Posts Tagged ‘Starting Point’

“New Day”: New Dawn or New Dud?

June 30, 2013

Chris, Kate, and Michaela: CNN’s New Day morning team brings a brighter dawn to their viewers–at least, for now. Gone are the too oft surly Soledad O’Brien and her Starting Point panel of milquetoast toadies (and the subsequent SP fill-ins): And, in their place are three sunnier replacements, alpha male Chris Cuomo, tomboy beauty Kate Bolduan, and the engaging BBBW Michaela Pereira. And, thankfully, for three full hours for those sick and tired of the schizophrenic Early Start/Starting Point (two hour/two hour) start to their CNN day.

For early morn viewers wondering who in the world the new CNN honcho Jeff Zucker’s tyro trio were, they introduced themselves to each other and to viewers in their respective profile segments (vids): Chris’s “Poseidon Adventure”; Kate’s “Skeet’r Shoot”; and Michaela’s “Soccer Mom.” It was almost an homage to FNC’s Fox & Friends: i.e., an acknowledgment that morning news TV should be informative, informal, and personal if it is truly to resonate with its audience.

However, the personal chemistry among Kate, Chris, and Michaela does seem somewhat forced at times, e.g., Chris requesting and receiving a kiss from Michaela and their subsequent group hug at the end of Michaela’s “Soccer Mom” segment. Nevertheless, the three seem to genuinely like other.

Still, Chris seems to be the wild card: He’s the baritone Cuomo scion that sometimes seems somewhat solipsist but is trying hard to mingle with the masses. Hopefully, he can. But, for future reference, as Kate seemed to sense, he probably should not tell aurally challenged, camera-curious three-year-olds–even if in jest–that he won’t abide their stealing “[his] camera” or his “single.”* [Video.]

As Ad Age noted, the results for a New Day were mixed in its debut week (June 17-21). It did edge out its HLN sibling in the ratings and was leaps and bounds above Soledad’s cellar status in the same time period in 2012: However, New Day was trounced by FNC’s Fox & Friends and lost to MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

A New Day: a new dud? It could yet be: But, CNN fans are hoping New Day is truly a new dawn. Leading that chorus, former American Morning co-host Kiran Chetry wished her a.m. “successors” well, saying, “Good luck guys!! The hours are a bear… But the experience is priceless. Godspeed!!!”

*New Day – 06/21/13 (@ 5:28/5:49)

Zoraida’s Decision: Feminine Sexuality But Family First

May 18, 2013

Double mastectomy: “Very emotional for me…as a woman, your sexuality and your breasts and how attached you are to that.” Early Start co-host Zoraida Sambolin shared her very personal new struggle with breast cancer with her CNN a.m. fans, her Twitter followers, and her Facebook friends Tuesday. Breaking the news to her EP viewers (after a report on Angelina Jolie’s NYT announcement that she had undergone a double mastectomy), Zoraida remarked, “You know, I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and…the fact that she [Jolie] is sharing this very personal journey, talking about the femininity as well and how that affects your decision moving forward, is absolutely remarkable.”* To her Tweeps and to her FB friends, she elaborated, “I struggled for weeks trying to figure out how [to] tell you that I had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was leaving to have surgery then..Angelina Jolie shares her story of a double mastectomy and gives me strength and an opening.”

Later in the morning, on Starting Point, Zoraida disclosed even more of the intimate details of her painful decision.** During a story on Jolie’s double mastectomy, Zoraida was brought in to tell her own story by SP interim co-hosts John Berman and Christine Romans. Pointing to John, Zoraida said, “You know for a while I’ve been struggling ’cause I was diagnosed with breast cancer about three weeks ago. And, I was trying to figure out how do I…tell the viewers that I’m going to be gone for awhile because I have chosen to have a double mastectomy. And, so, Angelina Jolie’s story really hit home.”

Offering Zoraida an opportunity to open up, John remarked, “She [Jolie] says [that] it’s an empowering decision, in a way.” Seizing her moment, Zoraida replied, “It is because you can, you can make that decision as a woman. Um, one of the things that she talks about that is very emotional for me because, you know, as a woman, your sexuality and your breasts and how attached you are to that. Right? As, as a woman!” In true maternal self-abnegation, she continued, “And, so, at the end of the day, it’s really difficult to say that I’m thinking about this…when I have two kids that…I want to live for. And that at the end of the day, I’m going…to cut off my arms if it means that I am going to live to see them and to see them grow up.”

Zoraida, kudos for courageously sharing your story with your fans–and, more importantly, putting your family first!

[Author’s aside: During her SP interview, supra, Zoraida disclosed that she made her first call after her diagnosis to her fiance (Kenny Williams) , “who has been nothing but an amazing supporter through all of this.” Furthermore, she revealed that she was going to have her surgery on the 28th. EP – 05/14/13 (@6:03 a.m. ET)]

*Early Start – 05/14/13 (@ 5:33 a.m. ET)

**Starting Point – 05/14/13 (@ 7:33 a.m. ET)

“CNN’s Stephanie Elam” Returns to A.M.

May 5, 2013

Rob Marciano: I heard a familiar voice this morning…@Stephanie Elam nice work!” Friday, whilom CNN biz beauty Stephanie Elam returned anew as a CNN correspondent on early morning news programs Early Start and Starting Point much to the delight of her former CNN colleague and Entertainment Tonight co-host Rob Marciano and, assuredly, a myriad of her erstwhile American Morning fans.

For Early Start viewers, Stephanie came back as a friendly, familiar face invigorating the engaging new duo of  Zoraida Sambolin and John Berman: For the Starting Point audience who had not yet abandoned ship a la their star-crossed captain Soledad O’Brien, poor Stephanie was just another warm body trying to keep that sinking ship afloat until a New Day finally dawns.

Welcome back, Stephanie!

[Author's aside: "CNN's Stephanie Elam" refers to the repeated moniker given Stephanie by Zoraida and John when introducing Stephanie before her Camarillo, California, wildfire reports to their CNN early morning audience.]

Soledad’s Fall: CNN’s Spring?

February 22, 2013

Zucker’s “Morning in America”: O’Brien toast–again. Starting Point anchor Soledad O’Brien has been iced again as the face of CNN’s dawn according to the New York Times. Throwing cold water on Soledad’s vain hopes to finally prevail in the cable news morning ratings wars, CNN’s new chief Jeff Zucker finally cried, “No mas.”

As long-time CNN viewers may know, Soledad and Miles O’Brien co-hosted American Morning from 2003 to 2007 and were replaced by Kiran Chetry and John Roberts to revitalize flagging ratings. Over four years later (July 15, 2011), Soledad ominously returned to the show to substitute for Kiran for her first absence after AM announced Kiran’s own imminent departure from the still ratings-challenged show. Subsequently, when the ill-fated AM folded at the end of the year, Soledad was given a second chance to redeem herself and the CNN brass in the new year with Starting Point in the 7-9 a.m. ET hours. Unfortunately, for Soledad, she failed to seize the opportunity and sunk the show to even lower depths.

Yesterday, the New York Times reported that Zucker was pulling the plug on Soledad and that she would leave Starting Point this spring. According to the old Gray Lady, Zucker had “decided even before he started the job in January that he wanted to replace…[her program]…with a brand new one.” As to Soledad’s future, it added that she would create a new production company and “continue to supply documentaries to CNN on a nonexclusive basis.”

Putting a positive spin on her departure to the Hollywood Reporter, Soledad said, “I will not miss getting up that early, I cannot lie, not for a minute.” Defending her show itself, she declared, “We had a staff  of people–we never were fully staffed–where we were able to in spite of not getting a lot of support really make our show relevant. To do that, that was pretty tremendous.”

Soledad’s fall: CNN’s spring. It will be morning in Zucker’s America again soon.

CNN’s Rob Marciano Moves On, Too (to ET)

November 12, 2012

“[S]ad…but very pumped.” Today, CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano announced that he is leaving Ted Turner’s erstwhile crown jewel for greener pastures. In a Facebook post this afternoon, he said, “Definitely sad to be leaving my CNN family in January, but very pumped for the new gig co-hosting Entertainment Tonight with @NancyOdell. Wow!”

The former ivory Adonis of American Morning follows his fellow colleagues, ebony twin T. J. Holmes (BET), “voice of god” John Roberts (FNC), and AM Aphrodite Kiran Chetry (TBA) into the CNN sunset. For whilom AM fans, who still appreciate a fresh, irreverent perspective, Rob seems to be the last one waving the proverbial flag on the new CNN morning shows, Early Start and Starting Point. And, now he, too, is heading for the exit.

A sad day for Rob. And, his CNN fans. Not to mention, poor Zoraida Sambolin who is losing her “Senor Dreamy.”

“Mean Girl” Soledad: I’m Not a Refined Lady!

October 5, 2012

Roland Martin: “Work it, Soledad!” Starting Point anchor Soledad O’Brien: CNN’s Hooters honey? Not yet. Yesterday, she did declare that she was not a refined lady. But as to being “delightfully tacky,” she uttered not a word. But, that could change, especially, if her ratings do not climb out of the cellar soon.

On a more serious note, yesterday, Soledad interviewed Jennifer Livingston, the local Wisconsin news anchor, whose dressing down on air of a meddling e-mailer has gone viral.* When Soledad asked the WKBT news host if she had to obtain her boss’ approval to take out the bully (who had deemed her obese and who had indicated that she was not a good role model), she said that her news director trusted her. Elaborating, Livingston said that she and her boss both decided not to name the e-mailer on air because her response was not about him per se, rather the “critical” culture.

Ready for some vengence, Soledad exclaimed, “Oh, let’s name him anyway, Jennifer! Because, yesterday, I was thinking, ‘If I were Jennifer, I would go ahead and name him.’ So, his name is Kenneth Krause.”

Subsequently, Soledad informed her audience that Livingston had received “a ton of support” but that Krause had stood by his initial statement. Punctuating the air with her pen, she derisively declared, “Here’s what Kenneth Krause, the evil e-mailer, said in his statement.” [Italics added for emphasis.]

In response to Soledad’s hyperbole, Livingston began to chuckle. Looking up from her papers, Soledad insisted, “I know, I know. You’re, you’re refined and a lady: And, I’m not!”

From his spot in the peanut gallery, off-cam SP panelist Roland Martin interjected, as is his wont: Perhaps, envisioning Soledad as his favorite Buffalo wing server in her orange short shorts, Martin gleefully demanded, “Work it, Soledad!”

Ignoring Martin’s gratuitous interruption, Soledad continued, reading Krause’s defiant statement that Livingston should take the opportunity to “transform” herself into a good role model over the next year and that he would be glad to give her any advice or support that she would be willing to accept. When Soledad had finished, she asked, “Is there anything that he could offer you that you would accept?”

Charitably, Livingston answered, “I hold no ill will towards him. And, I hope that people don’t bully the bully….I don’t…want to…make him an evil representation of the whole world.” Kindly, she added, “I hope that, at some point, [that] he will learn that he could have approached the topic in a much more kind way.”

As the interview drew to an end,  Soledad caustically concluded, “Well, I am, I hold ill will all the time, Jennifer. So, I’ll hold ill.” Hearing off-camera snickers, Soledad stopped mid-sentence and looked to her right, protesting, “I know, I know, Will Cain [SP regular]. It’s mean! But, Jennifer is obviously a much better person than I am.”

Serious “End Point”: Don’t bully.

As to Soledad, no CNN Hooters honey yet. But, yesterday, she was a “Mean Girl”!

*Starting Point – 10/04/12 (@ 8:51 a.m. ET)

Starting Point: Soledad’s Dud?

October 1, 2012

“Soledad O’Brien: how could you not get that? Really!” Starting Point host Soledad O’Brien laughed derisively at a hapless Who Wants to Be a Millionaire contestant who could not identify her in a game question Friday. Unfortunately, for Soledad, she did not have the last laugh: rather, her esteemed elder, Bob Woodward, did.

Before Soledad’s interview with Woodward, SP newsreader John Berman aired a clip of a poor WWBM player who could not properly identify Soledad as the TV personality that had been named one of the “Top 100 Irish Americans” and was also a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.* Looking at her panelists and Woodard, Soledad disdainfully declared, “Soledad O’Brien: how could you not get that? Like, really!”

Sycophantically, John dutifully replied, “Can you believe that?”

Seemingly miffed at the slight, Soledad answered, “Soledad O’Brien: Hispanic and Irish. How hard was that!” Then, she guffawed, “Oh, well, next time, I guess.”

Segueing to her interview of Woodward, Soledad read an excerpt from his new book, The Price of Politics: On the screen appeared the quote with a purported picture of Bob Woodward on it. When Soledad had finished, she introduced her guest, saying, “Bob Woodward joins us. It’s nice to see you. Thank you for being with us.”

With a smile ever so slight, Wood gently teased, “Thank you. I see you had a picture of Bob Woodruff of ABC up there. We get mixed up all the time.” As Woodward and the panelists laughed, an embarrassed Soledad replied, “What!” as she buried her face in her hands.”

Trying to regain her composure, Soledad declared, “In spite of that, I’m going to continue on.” Before she could, Woodward zestfully zinged, “You know, it’s just like you! No one knows your identity.”

“End Point”? He who laughs last laughs best.

*Starting Point – 09/28/12 (@ 8:33 a.m. ET)

Ali: “Miss You” Still, Kiran

June 27, 2012

Velshi (August 2011): “Miss @KiranChetryTV every morning.”  Today, CNN anchor Ali Velshi almost echoed those very words that he had shared with his former American Morning co-anchor Kiran Chetry‘s hubby Chris Knowles after Kiran left the show almost a year ago. And, in his sweet missive to Kiran, he said what many CNN morning viewers assuredly have been thinking lately, i.e., “Miss you.”

Earlier, Aly had received a Tweet from a former AM viewer yesterday, fondly reminiscing, “Those were the days I used to watch @cnn in the morning cc/ @AliVelshi @kiranchetrytv pic.twitter.com/6wkzOPSx. Somewhat awkwardly, Ali answered, “Ahh, memories of my old friend!” Not surprisingly, a “piqued” Kiran playfully interjected, “@AliVelshi hey who are you calling old mr??” Aptly apologetic, Ali responded, “Long time! I meant my ‘long time’ friend!’ Miss you.”

Indeed. If the paltry ratings of Early Start and Starting Point are any indication, so do many more of Kiran’s American Morning fans. Without doubt, TV cable news needs its “ray of light” again.

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.]

Kiran: A Face for Radio?

May 17, 2012

Not exactly! Nepalese lovely Kiran Chetry “appeared” anew on Mother’s Day Eve: unfortunately, for her acolytes, she decided to”reveal” herself this time–not on the boob tube again but on the radio, on the John Batchelor Show (WABC). Not that her dulcet sounds, wit, and wisdom on audio were unappreciated but they did made her fans long for the premium package, including, obviously, any concomitant video of Kiran in the flesh. Perhaps, to make amends, Kiran did Tweet a lovely photo of herself on the set with Batchelor.

Regardless, the latest avatar of Kiran caused the author to wonder when is this beauty really going to return to her natural home, cable news morning television. Regrettably, she (or her William Morris “super-agent John Ferriter”) may have burned the bridge to the place that most complemented her smart, sassy, and sexy style, i.e., Fox & Friends, where her erstwhile rival Gretchen Carlson strangely rules the early morning roost. Nevertheless, hopefully, CNN chief Ken Jautz will return Kiran to her CNN “A.M.” throne when he decides to pull the plug on his disastrous new morning programs, Early Start and Starting Point.

Kiran: “Ray of light.” Just what CNN needs to rouse it viewers again in the early morn. But, Ken, let her fully shine this time!

T. J. Holmes: We’re Negotiating My [CNN] Return

April 11, 2012

It’s American Morning at CNN again? This morning, former CNN anchor T. J. Holmes indicated that he is leaving BET after a very brief “stint” there and going back to his home at the self-proclaimed “most trusted name in news” network. He Tweeted, “On a flight w/my old CNN boss. We’re negotiating my return.” Later, he wrote, “I expect to announce to you all this week some news about my future.”

Less than four months after bidding his CNN Newsroom weekend viewers adieu (to be a BET “multi-platform” jounalist), is T. J. back to save day for CNN–or, at least, the dawn? CNN honcho Ken Jautz must now be ruing his ill-considered decision to ditch his cellar-dweller morning show American Morning. As the ratings of his 2012 AM replacement shows, Early Start and Starting Point, have tanked (lowest in over a decade), Jautz may be thinking that he probably should have given his original plan more time, i.e., to possibly permanently pair T. J. with former AM anchor Kiran Chetry.

Whether it is “Morning in America,” may depend on one’s political point of view. But the return of the erstwhile trial T. J. and Kiran team would certainly help make it a brighter “American Morning” at CNN. And, AM  fans, T. J.’s return would certainly constitute Kiran’s long-awaited “very special opportunity.”

Update: Apparently, BET’s T. J. Holmes was pulling a practical joke on his CNN fans and Twitter followers. Cf. CarpeDiem’s “BET’s T. J. Holmes: Just a Joke?”

CNN A.M.: Christine Romans Returns

March 12, 2012

Early Start: “Mayor of the Morning” back as CNN a.m. anchor! Former American Morning co-host Christine Romans made her triumphant comeback as a CNN morning co-host Friday. After getting the axe last year as “interim” co-anchor when her show AM got replaced by ES and Starting Point, Christine reappeared almost immediately as an ES biz expert and a SP newsreader and biz whiz: At the time (January 12), Carpe Diem noted that Christine seemed even to be “expanding her role…to stealth anchor.”

Friday, Christine ascended from “stealth anchor” to actual one as she co-hosted ES with Ashleigh Banfield, who has admiringly dubbed her “Mayor of the Morning.” When Christine made her debut Friday morning, Ashleigh told her audience that she was “so excited to have [Christine there]” and noted that the two of them looked alike. Subsequently, Christine and Ashleigh seemed to evidence that manifest chemistry that Page 6 CNN sources have accused regular co-anchor Zoraida Sambolin and Ashleigh of lacking: To wit, Ashleigh did not need to instruct Christine to react to her (as she has demanded of Zoraida in the past) because she herself was so busy responding to Christine.

When Zoraida returned today (Monday) from her three-day weekend, Christine assumed anew her secondary role as headline newsreader and biz babe. Even though Zoraida and Ashleigh were a team again, Christine had shown what a compatible ES duo could be. And, hopefully, at least, what Zoraida and Ashleigh will be in the not too distant future.

Banfield: “Mayor” Romans Now “Favorite Nerd”

February 6, 2012

Christine: Hunh. I’ll take that as a compliment. Last Friday, Early Start co-host Ashleigh Banfield demoted CNN biz beauty Christine Romans from “Mayor of the Morning” to her “favorite nerd.” Maybe, Starting Point anchor Soledad O’Brien has had a word with Ashleigh.

Approximately a month ago, as ES just got off the ground, newbie Ashleigh fawningly called her CNN colleague Christine (and her immediate predecessor qua American Morning interim co-host) “Mayor of the Morning.” Subsequently, Carpe Diem noted the fact and Ashleigh has since seemed to surcease using the adoring appellation for her “idol.” However, last Friday, Ashleigh appeared to find a new one, i.e., nerd, to the chagrin of Christine.

After Ashleigh introduced the biz beauty’s January jobs report began, a goofy Christine remarked, “You thought it was [the] Super Bowl [that] was a big thing coming up. For me, it’s the Super Bowl of indicators.” In reply, Ashleigh aptly riposted, “You are such a nerd!” Smiling, Christine concurred, “I know. And, that’s the jobs report: I can’t help it.”

When Christine concluded her story, the Palin-bespectacled Cannuck chuckled, “You are my favorite nerd! That’s all I have to say.” Rolling her eyes upwords, a less-than-convincing Christine concluded, “Hunh. I’ll take that as a compliment.” As vid of the upcoming segments began to run and Ashleigh’s co-host Zoraida Sambolin began to tease them, an off-camera voice (sounding identical to Christine) reassuringly whispered, “Don’t worry about it.”

Apparently, Christine is not as keen on her latest title. However, she seems to have given Ashleigh a pass this time. Maybe, she, too, has had a word from Soledad.

*Early Start – 01/03/12 (@ 6:07 a.m. ET)

Soledad O’Brien: “Bravo”?

February 2, 2012

“My theme song.” Yesterday, Starting Point host Soledad O’Brien seemed more than satisfied with her new morning show—so much so, that she practically begged thrice-Grammy-nominated R& B singer Ledisi to be able to use her song “Bravo” as SP‘s theme song. After Soledad started her last SP segment with Ledisi’s “Raise Up,” she said, “If I could get a little portion of America to love Ledisi as I do, it would be a very good thing but, I really would like ‘Bravo.’ For some reason, we can’t play it. I don’t think we have the right to it.” Then, looking straight into the camera, she pleaded, “So, Ledisi, Tweet me. Can we have the rights to “Bravo” as my theme song? Call you later.”

Fortunately, CNN appears more ambivalent about Soledad’s new show. According to the New York Post‘s “Page Six,” one source said that “executives are looking to support Soledad O’Brien…and have expressed interest in adding [regular panelists] conservative commentator Will Cain and liberal commentator Roland Martin to the cast.” But, “Page Six” also indicated that an unnamed CNN representative denied it saying, “We couldn’t be more pleased with Soledad and the direction she is taking her program. Her newsmaking interviews and substantive panel discussions are the centerpiece of the program.”

Unfortunately, for CNN, Soledad’s show (which replaced in part the now kaput American Morning) has not gained traction with CNN viewers. In fact, if early ratings are any indication, it will lay even lower in the cable news morning cellar than it’s predecessor AM–for good reason. Regrettably, SP is proving to be not as good as AM: instead of a program where co-hosts had, at least, the patina of objectivity, CNN has an unabashedly opinionated sole anchor, who never fails to remind her panelists and her viewers that SP is “my show.” Nevertheless, CNN would make matters even worse if CNN were to give the soft-spoken milquetoast Will Cain and the obstreperous, cocksure Roland Martin even more prominent roles as Soledad’s co-hosts on Starting Point.

Bravo for SP? No. At least, not in the foreseeable future.

H/t to J$P for “Page Six” alert.

Christine’s Starting Point

January 12, 2012

CNN a.m. anchor again? CNN’s “Mayor of the MorningChristine Romans, the former “interim” American Morning co-anchor Christine Romans appears to be creeping back. Whether Soledad O’Brien likes it or not, Christine seems to be expanding her role from headline news reader and CNN business correspondent to stealth anchor.

After her show AM was cancelled almost two weeks ago (December 30), Christine waited just one business day later until she returned to the early CNN morn like a phoenix. Initially, she started off innocuously  enough as headline news reader with hits on the half hour on Starting Point. The very next day, Christine seized the role of the “Magic Wall” election expert. Subsequently, Christine has assumed the role again of biz whiz and even anchor–albeit on the sly. E.g., during her purported “headline news segment,” she has begun to take live reports, e.g., from correspondents such as Nic Robertson (Syria); Brianna Kielar (White House); and HLN sports anchor Joe Carter–not to mention, Christine has started to include CNN’s weather report and her resurrected AM “Minding Your Business” occasionally before tossing to Soledad again.

Perhaps, CNN chief Ken Jautz is having second thoughts about letting Soledad O’Brien anchor CNN a.m. again–at least, on her own.

“Christine Romans, Mayor of the Morning”

January 9, 2012

Really, Soledad? Ashleigh Banfield: “I may be the only one who calls her that.” Like a phoenix, former American Morning co-host Christine Romans has apparently reemerged from the ashes of her erstwhile CNN morning show to reappear as a regular on both of its replacements, Early Start (biz whiz) and Starting Point (headlines news reader and occasional biz whiz). She seems to be adored by Early Start co-hosts Ashleigh Banfield and Zoraida Sambolin: however, she may be somewhat less so by Starting Point anchor Soledad O’Brien.

Last Friday mid-show, after Zoraida had teased Christine’s upcoming business report, Ashley passionately  proclaimed, “Christine Romans, Mayor of the Morning!” In reply, Zoraida exclaimed, “I love her!” As an aside to her audience, Ashleigh animatedly added, “I think I may be the only who calls her that: But, I really thinks she is!”

However, Starting Point‘s Soledad may be less inclined to concur. After getting canned at AM for Kiran Chetry almost five years ago, Soledad assuredly has something to prove in her return to the CNN morn, i.e., that she is worthy to reign again, at least, in her time slot. And, relinquishing her title willingly so soon to Christine, her immediate (“interim”) predecessor, is not something that she is apt to do.

*Early Start – 01/06/12 (@ 6:01 a.m. ET)

CNN A.M.: Christine Back Already?

January 4, 2012

Early Start and Starting Point: “Vampire” Romans Reemerges. CNN may have put a silver bullet in their cellar-dwelling American Morning but former AM co-host Christine Romans did not seem to notice. Under cover of night, the biz beauty reemerged as headline news reader Tuesday on CNN’s partial replacement morning show Starting Point anchored by Soledad O’Brien. Today, Christine was promoted to the “magic wall” election expert: She appeared on both SP and Early Start (the even earlier CNN morning program co-anchored by Ashleigh Banfield and Zoraida Sambolin).

Eerie? Perhaps, not. CNN chief Ken Jautz may now realize that the old American Morning audience needs, at least, a somewhat suitable segue to the new morning shows. After all, AM viewers were not even alerted to the fact that American Morning was ending last Friday. This Monday, laic CNN morning viewers were likely quite surprised with the disappearance of AM and it’s co-hosts, Ali Velshi, Carol Costello, and Christine Romans.

Perchance, Jautz decided to ease that abrupt transition by bringing Christine back to the CNN early a.m. programs. Christine back? Apparently, at least, for the moment.


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