Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Klein’

CNN A.M. Future: Miles O’Brien? [Updated Anew]

June 1, 2012

Zoraida: Miles…in these parts, you are a rock star! Yesterday, Early Start co-host Zoraida Sambolin greeted former American Morning anchor Miles O’Brien to the CNN a.m. like a returning hero. During a space segment with the whilom point man for NASA coverage, Zoraida reintroduced the once canned anchor of the low-rated American Morning to CNN’s early morning shrinking audience. Before his report (on the return to earth of the NASA-sponsored Space X Dragon), Zoraida gushed, “Miles, I got to tell you, in these parts, you are a rock star! Everybody absolutely loves you! Very excited to talk to you this morning.”*

The moment seemed surreal: Miles O’Brien, a “rock star”? Almost five years ago, he and his American Morning co-host Soledad O’Brien unceremoniously got the Klein boot because of low-ratings (in favor of John Roberts and Kiran Chetry). When John and Kiran could not right the AM ship nor their interim successors Christine Romans, Carol Costello, and Ali Velshi, CNN replaced AM with their even more ratings-challenged shows Early Start (with anchors Ashleigh Banfield and Zoraida) and Starting Point (solo host Soledad): With ES and SP listing even lower than AM ever had, perhaps, Miles O’Brien “in these parts, is a rock star” and everybody does love him again.

So much so, that CNN brings Miles back to its early mornings?

*Early Start – 05/31/12 (@ 6:04 a.m. ET)

Update 1: Turner Broadcasting CEO Phil Kent may have much more drastic measures planned for CNN’s a.m. than possibly adding Miles to the cast. After defending his prime-time line-up on the very day of Miles ES appearance, Kent admitted that “we have some other shows that probably need to be replaced.” If recent ratings are any indication, Early Start and Starting Point may well be among those very CNN shows.]

Update 2: According to the New York Daily News, veteran ABC reporter John Berman has now enlisted with CNN and will become an Early Start anchor. If Berman were to join the gals Ashleigh and Zoraida, he would add some much needed male perspective: But, if he teamed up with Miles instead (and the ladies exited), ES would become an all-boy’s club, perhaps, no more attractive than the current all-gal gala. Perhaps, on the bright side, Berman may simply serve as the last captain of CNN’s wee-hour Titanic and Kent will finally get a seaworthy ship.]

AM Adopts F&F’s Couch (But, Shep’s Commode?)

May 17, 2011

The De-Klein and Fall of American Morning in one day? Today AM co-hosts Christine Romans and Ali Velshi and their audience celebrated the long-awaited arrival of their cozy “curvy couch” (a la FNC’s Fox & Friends). However, regrettably, along with it came a real Fox News seat–the unflushed porcelain throne of Shepard Smith–still filled with the Ole Miss devotee’s disgusting dung, i.e., the offensive seven-year old Trampoline Bear video.

As AM began today, the camera panned over the comfy couch that AM co-host Kiran Chetry had apparently teased almost three months ago to Mediaite.com reporter Tommy Christopher. For far too long, the AM audience had suffered under the inane adage of former CNN chief Jon Klein that “couches/chairs sap energy.” However, today, his successor Ken Jautz clearly took yet another shackle off of his AM co-hosts to free them to be “more upbeat,” “more compelling…engaging, [and] sometimes more fun.” I.e., to sit down and talk to their AM audience as personal friends and family rather than stand and chat with them as casual acquaintances and customers.

Unfortunately, Ali and Christine spoiled the delightful debut of AM‘s divan with a gratuitously thrice-aired video of ugly, ursine plight. After running a headline news story about a little brown bear near some Albuquerque, New Mexico, apartments (that had to be sedated and then lowered by ropes into a bag), Christine gleefully commented, “That gives us, of course, an excuse to resurrect this oldie but goodie.”

Chiming in (a la Shep de Sade), Ali exclaimed, “I, I never get tired of this one. This is Missoula, Montana, a similar situation.” As the Trampoline Bear vid ran showing the black bear falling from the tree onto the trampoline, being hurled high into the air, plunging into the hard earth, and then crumpling under its own weight, Christine chortled, “Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!, and Ali cooed, “Ooh! Oww!”

Trying to assuage her horrified viewers, Christine hastily added, “He was fine! He was fine!” Then, as AM producers aired anew the repulsive footage, Ali baldly asserted, “I’d only show this to you again because he was fine.” Offering his personal color commentary as the bear took its crushing course into an unforgiving ground, Aly continued, “He bumps on the trampoline once and then [pause] off the trampoline.” Then, incredibly, the AM producers ran the video a third time for good–or, rather evil–measure.

About thirty minutes later, Christine and Aly cheerfully exhibited their Cyclopean couch to their viewers as they returned from break.** As the camera closed in on them, a blushing Christine chuckled and Aly announced, “We have our new couch!” Christine commented, “I like it.” Concurring, Ali replied, “I like this, too.”

So does the author. In fact, he suggested the couch about two and half years ago when Klein was in control. Bouquets, Jautz, for the welcome change.

But, brickbats, Ali and Christine, for adopting Shep’s used toilet. Flush his filth and clean CNN’s studio. And, apologize to your AM fans.

*American Morning – 05/16/11 (@ 7:10 a.m. ET)

**American Morning – 05/16/11 (@ 7:42 a.m. ET)

AM Disses Queen Royally

July 6, 2010

CNN co-host John Roberts: “So inappropriate! I’m sorry!…Won’t happen again.” As Queen Elizabeth II returns to New York City for the first time in almost 35 years, CNN’s morning news show, American Morning, gave her the regal middle-finger salute. The rude welcome came from both CNN’s senior United Nations correspondent Richard Roth and AM producers.

During an otherwise respectful AM segment entitled, “The British Are Coming! with co-hosts John Roberts and Kiran Chetry and British CNNI anchor Richard Quest, Roth started the royal slams after his report.  When the discussion turned to the Queen’s first scheduled address to the United Nations since 1957, Quest questioned, “Why now, why do [sic] the U.N. want her now?”* Less than respectfully, Roth retorted, “Look, who wanted who here?…They’ll take whoever they can get there. I mean, because the image of the place…has suffered over the years.”

Canadian-born Roberts was not amused. Taking umbrage at Roth’s comment, the Canadian/American riposted, “Speaking as a person who bridges both worlds, having grown up in a Commonwealth country, “I think we [Roberts and Brit Quest] ought to lay down the gauntlet here to Richard.” Undaunted, Roth retorted, “No. I mean it’s an impressive visit but why doesn’t she come in September during the General Assembly when more Presidents and Prime Ministers [are there]?”

Later, in the program’s final segment “Royally Psyched,” the producers themselves gave the Queen a bumptious Bronx cheer with a blast from the Sex Pistol’s notorious anti-Queen screed (mockingly named, “God Save the Queen).”** As the camera panned to the co-hosts and Roth, Roberts hid his head in his hand. Looking at Roberts, Chetry naively queried, “What are you laughing at?” Shaking his head and putting his hand over his mouth, Roberts exclaimed, “Oh, cause that was just so inappropriate! I’m sorry! I apologize for that!”

Still oblivious, Chetry asked, “Aren’t they a U.K. band?” Without responding, a chagrined Roberts turned away from Chetry, shook his head, tapped the desk repeated;u, and incredulously exclaimed, “Oh, gosh!” To make matters worse, after Roberts then introduced Roth’s report, Chetry cluelessly commented, “And, they sang that song the last time.” Without a word, Roberts rolled his eyes and sighed loudly.

Meanwhile, someone apparently put out THE word to Roth, Roberts, and Chetry. After Roth’s story ran this time, a rather repentant Roth immediately remarked, “And, the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations is glad the Queen is coming, hoping it will help the delegates press on with some of their big needs in the coming years.” When the segment had concluded, Roberts somberly addressed the audience, saying, “And, again sincere apologies about the Sex Pistols. We discussed that situation. Won’t happen again.” As he did, Chetry meekly looked down at the desk and rearranged her papers without a peep.

After American Morning today, Jonathan Klein may be really singing, “God Save CNN.”

*American Morning – 07/05/10 (@7:42 a.m. ET)

*American Morning – 07/o5/10 (@8:55 a.m. ET)

Kiran: Me So Horny

June 17, 2010

Kiran: from Nepal’s “ray of light” to U.S.’s way of delight? American Morning co-host Kiran Chetry heated things up this morning with her horn blowing. In fact, after her lusty rendition, FIFA may never ban South Africa’s celebrated vuvuzela from the World Cup (regardless of how crazy the plastic “mad-hornet” trumpets drive the uninitiated ear).

In an AM report on FIFA’s decision not to prohibit the vuvuzela from the Johannesburg World Cup, CNN correspondent Richard Roth ineptly tried to master the “art” of blowing the cacophonous instrument. When his story had run, an in-studio Richard handed the vuvuzela to Kiran and remarked, “If you’d like to try, Kiran.”* After asking for some hand sanitizer first from Roth and not getting any, Kiran bravely replied, “Alright, they’re yelling in my ear, ‘Blow on it. If I get sick!”

After Kiran gamely blew the vuvuzela, Roth declared, “That is very good for the first time because one of the women at the restaurant said she had to take lessons and you could say I was pretty weak.” In response, Kiran exclaimed, “Lessons?!” Then, she suddenly seized the horn anew and zestfully blew a playful rift.” Grinning goatishly at Kiran, Roth queried, “Why are you so good at that?”

As the floor crew erupted in laughter and her co-host Drew Griffin beamed broadly, Kiran ignored Roth’s racy question, laid her trumpet on the desk, and glanced at Drew. As Drew chuckled and avoided her gaze, Kiran rolled her eyes and hid the trumpet behind her chair. Feigning offense, Kiran “icily” commented, “Always a pleasure to have Richard Roth with us. Thank you, Richard.”

CNN/US prez Jonathan Klein is right. Kiran definitely “light[s] up the screen” and “brings a delight” to American Morning and to its audience. Kiran, you lived up to your name today!

American Morning - 06/17/10 @7:57 a.m. ET)

A.M.: Alpha Male 2 Beta Boy?

May 20, 2010

Is CNN/USA prez Jon Klein cutting John Roberts in favor of Jim Acosta? As Campbell Brown departs from her eight o’clock “no-bias-no-bull” perch because of low ratings, Klein seems to be promoting AM co-hosts Roberts and Kiran Chetry’s “open marriage” with Acosta as Chetry’s current courter. Perhaps, he is trying to confect the perfect solution to cure both American Morning abysmal ratings and those of Campbell Brown. I.e., he may want to rejigger the AM format by sending the seasoned news veteran (and CB guest anchor) Roberts to a straight news substitute for CB and replace him with a younger version on AM.

However, such a move may imperil the CNN’s anemic morning news program even further, especially, if Klein replaces alpha male Roberts with a proverbial albeit talented eunuch. As viewers of AM know, Roberts is the MAN on AM. Even weatherstud Rob Marciano cedes the preeminent role to Roberts albeit with an occasional obligatory nip at his elder’s heels. Roberts is CNN’s real silver-haired rogue who loves the ladies, knows his facts, and can still effortlessly play it cool with his AM audience, guests, and co-horts. To boot, he can keep co-host Kiran Chetry in awe at the same time with ease. Without him, AM becomes merely a bevy of beauties, beta boys, and choral castratos.

Even though his departure may well leave AM in the lurch, Roberts would probably be the perfect fit for a CB substitute as the “voice of Olympus” who bellows the”impartial truth” from the throne at Ted Turner’s erstwhile crown jewel. CNN would get their version of “fair and balanced” news and Roberts could finally pontificate in the evening a la Uncle Walter. Not to mention, Roberts also has the hip MuchMusic veejay JD persona to potentially draw in the prized A25-54 demo.

Even if Klein does solve his CB problem with Roberts, he may exacerbate the aforementioned AM one, especially, if he picks Jim Acosta. Yes, Acosta is from the valued Hispanic demographic but he seems to lack the needed machismo as CNN colleague Carol Costello has indicated and Acosta has appeared to acknowledge. To make matters worse, potential co-host Kiran Chetry seems to patronize Acosta by maternally putting up with his incessant interruptions and inane ad libs while charitably comparing him to George Clooney.

If Klein sends Roberts packing to his CB replacement, he should turn to his stable of young stallions like Rob Marciano or T.J. Holmes. Both of those young bucks seem eager to take their place at the helm as ruddy, randy roues ready to regale Kiran and the AM audience. Of course, Kiran’s hubby might prefer the more sedate and effete Acota, but the AM audience would probably continue to decline with such a flaccid fellow.

When will Klein finally face reality? He needs to connect with his vast vibrant audience of the American Everyman rather than his preferred incestuous elitist Manhattan socialites (who tow the politically correct line and massage one another’s egos). If he would embrace the egalitarianism of FNC’s Roger Ailes, CNN/USA’s top suit might realize that he did not need to feign disdain at ratings but rather could actually appreciate them fully if he followed suit.

Ergo, Klein, talk with your audience not down to them. Raze the trappings of hubris that you have embraced and walk among the people. Do away with AM’s distancing desk and the imperious palaver: rather, pull up a few chairs and converse with your viewers intelligently but not pedantically. I.e., get off your high horse a la Marie Antoinette before you meet a similar fate.

Ailes’ Virgin Vixen?

May 10, 2010

Gerri Willis: CNN cloistered cutie to FBN femme fatale? Roger Ailes’ latest CNN snatch made her virgin appearance on Red Eye Saturday night. From the moment host Greg Gutfeld heralded her first appearance on RE, Gerri seemed timid, stiff, and stilted as she warily navigated RE‘s Kafkaesque labyrinth.

Further, the future Willis Report anchor inexplicably botched her chance to shine as to the big biz question of the day. When, during the RE “Halftime Report,” Andy Levy asked, “Gerri, what exactly happened with the stock market today?,” she, stating the obvious, replied, “It went down.”* As Andy motioned for more, Gerri simplistically answered, “It went down big time.” In response, Andy acerbically sniped, “Wow! I really want to demand Fox Business now.” Smiling abashedly, Gerri responded, “Oh, why am I here?” Subsequently, when Andy asked again, a flustered Gerri declared, “I was warned about this and I didn’t listen. I came anyway. And, now I am so mad at myself.”

At that moment, perhaps, Fox News and Fox Biz boss Roger Ailes had his own second thoughts about Gerri. When he announced her hiring, he stated, “Most of the CNN talent have been restrained from showing what they can do — we’re looking forward to providing Gerri with a platform at Fox Business to showcase her financial acumen and television expertise.” Maybe, Gerri is still finding her sea legs. Speaking of which, perhaps, next time Greg will give her the vaunted “leg chair” and Gerri can start to adapt  (a la Patti Ann Brown) to her new station on the U.S.S. Roger Ailes.

The transformation of this former Jon Klein girl-in-chains may take some time.

*Red Eye – 05/09/10 (12:32 a.m. ET).

[Editorial aside: As to Andy's saying "today" when speaking of the stock market decline, apparently, he was referring to RE's production date (Friday) not its airing one (Sunday)."]

Palin: Was the AMFix In?

November 17, 2009

Even if she was on Oprah, SARAH PALIN WILL NOT BE PRESIDENT! American Morning viewer, if you did not get the message in the first hour, it was repeated in a less than subliminal fashion throughout the next two hours. Before each of its three Sarah Palin segments (two by Carol Costello and another by Christine Romans), a clip of Conan O’Brien’s monologue on the Tonight Show was run.

[In the selected snippet, Conan joked, "The other day Sarah Palin said that she would like to have coffee with Hillary Clinton. Now, Hillary is saying she looks forward to it. The two have agreed to meet at the Never Will Be President Cafe."]

If the Palin slights had stopped at Conan’s comedy, they would have seemed insignificant. However, Carol’s “Palin vs. Oprah” story (which ran twice) seemed to go over the top to discount Palin’s appearance on the talk show queen’s program yesterday. In the promo to Carol’s segment, AM co-host Kiran Chetry had said, “It was Sarah Palin and Oprah: Very interesting, very interesting sit-down interview. And, we’re gonna have Carol Costello join us: she sat down with Libertarians, Independents, Democrats, and Republican women, and said, ‘Hey, what did you think?” However, when Carol appeared after the break, she remarked, “I sat down with four very sharp women, and you know what they thought of the interview? Boring!”

Then she said, “I talked with these four women, a Republican, a Libertarian, a Conservative, and an Independent to watch [sic] Palin vs. Oprah. We chose not to talk to a Democrat because Sarah Palin doesn’t seem to be trying to win over Democrats.” More telling, and, perhaps, a bit damning, she added, “Let’s face it: We know what Democrats think of Sarah Palin.” (She failed to note that according to most polls, approximately 80% of the media votes Democratic.)

Furthermore, Carol did not tell the  viewer how these four women in the focus group were chosen nor their particular political proclivities. E.g., she did not apprise the audience that the Independent Leighann Lord, who claimed that Palin had “almost trivialized the serious decision of abortion,” has been a pro-Obama HuffPo blogger. Moreover, Carol’s other three panelists appeared to be coastal “country club” Republicans at best: one (Jamie Maarten) was an Ivy League Libertarian prez who proclaimed that Palin “was well-spoken” (but cattily added “she did look nice but I feel it stops there”); the second (Marianna Picciocchi) was a “conservative” attorney who asserted that the interview was “boring” and later admitted that her friends, “of course, are all liberal”; and the third (Joyce Giuffra) was a former press secretary of failed GOP nominee Bob Dole, who indicated that she would not be buying the book but clairvoyantly discerned that “supposedly in a 432-page book, only 13 pages were dedicated to policy issues.” Incredibly, Carol stated that these women wanted “substance” [political]–from an Oprah interview. (Perhaps, they prefer their news from Oxygen as well.)

This segment should be an embarrassment to correspondent Carol Costello, American Morning, and, by extension CNN. Perhaps, AM executive producer Jamie Kraft did not get the memo from CNN news chief Jonathan Klein. According to the New York Post, Klein wants CNN “to position itself as an opinion-free, middle-of-the-road alternative to its cable news rivals — conservative Fox News and liberal MSNBC.”

American Morning should have followed Klein’s admonition and played it down the middle. AM is a good show with excellent anchors and gifted correspondents. Its viewers deserved better today. Hopefully, they will get it tomorrow and in the future.

Roberts: Back to Canada

March 11, 2009

American Morning’s John Roberts is heading back to Canada. No, Jonathan Klein has not given him his walking papers: Rather, Kiran Chetry’s “nemesis” is to be inducted into the Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame tomorrow during Canadian Music Week. JD, famed former MuchMusic veejay (as well as top-40 CHUM radio show host, music news show CITY-TV’s CityPulse anchor, etc.) will be feted at the annual Canadian Music Industry Awards shindig reception.

Congrats, John!

Worry not, Roberts fans: your guy is scheduled to return to AM bright and early Monday morning.

http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2008/09/c8254.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/09/17/ask-and-ye-shall-receive_n_64727.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Roberts_(television_reporter)

Kiran Coming Back?

May 15, 2008

In answer to the comment (3.) of a blog reader to “CNN Weaning Kiran’s Fans?,” this author thought that an additional post might be helpful. He basically indicated that the “off the cuff” remarks of Kiran Chetry, John Roberts, and Kyra Phillips as to the length of Kiran’s maternity leave were in jest; that Kiran was in hog heaven with greater news resources at CNN vis-a-vis FNC; and that Kiran would rather be at work with “adults” than stay at home with her children.

Generally, “off the cuff” remarks tend to reveal the truth. Kiran told John Roberts that she would be back before he had a chance to miss her (maybe, a few days) after Roberts told the viewer that it would be about two weeks. Later, Kyra Phillips, Kiran’s sub, mentioned that she would be there for about two months. Now that a month has elapsed and no mention of Kyra filling in for Kiran Chetry has been made in the last three days (as Kyra or John did usually), it is no stretch to wonder if Kiran has reconsidered and decided to stay at home with her beautiful children for the near future. As to news resources, FNC can compete ably with CNN with its network of partners, such as SKY and WSJ. In re rather being at work, Kiran is a genuine family person and the allure of her two children must be strong. (For some conspiracy theorists, Kiran’s Sparty hosted by CNN/US prez Jonathan Klein’s wife and her high profile features in InStyle and OK! Magazine could be seen as a secret sendoff.)

Link: http://jakeho.wordpress.com/2008/05/14/cnn-weaning-kiran-fans/


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