Posts Tagged ‘CBS’

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).

J&K: A “Nipply” Winter AM

February 23, 2010

American Morning co-anchors John Roberts and Kiran Chetry have solved the Janet Jackson Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction” mystery, apparently. After John reported that a U.S. Appeals Court was reexamining the FCC $550,000 fine of CBS for the infamous incident on live television, he scoffed, “Wardrobe malfunction! Pfff!” Kiran commented, “Yeah, there you go. Because of that, that became a common phrase. I think that it was on that end of the year list of new words.”

Nodding his head in agreement, John declared, “This is just my opinion, mind you. I believe CBS didn’t know about it but they [Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake] did.” Chuckling, Kiran racily replied, “Yeah. I mean, she wouldn’t have put all the jewelry [NSFW: Nudity (Drudge Report archive)] on it if she didn’t expect it to be out there.” Smiling and rolling his eyes, John replied, “Exactly, yeah. She would have been completely naked under there.”

Rise and shine: it’s a “nipply” winter AM!

*American Morning – 02/23/10 (@8:08 a.m. ET)

Gretchen Goes Down

February 20, 2009

In a somewhat surreal moment, Fox & Friends co-anchor Gretchen Carlson got down under the curvy couch table and lay in a fetal position after ominous warnings by the eponymous host of the Glenn Beck show. After previously predicting a possible depression and revolution to a rather skeptical Bill O’Reilly, Beck iterated the same forecast to the F&F co-hosts Gretch, Brian Kilmeade, and Steve Doocy with more elaboration. When Beck mentioned that the military was preparing for a potential revolution, Gretch got alarmed.

As Beck began to go more and more into detail, Gretch said, “You know what, I’m just going to get down here ’cause you’re scaring me so much; I’m just taking a break; [and] I’m going to be hiding underneath here, Glen, okay? Tell me when the world is okay to come back out, okay?” Beck and Brian began laughing and Steve just looked down with incredulity. Gretch remained there for the remainder of the segment while the others humored her.

Even though Gretch looked a bit silly and not quite with it, she was endearing. She seemed to be making an effort to go beyond her CBS comfort zone and reach out to her zanier F&F audience. Good effort, Gretch!

“What’s Your Problem With Gretchen? Seriously”

September 29, 2008

Carpe Diem reader Boogiewoogee took issue sharply with the author as to this blog’s treatment of Gretchen Carlson in the comments to “Debate Team.” He/she wrote, “What’s your problem with Gretchen. Seriously.” (Cf. http://jakeho.wordpress.com/2008/09/27/debate-team for his/her full comment.)

Gretchen is an attractive, intelligent, and capable woman. The current Fox & Friends co-host was apparently engaging enough as co-anchor of the CBS Saturday Early Show for FNC to choose her to replace E.D. Hill. Gretchen seems to be making a sincere effort to fit in with the Fox & Friends fold.

However, in this author’s view, Gretchen has yet to irradicate herself fully from the mindset of CBS and the rest of the dinosaur news media. The former anchor of the “CBS Saturday Early Show” seems to still be adjusting to FNC’s less scripted, less self-absorbed, and less reverential approach to the news. This former Miss America appears uncomfortable in engaging in unfettered give-and-take with her co-hosts Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, and guests. Moreover, she seems to be a bit slow on the uptake and to need to be assured constantly in her views.

Let’s hope that Gretchen can fully make the transition. In the meantime and beyond, the F&F suits could bring in some eye candy as headline news reader to ease the process. If not, the viewer will always have Alisyn Camerota as occasional fill-in host unless the savvy F&F suits lose her a la Kiran Chetry.


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