-type show – 5:1 : A program like Crossfire would contradict some of what Klein has said in the past, but it’s a different time and as the election approaches, it could be a popular choice. While the masses of TV critics lent suggestions to the network recently, Crossfire kept coming up. This would also allow CNN to say it’s continuing its approach of representing both sides – in the way it show FNC and MSNBC do not. Some possibilities for the program could be Mary Matalin and James Carville, Roland Martin, Erick Erickson, Alex Castellanos, Gloria Borger, Donna Brazile and John Avlon. Side note – this choice is currently leading TVNewser’s poll.
• Current anchor, temporary – 10:1 : What if CNN puts in an anchor from another program with the promise it will just be through the November election. This allows a temporary solution – and the potential to completely revamp the line-up down the road. Possible anchors could be Rick Sanchez, John Roberts, Ali Velshi or Candy Crowley. But if this was for current anchor, permanent, the odds would leap up to 80:1. Don’t think that would happen at this point.
• Eliot Spitzer – 12:1 : This was floated by the Washington Examiner, and has been picked up elsewhere. It doesn’t sound likely – Spitzer is currently an MSNBC contributor – but it’s not getting shot down by CNN either. He’s a compelling selection, but is he really ready to anchor his own show? Maybe with another former GOP politician.
• Ed Henry – 15:1 : The White House correspondent was up for the Sunday show gig when John King left, so he could be slotted in for a D.C.-based show. This could be a temporary show as well, like above.
• Two major bomb-throwers – 16:1 : Similar to the Crossfire suggestion, but further. Like Crossfire on steroids. Think Ann Coulter paired with Michael Moore. Oh, you wouldn’t watch that?
• Alexis Glick – 24:1 : We’ve heard the name floated before, and the former FBN anchor and exec has shown up a few times on CNN since she’s left FOX. If she is picked, she could be paired with someone else as well, and you could theoretically make the hour business-focused. Does it draw the viewers though?
• Anderson Cooper – 35:1 : A suggestion of Glynnis MacNicol’s, this would put Cooper in the driver’s seat of CNN prime time. It could be interesting, but then re-opens another prime time hour. CNN could go the MSNBC route and replay Cooper at 10pmET, but that would most certainly look like a band-aid solution (or lack thereof).
• An HLN host – 36:1 : It would go against the grain – and against the mission statement recently of CNN. But couldn’t Nancy Grace or Joy Behar provide a spark the network needs in the prime time hour?
• Bill Maher – 60:1 : My pick – but certainly a longshot. He was great recently with Cooper, but it would cost CNN a lot to woo him from his cushy, and uncensored, home on HBO Friday nights.
• David Shuster – 75:1 : He’s already been in the building – and has felt the effects of the move at his current home, MSNBC. We haven’t heard this is a possibility, plus it would present more complications, like a buyout.
Personally I'd like to see CNN give Wolf Blitzer back his third hour of The Situation Room that earlier this year was whacked to give Rick Sanchez a regular slot. Or maybe bring back Aaron Brown.....of course I realize that that will never happen with Jon Klein at the helm of CNN, but that's a discussion for another day. Time will tell, but if you have a scenario for shaking up CNN's evening lineup we'd love to hear it.