Posts Tagged ‘Marie Antoinette’

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.