Posts Tagged ‘CBS Evening News’

Trotta Skewers Couric: “Pretend Journalist”

January 30, 2011

Outspoken conservative Fox News contributor Liz Trotta trashed CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric during her weekly America’s News HQ commentary today. When AN co-host Eric Shawn asked the former Washington Times NY bureau chief how the media “report card” was for their coverage of the Egyptian protests, she replied, “It’s not very good.”* [Especially, for Katie Couric.]

Elaborating, Trotta explained that the media, especially the Big Three broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, and CBS), had long put foreign news “on the shelf” and, consequently, they were having to play “catch-up” in their Egyptian protest coverage without proper context, specificity, and facts. Concluding, Trotta blamed their purported sorry state on “major budget cuts” and the “star-ridden system.” Re the “star-ridden system,” Trotta caustically commented, “No better example of that, of course, are people like Katie Couric….This pretend journalist makes supposedly $300,000 a week and doesn’t even appear Thursday and Friday on the CBS Evening News to cover a very big story.”

In defense of Couric, Shawn answered, “Well, some, I think, would disagree with your contention that Katie Couric is a quote ‘pretend journalist.'” Incredulous, Trotta emphatically exclaimed, “Oh, certainly, you can’t have deluded yourself with thinking [that] this is a woman who is a journalist. Come on, now, Eric!” Arching her eyebrows, she scoffed, “You’ve been a reporter too long: You know that!”

Disagreeing, Shawn stolidly stated, “No. She is a journalist. She has, in my view, absolutely is, has been a solid journalist.” Unconvinced, Trotter riposted, “Well, you’re a lot kinder than I would be.”

*America’s News HQ – 01/30/11 (@ 11:56 a.m. ET)

A.M.: American Mourning?

November 1, 2010

“Boo!” or “Boo Hoo!”  American Morning co-hosts John Roberts and Kiran Chetry must have felt a pang of fear or sadness as they read the New York Post’s “Changes Could Be Coming to ‘American Morning'” published late Halloween night. According to the report, “big changes” could soon be afoot for American Morning. “Insiders” indicated that CNN’s new chief Ken Jautz would likely soon “dismantle” the “lowest rated cable morning show” as he tries to jump-start the flagging ratings of his anemic daytime programming.

Furthermore, New York Post sources said that the AM staff have become disenchanted with both co-hosts. Purportedly, they stated that “John [was] a tyrant, freaking out over stories and guests” and still had “a chip on his shoulder because he [had been] considered the heir apparent to Dan Rather at CBS.” Also, they allegedly asserted that “Kiran [was] dumb as a rock.”

With the CNN dirks apparently out for blood, The New York Post columnist opined that John would likely join his CNN Newsroom anchor Kyra Phillips, his affianced gravid with twins, in Atlanta. As for Kiran who the writer warned “could be the first to go,” she would seem to be in a much more difficult position as she would presumably continue to live with her husband Chris Knowles, who himself was recently relieved of his duties as weekend weatherman at New York City’s CW station WPIX, in Larchmont, New York.

If John and Kiran are both canned by CNN, an interesting scenario may emerge. According to the New York Post, CNN is interested in signing CBS’ Katie Couric whose contract ends in May of 2011: And, if CBS lets Couric go, the AM co-anchors may be vying for the very same job, i.e., Couric’s CBS Evening News anchor position. Ironically, John would have a second chance to win Dan Rather’s throne whereas Kiran could follow in the steps of her mentor (and older sorority sister) Katie Couric.

[Author's aside: Of course, if Kiran listens to her faithful Fox & Friends fans, she may simply go home again.]

H/t: J$.

Kiran: Sitting Pretty

March 24, 2010

Literally. Today American Morning‘s Kiran Chetry found herself tightly tethered to her anchor seat. While her co-host John Roberts routinely rose to the occasion, Kiran remained strangely seated for the entire three hours without her habitual catwalk, a vertical round-table interview, or even so much as a standing story intro. In fact, she stayed snugly shod in her signature black Ugg boots tucked under the AM desk (without once needing her on-air high heels).

Swollen ankles? Perhaps. If so, now might be the perfect time for her and hubby Chris Knowles to add a third addition: I.e., if her AM show is shelved or revamped as rumored and her contract concomitantly lapses, she should still have time to have a child and possibly pursue Katie Couric’s CBS Evening News chair next year (if CBS does not renew Couric’s costly contract). Nevertheless, Kiran showed scant evidence of that gravid condition yesterday as she stood for two segments (on health care debate and teen “sexting”): In fact, a closer camera shot Friday revealed even less as she introduced a “CNN Heroes” story.

However, as the adage says, “Time will tell.” In the meantime, Kiran, as your former Fox & Friends floor crew would often jest, “Walk it off!”

CBS Evening News: Kiran After Katie?

March 18, 2010

With her American Morning show seemingly on its last legs in its current iteration, is co-anchor Kiran Chetry considering jumping ship to CBS? During her March 4 “Women in Media” talk to her hometown Larchmont Historical Society, Chetry did not completely rule it out. According to the Larchmont-Mamaroneck, the local newspaper, Chetry was asked whether she would like Katie Couric’s job at CBS Evening News desk in light of the fact that Couric current contract concludes soon. Chetry replied, “”Is it my ultimate goal? I don’t think so….I wonder if those jobs will continue. Because of instant access to technology, there’s no need to make an appointment to view the news to get news.”

Even if Couric’s chair is not her ultimate goal, it may be her next one (if AM’s shake-up coincides with the end of her own CNN contract). As Couric’s reportedly $15 million/year contract winds down in little over a year, CBS with its financially-distressed news division may be looking for a newer version of Couric at a cut-rate price: Chetry may well be an attractive option.

Earlier in Chetry’s Larchmont oration, she had said that Katie Couric ” is like a mentor to me and someone I aspire to be in TV news.” Like Couric, she earned her chops as a sharp, smart, and personable–and, yes, sexy–morning news co-host. (In fact, she has the “fabled legs,” too.)

Aside: If Couric’s contract is not renewed, John Roberts, Chetry’s AM co-anchor, may himself want to take another stab at Uncle Walter’s seat.

Dead Show Airing?

March 11, 2010

A.M.: R.I.P.? After noting that American Morning co-hosts John Roberts and Kiran Chetry have seldom been seen behind the AM desk together lately and that a host of substitute co-anchors have been paraded before the AM audience, last week Carpe Diem asked, “AM: Shake-up Looming?” Yesterday, TheWrap.com answered in the affirmative–or, at least, indicated that it appears to be in the works. According to media expert Dylan Stableford (former Mediabistro.com managing editor and contributor to Salon, New York, and Rolling Stone), an inside source indicated that “CNN is testing a concept that would include personalities with dueling political ideologies and opinions” for “a new morning show pilot.”

Apparently, CNN/US prez Jon Klein has finally taken the blinders off. After trying to revitalize American Morning’s anemic ratings three years ago by bringing in seasoned journalist John Roberts and Fox News’ rising star Kiran Chetry, Klein’s endeavor has met with dismal disappointment. In fact, based on TVbytheNumbers.com’s figures and the author’s calculations, the total viewer ratings of 2010 (1st quarter) are identical to those of 2007 (1st quarter). Even more troubling, TheWrap.com reports that Nielsen numbers show that AM has declined 30% in 2010 in both total viewers and the prized 25-54 demographic.

According to Stableford, it is unclear what the purported changes mean for Roberts or Chetry. In the last few weeks, Roberts has been temped for by T.J. Holmes, Jim Acosta, and Christine Romans whereas Chetry has been filled in for by Sara Sidner and Kate Bolduan. In doing so, Klein has seemed to substitute AM regulars for Roberts and new faces for Chetry. Perhaps, he will keep this part of his formula but acribe to a more provocative, zanier, and, yes, “Friendlier” approach. [N.B. Roger Ailes' Fox & Friends shellacked Klein's American Morning by 4:1 (overall viewers) and by 3:1 (25-34 demog) in the latest numbers (03/09/10)]

As to Roberts and Chetry’s respective futures, a Klein canning could actually inure to their benefit ultimately. Roberts would be in a position to stake his claim anew to Uncle Walter’s seat if the old Tiffany network does not renew Katie Couric’s costly contract. And, Chetry may finally find redemption with her many fans at the top-rating cable news network if she is but granted Ailes’ absolution.

[Author's aside: Since Chetry's absences have been fewer than those of Roberts, Klein may be considering whether to keep Chetry. If so, he could use the former Fox & Friends (First & Weekend) co-host to guide CNN's version of FNC's morning news juggernaut.]

Hat tip to J$P (Johnny Dollar’s Place).

AM Shake-up Looming?

March 4, 2010

Almost three years after CNN/US prez Jon Klein brought in John Roberts and Kiran Chetry to replace American Morning co-anchors Miles O’Brien and Soledad O’Brien because of flagging ratings, it appears that he may be considering a similar shake-up. When Klein announced the change on April 4, 2007, AM total viewers averaged 372,000 (in 2007 first quarter) according to Broadcastingcable.com. Today, AM total viewers remain unchanged at 372,000 (in 2010 first quarter through March 1, 2010) according to TVbytheNumbers.com’s figures and the author’s computations.

In the last few weeks, Roberts and Chetry have been seen less and less together behind the AM desk. When either has been absent, it seems that the present one has been paired with a new guest co-anchor. In fact, Klein and/or AM EP Jamie Kraft have paraded before their audience a long list of fill-ins, e.g.,  regulars like T.J. Holmes and Christine Romans, a less frequent guest co-host (if ever before) Jim Acosta, and first-timers Sara Sidner and Kate Bolduan* as if it were an AM casting call.

If indeed Klein is considering such a change, it might actually inure to the benefit of both Roberts and Chetry. In re Roberts, perhaps, he will finally get his dream job that he lost to Katie Couric, i.e., the CBS Evening News anchor seat. (Was it he, rather than Anderson Cooper, who was reported talking with CBS executives about an anchor role as CBS News is cutting costs and Couric’s reportedly $15-million-per-year contract is set to expire in barely more than a year?) As to Chetry, maybe, FNC Senior Veep of Programming Bill Shine will let bygones be bygones if his former Fox & Friends (First and Weekend) co-host will embrace FNC anew (as her platinum standard vis-a-vis CNN as  her “gold standard”): Shine surely needs Chetry to add to the depth of his bevy of brainy beauties, especially if its rising star Megyn Kelly replaces Greta van Susteren on On the Record.

Perchance, Klein could jump start AM’s ratings with a new cast. And, simultaneously, Roberts and Chetry’s respective careers to boot. A possible win-win-win.

*American Morning – 03/04/10 – @5:59 a.m. ET [To guest co-host Bolduan, Roberts remarked, "Good to have you with us this morning. Your first day on dawn patrol."]

A.M.: Salsa to Mayo?

May 16, 2009

Will American Morning return to its blander past? One year ago AM procured Janelle Rodriguez as executive producer (EP) to spice up the morning show co-anchored by stentorian veteran, John Roberts, and his beautiful, much younger colleague, Kiran Chetry: During her tenure, AM has increased its share of the coveted 25-54 demographic 35%. Now CNN is moving Janelle to night-time Campbell Brown to be its EP, and replacing her with AM’s senior broadcasting producer Jamie Kraft as interim EP on June 1.

Can Kraft, an erstwhile producer for CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and for 60 Minutes, keep up the strides that Janelle has made? Or will he revert to the dry fare that American Morning used to dish out to its viewers? Janelle has seasoned AM with a more piquant olla podrida of spontaneity, sexiness, and sass than it’s previous chef. Hopefully, Kraft will not return to a staler, stodgier, and safer menu fit for those who want their news delivered from on high.

Kraft, remember there is more than mayo in the condiment cupboard.

Links:

http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/cnn/cnn_shuffle_rodriguez_to_8pm_another_new_am_ep_needed_116657.asp#disqus_thread

http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/the_revolving_door/jamie_kraft_upped_at_cnn_89759.asp


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