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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Everything Old is New Again

When it was announced earlier this week that Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker would host a new 'Crossfire' type program to replace Campbell Brown it was Jon Klein coming full circle at CNN.
When Klein joined the cable channel his first big change, in January of 2005, was to cancel Crossfire.
(video of the original Crossfire with Jon Stewart as a guest after the jump)

Here's what Klein had to say back then about why he made that move:
"I think he (Jon Stewart) made a good point about the noise level of these types of shows, which does nothing to illuminate the issues of the day. Viewers need useful information in a dangerous world and a bunch of guys screaming at each other simply doesn't accomplish that."
If you have never seen Jon Stewart's guest appearance on the original Crossfire that caused all the commotion take a look:

The press has been mixed on this latest experiment, but Lou Dobbs made it pretty clear what he thought. When asked by TVNewser columnist Gail Shister his opinion about CNN reprising Crossfire he laughed for a few moments and said: "All I can say is, Good Lord almighty." (more laughter) "It's something to behold. I'll leave it at that."

By all accounts Klein is quickly running out of time to rescue CNN primetime. We've read that this may be his make or break moment. He is scheduled to appear with Howie Kurtz on Sunday's Reliable Sources to talk about the new program and his ratings problems. We'll have more on that for you in the coming days.

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Anonymous said...

Even the man who created Crossfire thinks this
is a really bad idea. He says CNN is a cable news
channel and this is a desperate attempt by Jon
Klein to try and save his job.

Also Marketwatch says Klein's bosses should be
asking what are you thinking.Marketwatch also
says it sends a bad message to CNN employees.
CNN should do a Nightline type show for the hour.
Crossfire just won't work in the social media era.
I can express my own opinions and feelings on
Youtube, etc. I am starting to think that Jon
Klein was never a good choice for CNN. The big
question is why do the suits stand by and let
Klein mess things up at CNN.Marketwatch
raises some very good questions about Klein's
bosses and when this all falls apart they should
have to answer questions as well.It is rather
simple CNN has some bad shows with lousy
formats. Opinion can't save CNN and certainly
not Elliot Spitzer. Another politician gets a
show on cable news. There is nothing new
about this. The people you hire says a lot
about your judgement.

Anonymous said...

Maybe CNN could hire Toure. He used to be
on CNN and worked for Rolling Stone, so some
of the staff at Rolling Stone are likely his friends.
At least after things are over for Klein consider
Eric Bates who at least understands what news
means and gives his people time to chase a news
story.A Rolling Stone type news show could be
a way to get younger viewers and bring a new
styled news show to cable news. The mixture
of news be it national or global and pop culture.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, CNN would never give Toure
his own show. 2 words Vanguard and Infomania.
I think the CNN staff would at least respect
Toure, he does have credentials. I saw his
recent interview with Paramore on Fuse,

Anonymous said...

Word is that Current TV is in some trouble
and will be going through some really big
changes. CNN might look into hiring Mariana
Van Zeller. She would be a great replacement
for Christianne Amanpour. CNN should also
look into hiring all of the Vanguard reporters.
No offense but their docs are way better than
CNN.Christof Putzel has one this Wednesday
on an American jihad. The trailer is awesome.

Anonymous said... has a wealth of material that never
makes it to CNN on television. One of the things
on the is VBS TV from Spike Jonz.It is
a part of Vice TV which is a broadband tv channel
in Brooklyn. I really don't understand why CNN
does not use more of it's web content. Perhaps
that will be changing with them dropping AP.
Nor do I get why the won't use the resources
of Time, Fortune, SI or EW. All of these mags
are a part of Time Warner. Can't they do video
editions of the mags for CNN. Same goes for
CNN International. Anything but more blah,
blah. More video and in depth reporting. We
have brains. We get the story. There is no
need for opinion from all sides. That is
exactly why old media is fading fast. Content
is their ace and they just don't get it. Where
does Google news come from newspapers
mags, and tv same for You Tube and Yahoo.
All they do is put everything in one place.
CNN should do more on the arts and sports
too.It is now time for a family news show.
You just can't let your kids watch news
these days.

Anonymous said...

Even if CNN fails, with this debate type format, Eliot Spitzer wins. He's not doing this for the salary. He's doing it for exposure and he's getting it from CNN, and he will use it, to reestablish is relevance in the political arena.
That said, this does not look good for CNN. It is becoming a joke.

Anonymous said...

You would think by now CNN would have
aggregated news shows.A one place source
for news in all categories. How much news
do you get in 24 hrs? Not much. Not original
reports,VBS & Vanguard are new styles of
storytelling and journalism that you just can't
get on cable news. Most people buy tv's for
the cinema experience at home not for the
intrusive graphics and banners.If you are
really doing your job of bringing us the news,
what's up with the crawl. Replace it with a
media bar.CNN needs to become the hub
for journalism, storytelling, photojournalism,
exclusive reports from around the world
and interviews with people who are informed
and can rely on facts and not spin.CNN
really needs to increase it's news IQ and
interesting news that is under the radar.
This is a problem for CNN when it comes
to breaking news. People will know that
Spitzer has a show on CNN for the hour.
So obviously they are not going to turn to
CNN for the news. RIght now the national
media is embarrassed that Rolling Stone
showed them how real reporting is done.
What is more impressive is the writing
from Michael Hastings. You just can't
get great writing on cable news but you
can bet there is no shortage of pundits
who are factually challenged.CNN needs
to find ways to make the news interesting
and get us hip to what is happening each
day. You are forgetting about the viewers
by letting the pundits waste airtime that
could be used for some actual news.

Anonymous said...

CNN has sold it's journalistic soul and is
abandoning the news since they are not
hiring reporters. Are we supposed to be
stupid and not realize this move speaks
of desperation and not smarts? There are
no qualified journalists or new breed of
journalist that CNN could chose to give
a show? This will be a drag on John King
because people will flip to another channel
earlier and will also cause a dip for Larry
King and Anderson Copper.If you can not
find a way to be creative or inventive to
get people to tune in and watch the news
get a new job.It matters who you put in
the anchor chair.CNN deservers the beating
it is taking in the press. CNN is not MTV,
VH1 oe Bravo or A & E.CNN you were warned
by Jon Stewart.