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Anchor Aaron Brown's Star Appears to Fade
AP ^ | 11/09/03 | DAVID BAUDER

Posted on 11/09/2003 7:52:30 PM PST by Pokey78

NEW YORK — CNN rented an elegant ballroom a few weeks ago, feeding breakfast to top advertisers and filling them in on 2004 election coverage plans. Virtually all the network's big names were there. Except Aaron Brown, whose star appears to be fading in the CNN firmament.

Larry King was master of ceremonies. Christiane Amanpour appeared via satellite from London. All four "Crossfire" combatants argued politics. Judy Woodruff, who had flown from a California assignment a few days earlier, boarded a 5 a.m. train from Washington to New York for scrambled eggs and small talk.

CNN's chief executive, Jim Walton, cautioned against making too much of Brown's nonappearance at an industry function. The anchorman was working to arrange an important interview and asked to be excused, he said.

But there's talk within CNN, and some of it surfaced in a New York Daily News gossip column, that Brown may not have appeared partly because he was upset about not playing a prominent role on the California recall Election Night.

Brown anchored his usual 10 p.m. newscast from New York that night and, when it ended, CNN began election coverage from Los Angeles with Wolf Blitzer as anchor.

One night out of the anchor chair wouldn't necessarily matter too much, unless you considered it a foreshadowing of how other big political nights were going to be handled in the upcoming election year.

And one anchorman's feelings wouldn't matter too much, unless it was the anchor who only two short years ago was poised to become the face of the network.

Brown declined to talk to The Associated Press for this article, and his executive producer didn't return a phone message.

It was Sept. 11, 2001, that Brown, just hired from ABC News, made a dramatic mark on CNN. He anchored much of the terrorist attack coverage that day and those that followed, impressing many viewers with his soft-spoken, cerebral style.

His status was codified in his CNN Web site profile: Brown was the network's lead anchor on major breaking news stories.

That's why it became a story in February when Brown didn't cut short a golf outing in California to come to work on the day the Columbia space shuttle disintegrated. He explained later that it "didn't make any sense because I didn't have any clothes."

NBC's Tom Brokaw, meanwhile, was pulled out of the water on a snorkeling trip and made it to a studio within hours.

Shortly after, CNN's pecking order subtly changed. Brown wasn't the network's lead anchor. He was one of many, all capable of grabbing the reins in a news emergency.

The incident also coincided with the elevation of Walton. Where his predecessor, Walter Isaacson, cultivated stars, Walton is a throwback to CNN's earlier days, where the news is the star.

"We have a lot of talent at CNN," he said, adding that Brown is very important to the network.

Brown's "Newsnight" has many devoted fans. It's a newscast that rarely traffics in trash, providing a neat summation of the day's top stories and some intriguing guests.

"I like his program," legendary CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite told Texas Monthly magazine last summer. "He's an excellent newsman, and when he has a comment to add, it always seems well-based and well-founded. And he has a good format."

Others find the format, with an offbeat opening essay and "The Whip," Brown's name for collecting headlines from on-the-scene reporters, a bit precious. Brown's newscast consistently trails in the ratings to the Fox News Channel talk show featuring CNN refugee Greta Van Susteren.

One critic, The Boston Globe's Mark Jurkowitz, wrote: "He is just too studied, too enigmatic and, frankly, too weird to be anchor material."

Brown acknowledged his polarizing effect on viewers in an interview with a Westchester County, N.Y., paper. "I think there are people who love me, and people who hate me, and people who love to hate me," he said. "I don't care. If the people who love to hate me watch, God bless them."

Brown is a "very important part of CNN's election team" and will be reporting on politics through the next year, spokeswoman Christa Robinson said.

But the signals sent by the California recall appear to be true. CNN's plans for big political nights in 2004 will be the same, she said, plans that don't take Brown out of his current time slot.

___

On the Net:

http://www.cnn.com/

___

EDITOR'S NOTE — David Bauder can be reached at dbauder"at"ap.org


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aaronbrown; cablenewsnetwork; chickennoodlenews; cnn; cnnschadenfreude; deanofovernightnews; newsnight; schadenfreude; smirk; stressman
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1 posted on 11/09/2003 7:52:30 PM PST by Pokey78
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You are getting sleeeeeeeepy . . . . . .sleeeeeeeeepy . . .

sleeeeeeeeeepy . . . . . sleeeeeeeeepy . . . . . . sleeeeeeeeeepy . . . . .
2 posted on 11/09/2003 7:56:26 PM PST by Pokey78 ("I thought this country was founded on a principle of progressive taxation." Wesley Clark to Russert)
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To: Timesink
Maybe he should be up late at night, wide awake...
3 posted on 11/09/2003 7:57:32 PM PST by mhking
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To: Pokey78
Perhaps the higher-ups at CNN are finally getting tired of the Sneer.

But it's a lesson to Brown and anybody else at "the top". If you can't get off the golf course to cover a story, you shouldn't be surprised if future stories get assigned elsewhere.

But being a liberal I'm sure that's a revelation that shocks and infuriates the heck out of the Sneer.

Prairie
4 posted on 11/09/2003 8:00:40 PM PST by prairiebreeze (Brought to you by The American Democratic Party, also known as Al Qaeda, Western Division.)
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To: Pokey78
Larry King has excellent ratings, for reasons I really don't understand. He looks to me as if he died several years ago.

The rest of them are going downhill.
5 posted on 11/09/2003 8:01:26 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Pokey78
----He anchored much of the terrorist attack coverage that day and those that followed, impressing many viewers with his soft-spoken, cerebral style.----

"Rush Limbaugh has been more than a bit unkind to me more than once. He’s also been unkind to Al Franken, who in turn has been unkind to him. He’s taken shots at Michael Wolff, New York magazine’s media critic and Michael is hardly the retiring sort. So, here we all are, Al, Michael, and me, and the subject is Rush – made worse, no doubt, by the permanent smirk that seems to be attached to my face."

– CNN’s Aaron Brown on the October 10 NewsNight after Limbaugh announced he was seeking treatment for an addiction to prescription pain medicine

6 posted on 11/09/2003 8:01:43 PM PST by Flux Capacitor (Jindal 2003!!!)
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To: Pokey78
"I like his program," legendary CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite

Well, if that lying scumbag Cronkite likes him, then that seals it. Buh-bye, Aaron.

7 posted on 11/09/2003 8:03:20 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: prairiebreeze
A day or two after 9/11, The Smirk interviewed an expert who alluded to a need to kill terrorists.

Smirk seemed nonplussed and said, "you used the word kill..." The plan wasn't cerebral enough for him, I guess.

8 posted on 11/09/2003 8:07:11 PM PST by NutCrackerBoy (son of a ...)
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To: Cicero
Larry King has excellent ratings, for reasons I really don't understand

The answer is simple. The guests are the draw. Larry gets gets that draw a big audience--tabloid stories, celebs, etc.

9 posted on 11/09/2003 8:08:02 PM PST by Huck
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To: Huck
gets gets

meant to say "gets guests". Sorry.

10 posted on 11/09/2003 8:08:42 PM PST by Huck
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To: Pokey78; Timesink

(squint, squint) "I like the way Aaron Brown surrounds and envelops a story, while squinting..."

11 posted on 11/09/2003 8:09:51 PM PST by martin_fierro (_____oooo_(____)_oooo_____)
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To: Cicero
Every time I turn past LKL, I get the impression that ole Larre sees Nancy Grace as the next Mrs. LK., which would be, what. . . the 23rd?
12 posted on 11/09/2003 8:11:16 PM PST by Pokey78 ("I thought this country was founded on a principle of progressive taxation." Wesley Clark to Russert)
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To: Pokey78
The Boston Globe's Mark Jurkowitz, wrote: "He is just too studied, too enigmatic and, frankly, too weird to be anchor material."

Weirder than Dan Rather?

13 posted on 11/09/2003 8:11:43 PM PST by Texas Eagle
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: Pokey78
Aaron who?
15 posted on 11/09/2003 8:12:45 PM PST by hispanarepublicana (Mr. Fox, give us our water!!!)
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To: Pokey78
Brown is a "very important part of CNN's election team"

sounds like the kind of 'endorsement' a coach or manager gets when the owner says "he's our man, he'll be with us as long as he wants to be"


16 posted on 11/09/2003 8:15:36 PM PST by InvisibleChurch (Like sittin' on pins and needles, things fall apart, it's scientific.)
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To: Pokey78
Aaron "I'm so boring, I'm intellectual" Brown.
17 posted on 11/09/2003 8:16:56 PM PST by Lijahsbubbe (What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus? Claustrophobic.)
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To: prairiebreeze
Some journalist.

A real reporter would run to the studio barefoot if he had to to cover a story like the Columbia crash....

18 posted on 11/09/2003 8:16:58 PM PST by rwfromkansas ("Men stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up as if nothing had happened." Churchill)
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To: William Creel
Meanness and vindictiveness is mean and vindictive until directed against a conservative (especially a successful one). Then it's soft-spoken and cerebral.

-Dan
19 posted on 11/09/2003 8:17:06 PM PST by Flux Capacitor (Jindal 2003!!!)
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To: Texas Eagle
Weirder than Dan Rather?

Probably, but not as weird as Peter Jennings. ....Anyone who would think Hanan Ashwari to be girlfriend material has to be a first-class weirdo. And Jennings even smirks more than Brown, which isn't an easy trick.

20 posted on 11/09/2003 8:17:43 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: Cicero
He looks to me as if he died several years ago.

All I think of when I see him is, BAD BREATH!

21 posted on 11/09/2003 8:21:35 PM PST by Lijahsbubbe (What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus? Claustrophobic.)
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To: Pokey78
Anchor Aaron Brown's Star Appears to Fade

I can't believe I'm seeing "Aaron Brown" and "Star" in the same sentence.

Watching him deliver the news is like going into a coma.

22 posted on 11/09/2003 8:47:09 PM PST by Jorge
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To: Pokey78
Brown is an arrogant BORE.....with a hideous voice.
23 posted on 11/09/2003 8:49:08 PM PST by Ann Archy
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To: Pokey78
Virtually all the network's big names were there. Except Aaron Brown, whose star appears to be fading in the CNN firmament...Tucker Carlson today on C-Span spoke of his experience at CNN when he wanted a CNN mug and called the woman who was in charge of giving them out - she told him his budget didn't provide for one, and no amount of cajoling could convince her to spring for one for him. Within a matter of days he learned that he was being fired from the network, and later found out that the mug woman already knew about the firing by the time he was dealing with her - maybe whoever made arrangements for this dinner has gotten the word on Brown.....
24 posted on 11/09/2003 8:50:55 PM PST by Intolerant in NJ
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To: martin_fierro; reformed_democrat; Loyalist; =Intervention=; PianoMan; GOPJ; Miss Marple; Tamsey; ...

Schadenfreude

This is the New York Times CNN Schadenfreude Ping List. Freepmail me to be added or dropped.


25 posted on 11/09/2003 8:57:26 PM PST by Timesink
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To: Intolerant in NJ
When was he fired?
26 posted on 11/09/2003 9:02:52 PM PST by rwfromkansas ("Men stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up as if nothing had happened." Churchill)
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To: mhking
Maybe he should be up late at night, wide awake...

For the love of God, PROMISE THE MUG!

Why is there no mug? The little things matter! Why is Accordion Guy only on once every six months? Enough of the WNN-through-a-CNN-filter crap. Just go whole hog.

(For a touch of irony, check out post 24, even though I'm not sure it makes sense.)

27 posted on 11/09/2003 9:03:00 PM PST by Timesink
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A a r o nz z z z z z z z z z z z
28 posted on 11/09/2003 9:04:15 PM PST by Consort
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To: Intolerant in NJ
Tucker Carlson today on C-Span spoke of his experience at CNN when he wanted a CNN mug and called the woman who was in charge of giving them out - she told him his budget didn't provide for one, and no amount of cajoling could convince her to spring for one for him. Within a matter of days he learned that he was being fired from the network, and later found out that the mug woman already knew about the firing by the time he was dealing with her - maybe whoever made arrangements for this dinner has gotten the word on Brown....

I don't get this. When was Tucker fired from CNN? (He wouldn't be the first at CNN by any means to have been canned under one regime and then brought back by another ... I just don't recall the first firing.)

Plus, I mean, a mug costs like $3 to make. Even CNN isn't that cheap.

29 posted on 11/09/2003 9:07:31 PM PST by Timesink
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To: mhking
Oh yeah, one word: McRee. Never underestimate the power of a foil to bounce things off of.
30 posted on 11/09/2003 9:08:40 PM PST by Timesink
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To: Pokey78
Who?
31 posted on 11/09/2003 9:13:00 PM PST by McGavin999
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To: Texas Eagle
Weirder than Dan Rather?

Rather is weird, but you have to admit that the crazy guy who beat him up while shouting "What's the frequency, Kenneth"? was even weirder.

32 posted on 11/09/2003 9:15:28 PM PST by WackyKat
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To: rwfromkansas
When was he fired?...sorry - I missed the beginning of the story - Carlson was on C-Span2's Miami Book Fair program with Bernard Goldberg this afternoon - maybe will be repeated and you can catch it for further details.....
33 posted on 11/09/2003 9:18:35 PM PST by Intolerant in NJ
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To: Timesink
Plus, I mean, a mug costs like $3 to make. Even CNN isn't that cheap...well, after all he is a conservative - sorry I missed the beginning of the story, but the segment may be repeated on C-Span2 as part of their coverage of the Miami Book Fair where Carlson appeared.....
34 posted on 11/09/2003 9:24:43 PM PST by Intolerant in NJ
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To: mhking
"Maybe he should be up late at night, wide awake..."

LOL! Funny you should say that about a former ABC World News Now anchor. He always looked too tired then to even think about dancing to the World News Polka Barry Mitchell wrote and is played every Friday night/morning.

35 posted on 11/09/2003 9:40:23 PM PST by bicycle thug (Fortia facere et pati Americanum est.)
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To: Pokey78
Well, I don't care what anybody on this thread says. I like him alot. He is fair, he IS intellectual...so what...asks great questions and doesn't care how long he takes to ask them. Way better than the rest of the hollywood plasticoids.
36 posted on 11/09/2003 10:00:13 PM PST by spyone
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To: Intolerant in NJ
People like the mug lady, receptionists, certain secretaries are ALWAYS the first to know when someone is on the way out or the way up. That's SOP in an office setting. When the receptionist stops smiling at you on the way in, get your resume ready.
37 posted on 11/09/2003 10:00:36 PM PST by KellyAdmirer
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To: Pokey78
Aaron Brown talks like a womens hair dresser.
38 posted on 11/09/2003 10:07:02 PM PST by fso301
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To: Pokey78

Metrosexuals need only apply.....or in Anderson Cooper's case, metrohomosexuals

39 posted on 11/09/2003 10:21:37 PM PST by BurbankKarl
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To: Pokey78
Aaron Brown is creepy.

40 posted on 11/09/2003 10:28:56 PM PST by Spruce
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To: Mr. Mojo
Aaron Brown was in Seattle in the 80's, stunk then also.

By the time Cnn picked him up Aaron Brown was mimicing the Peter Jennings hand-chin thingy - or was it Tom Brokaw -I do mix them up!

41 posted on 11/09/2003 10:44:13 PM PST by malia
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To: Timesink
Thanks for the ping :-)

I had CNN on last year during the election purely for entertainment purposes... and boy, I wasn't disappointed! Aaron Brown looked like it was all he could do not to break out sobbing as he reported all the GOP wins.

He kept saying how shocked they all were and that they couldn't understood how this Republican sweep had happened... I was amazed to hear him openly admit this, but think he had suffered such body-blows all evening that he wasn't thinking clearly anymore ;-)
42 posted on 11/09/2003 11:16:25 PM PST by Tamzee (...This tagline has been tested on animals.)
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To: malia
I remember him from when I lived in Seattle. I was surprised he went national, because he wasn't particularly exciting.
43 posted on 11/10/2003 2:04:33 AM PST by boop
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To: Pokey78
"Brown's Newsnight has many devoted fans. It's a newscast that rarely traffics in trash..."

Last night, by chance, I happened upon Aaron's cerebral news show while they were discussing the search for perpetual youth, and they focused in on some 59-yr-old woman and talked about her botox treatments...

Yeah, it's real high-level stuff. 'Cause Aaron is such a smart guy.... bwwwwwAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
44 posted on 11/10/2003 3:36:54 AM PST by Devil_Anse
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To: All
Brown makes me want to puke.
45 posted on 11/10/2003 3:42:31 AM PST by Terp (Retired US Navy now living in Philippines were the Moutains meet the Sea in the Land of Smiles)
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To: Cicero
Don't understand King's ratings either. Like Aaron Brown much better than Wolf Blitzer. Blitzer is always so "breatless" - gets on my nerves
46 posted on 11/10/2003 3:46:31 AM PST by maisyday
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To: Timesink
(For a touch of irony, check out post 24, even though I'm not sure it makes sense.)

Oh, it does...it does...

47 posted on 11/10/2003 3:50:00 AM PST by mhking
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To: Timesink
Never underestimate the power of a foil to bounce things off of.

Yep. Y'always need a good foil - especially a quick one who can keep up...

48 posted on 11/10/2003 3:51:39 AM PST by mhking
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To: Mr. Mojo

49 posted on 11/10/2003 5:48:25 AM PST by Helms (If Researchers Use Rat and Monkey Brains, Why Not Encourage A Liberal To Donate)
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To: Pokey78
For what it's worth, Aaron Brown is the only media guy that ever replied back to an email I had sent.

During the whole Enron/Worldcom crisis I sent off an email to Brown livid at an interview I had seen him do with Terry McAullife in which he failed to even bring up the 8 million Mcaulife made with Global Crossing.

About 10 minutes after I had sent the email he sent a reply to me about McAulife calling him a "rascal".

I was not impressed what he wrote but that he took the time to reply.

Still won't watch him on CNN though.
50 posted on 11/10/2003 5:56:53 AM PST by Republican Red (Karmic hugs welcomed!)
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