Tuesday, November 08, 2005

He's doomed

posted by Rob at 4:32 PM

Yesterday I equated CNN"s star of tomorrow with MSNBC's star of yesterday. TVNewser posted similar comments. Later, a CNNer e-mailed TVNewser to argue that it was an absurd comparison, in part because "he anchored WEEKS of War Coverage during the breaking news overnight period when ALL the news was unfolding from the field and he was virtually flawless."

I wouldn't know. I primarily watch Fox, but let's take the e-mailer's word for it. Cooper has gravitas. Yet he is on the road to being Banf-ed, not because he isn't qualified but because he works for clueless Jonathan Klein. He will be mishandled just as much as poor Banfield.

Consider some Cooper comments on Aaron Brown during his "new" show's debut last night, as quoted by TVNewser:
During Monday's 360, Anderson Cooper paid tribute to NewsNight with Aaron Brown. He said the program would have been four years old this weekend. "That's a toddler in human years, but in cable years, four is ancient."
That is an asinine comment and an insult to Brown. If "NewsNight" was ancient, how would you describe "Larry King Live," "Hardball," "The O'Reilly Factor," "Special Report," and other mature cable shows. Actually, that's a word that could describe them - mature shows. Shows which have become a part of viewers regular viewing habits.

At 8 p.m. you know Bill's ranting. At nine Larry's softballing. Hell, Jon Stewart is must-see-tv for some at 11.

Now look at CNN, home of immature programming. Take out the suspenders and name a timeslot that has had any consistency in the past two years. Gone are "Crossfire," "Inside Politics," that Connie Chung show, Wolf's "old" 7 p.m. show. Zahn was on in the (insert zipper noise) morning then switched to night. Now Cooper was on in early evening but is now on late at night.

How can CNN expect to have any success when it treats its primetime schedule like a hot potato? Cooper, for all his gravitas, continually got his butt handed to him daily at 7 p.m. by my man Shep (1.4 rating vs. .7).

So what did his Cluelessness do? He took a show with some history at 7 p.m., moved it to replace an "ancient" show at 10 p.m., while moving an hour of Wolf's room from its start to its end.

As expected, the ratings sucked for 360 II, Day One. According to Drudge, "Cooper lost 42% of Larry King's lead in (1,079,000 viewers) and the debut show was down 10% from what he & Aaron were averaging in October."

Cooper seems like a nice guy. CNN's future has been glued to his sholders. I just wonder how painful it was to get unattached from Brown's. I just hope it was at least a sweet round of golf.


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