03 November 2005

Cheesy News Network

CNN has been a slow-motion train wreck ever since
Jon Stewart pulled back the curtain and verbally sucker
punched Tucker Carlson. Thus ended Crossfire.

The latest out the door is Aaron Brown, an anchor best
described by another Daily Show regular, Stephen Colbert:
I love that Aaron Brown, the way he sucks the flavor
out of every word... and I love the way he mulls.
No one mulls the news like Aaron Brown.”

But apparently there just isn’t any room left at the
24 hour news network for all that sucking and mulling.

Jonathan Klein, the president of CNN/U.S., said
today that he and Mr. Brown had mutually agreed
that Mr. Brown would leave the cable news
network because the new CNN lineup left "no
options" for a program that would include Mr.
Brown. "It is, unfortunately, a zero-sum game," Mr.
Klein said.

Dude, I hate those zero-sum games. I always seem to
lose those.

Mr. Klein complimented Mr. Brown, who is 56,
saying, "He is a first-class news talent, no question."
He added, "He is really a doll to work with." But
Mr. Klein repeated that CNN simply had no
program to offer Mr. Brown. "There are only so
many hours in the course of a day," he said.

But you did a heck of a job, Brownie.

The realigned CNN lineup will place Mr. Cooper's
program "360," which had previously run at 7 p.m.
Eastern time weeknights, in the 10 p.m. time period
that had been occupied for the last four years by
Mr. Brown's program, "Newsnight." Mr. Cooper's
program will also expand to two hours, from 10
until midnight. CNN has experimented with that
two-hour format over the past month, with Mr.
Cooper joining Mr. Brown to serve as co-anchor of
the program.

The audience levels for that program have
increased markedly in the last month, a
development that CNN attributed to Mr. Cooper's
presence. In the 7 p.m. hour, where Mr. Cooper had
previously worked, CNN will insert the final hour
of its three-hour-long "Situation Room" program
with Wolf Blitzer. That program has been running
from 3 to 6 p.m. Eastern time each weekday. Now it
will run from 4 to 6 p.m., leading into an hourlong
newscast anchored by Lou Dobbs, with Mr. Blitzer
coming back at 7 p.m. for one more hour.

It certainly is hard to see where they could have fit
Brown in that lineup. I mean, three hours barely
scratches the surface of the wit and wisdom that is
Wolf Blitzer. And you’ve got to make room for Cooper,
he’s an actual celebrity.

Mr. Klein also noted that Mr. Cooper has started to
turn up as a character satirized on "Saturday
Night Live" on NBC, a development that he said
was "a sure sign" that people were becoming more
aware of him.

Did we mention Mr. Klein is the president of CNN?

Okay. Just checking.