Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

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
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-56 next last

1 posted on 11/09/2003 7:52:30 PM PST by Pokey78
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

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)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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 ...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Huck
gets gets

meant to say "gets guests". Sorry.

10 posted on 11/09/2003 8:08:42 PM PST by Huck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

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_____)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

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)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

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!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

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
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-56 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson