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An anniversary no one at CNN is ready to celebrate
WCBS880.com ^

Posted on 01/26/2003 10:30:01 AM PST by Sub-Driver

An anniversary no one at CNN is ready to celebrate

Sunday January 26, 2003

By DAVID BAUDER AP Television Writer

NEW YORK (AP) This week marks an anniversary the people at CNN would prefer is observed quietly very quietly.

It was one year ago that Fox News Channel first beat CNN in the ratings, toppling the network that invented cable news and had enjoyed a monopoly for most of its existence.

The pecking order not only hasn't changed since then, Fox's lead is wider. This month's unexpected resignation of CNN Chairman Walter Isaacson and the exit of six correspondents has people asking, once again: What's wrong with CNN?

There's no simple answer. But facing a challenger with confidence and a clear sense of mission has only amplified the lack of those two qualities in CNN.

``CNN's problems go deeper,'' said Frank Sesno, a former CNN Washington bureau chief and now a professor at George Mason University. ``They cut to the question of what is CNN? What is their audience? And how are they talking to that audience? I think CNN has created its own fog of war and they're getting lost in it a little bit.''

Executives at CNN tend to get exasperated when their network is defined narrowly in terms of its ratings race with Fox News Channel.

Jim Walton, who will replace Isaacson (who leaves to join a think tank) this spring as CNN chairman, said he has four ways that he will measure success. Ratings is one yardstick, and the others are the quality of CNN's journalism, the network's profitability and the people who work there.

Morale is a difficult thing to pin down, of course, but suddenly telling longtime correspondents that their services are no longer required and having security escort them out the door can't help.

The contracts of Brooks Jackson, Allan Dodds Frank, Mark Potter, Bruce Francis and James Hattori were not renewed at the end of 2002, and Garrick Utley decided against staying. Knowledgeable observers say the moves were a combination of cost-cutting and a recognition that the veterans worked better with prepared reports instead of live stand-ups, which CNN is emphasizing more.

Most experts say CNN is still able to charge more for commercials than Fox, but that gap is narrowing rapidly.

A study last year by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that 37 percent of respondents believed all or most of what they saw on CNN, compared to 24 percent on Fox. When a big story breaks, like the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, more people are likely to turn to CNN for information.

A war with Iraq will offer a high-profile test of whether that's still the case, and Fox has launched an aggressive ad campaign claiming it's trusted more because it's watched more.

``If it were just about higher ratings, we would put Bill Hemmer in a tight, white T-shirt and our numbers will go up,'' Walton said. ``But I'm not sure it would be good for the brand.''

But if not ratings, what was Connie Chung's aggressively promoted interview last week with ```The Bachelorette's' Rejects'' all about?

CNN likes to claim it's above the fray, but many of the changes in the network's on-air look over the past few years more colorful graphics, vibrant appearance and frequent news alerts reflect Fox's influence.

CNN's emphasis on establishing beachheads in its schedule with personalities has given birth to strong, informative programs helmed by Aaron Brown, Wolf Blitzer, Judy Woodruff and Paula Zahn.

Yet the schedule, described as ``patchy'' by media analyst Tom Wolzien of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., has its holes: an awkward ``Talkback Live,'' an increasingly shrill ``Crossfire'' and the tabloid-driven Chung hour. Even perennial Larry King, or at least his guests, are beginning to show their age.

The viewership gap between Fox and CNN is widest in prime-time: an average of 1.32 million viewers to 930,000 in the last three months of 2002.

``The ratings success Fox has had is a reflection of what Fox has created for itself which is a voice, a buzz and identity that is consistent throughout the day, lifted by strong personalities and magnified by a strong leader,'' Sesno said. CNN's management structure has been confusing and unwieldy since the departure of founder Ted Turner. Teya Ryan runs CNN's main network, and she reports to Walton, who reports to Turner Broadcasting head Jamie Kellner, who reports to bosses at AOL Time Warner.

There's no question Roger Ailes is in charge at Fox News, as succinctly pointed out by Newsday columnist Verne Gay recently.

``Historically, the strongest news organizations have been dictatorships,'' Wolzien said.

CNN has also lost the public relations war, he said. The pugnacious Ailes has no problem going toe-to-toe with his rivals and, as a former political adviser, knows how to run a campaign. CNN has shied away from taking him on, and Walton indicates this isn't likely to change.

Much of the negative attention is unavoidable. When you have the field to yourself and that suddenly changes, your faults clearly come into view. People notice.

``It's hard to be on the front lines of the revolution when the revolution stops,'' Sesno said. ``Then what do you do? The revolution is over and it's settled into trench warfare. You have to know who you're fighting and where you're going and have an objective that's clear.''


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: atlantasux; carvillesnuttynob; chickennoodlenews; clintonnewsnetwork; cnn; fairandbalanced; fnc; foxnewschannel; liberalmedia; losers; mediabias; paulazahnisagimp; propagandacentral; ricklewinskykaplan; tedislooney
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1 posted on 01/26/2003 10:30:01 AM PST by Sub-Driver
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To: Sub-Driver
It's the left-wing bias, stupid.
2 posted on 01/26/2003 10:34:08 AM PST by The Great Satan
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To: Sub-Driver
I still don't know how CNN can consider itself a "news" outfit when it has people like begala and carvill on. They are such evil, corrupt, dishonest, and biased people that I have to assume that every other person on CNN shares some or all of those characteristics.
3 posted on 01/26/2003 10:35:05 AM PST by Tacis
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To: Tacis
Ionly look in on CNN occationally and don't care for it much.
I watch FOX but can't help wondering who had his/her head up their a$$ to hir jeraldo ?
4 posted on 01/26/2003 10:39:27 AM PST by squibs
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To: squibs
hir = hire
5 posted on 01/26/2003 10:39:56 AM PST by squibs
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To: Sub-Driver
Maybe if they realized that they are known as the Clinton News Network and the Communist News Network, they might do something to make a turnaround. Then again, I think that they had rather sink than do honest reporting. Can't derail that agenda, ya know.
6 posted on 01/26/2003 10:43:06 AM PST by Paul Atreides
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To: squibs
Herdildo Rivera has a dream job: not only does he get his wrinkled mug on the camera, but he gets to go all over the world in search of a new bride.
7 posted on 01/26/2003 10:44:37 AM PST by Paul Atreides
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To: Tacis
"has people asking, once again: What's wrong with CNN?"

Too Funny! I can hear the executive management meeting now...

CNN executive 1) Fox is beating us in the rating with this fair and balanced approach, what should we do?

CNN Executive 2) Let's hire Carvell and Begalla!


8 posted on 01/26/2003 10:45:26 AM PST by Republican Red
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To: Sub-Driver
Today is Daryn Kagan's 40th birthday!

Some may be interested in that.

9 posted on 01/26/2003 10:48:39 AM PST by billorites
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To: Paul Atreides
I think CNN has created its own fog of war and they're getting lost in it a little bit.'

Yes.... they lie and are bias, and they have lost their objectivity and credibility.
10 posted on 01/26/2003 10:50:17 AM PST by ARCADIA (Abuse of power comes as no surprise)
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To: ARCADIA
The thing is, I don't believe for a second that they don't know they are biased.
11 posted on 01/26/2003 10:52:15 AM PST by Paul Atreides
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To: Sub-Driver
CNN's emphasis on establishing beachheads in its schedule with personalities has given birth to strong, informative BIAS programs helmed by Aaron Brown, Wolf Blitzer, Judy Woodruff and Paula Zahn.
12 posted on 01/26/2003 10:52:35 AM PST by Little Ms. FReepette (Clinton News Network is garbage)
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To: Tacis
Someone posted this to me yesterday. I thought it was worth re-posting. Carville is a jackass.


13 posted on 01/26/2003 10:55:38 AM PST by Little Ms. FReepette (Clinton News Network is garbage)
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To: Republican Red
``If it were just about higher ratings, we would put Bill Hemmer in a tight, white T-shirt and our numbers will go up,'' Walton said. ``But I'm not sure it would be good for the brand.''

Jim Walton sounds like he may be playing for the other team!
14 posted on 01/26/2003 10:56:18 AM PST by ConservativeMan55
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To: billorites
Daryn is the one I would like to see in the White T Shirt, not Bill Hemmer!
15 posted on 01/26/2003 10:57:34 AM PST by ConservativeMan55
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To: Sub-Driver
What's wrong with CNN? No one in the US likes their message!
16 posted on 01/26/2003 10:59:07 AM PST by Rummyfan
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To: ConservativeMan55
Just who, on FNC, is running around in tight, white t-shirts? Sounds like a fantasy on that guy's part.
17 posted on 01/26/2003 10:59:44 AM PST by Paul Atreides
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To: The Great Satan
It's the left-wing bias, stupid.

After the impeachment coverage, and after Gore's attempted robbery, I wouldn't go back to watching that channel (or MSNBC) if it was the last one of Earth. I see that FoxNews even has a hotel-finder on their site so I can select one that has FoxNews whenever I travel.

18 posted on 01/26/2003 11:00:03 AM PST by kcar
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To: ARCADIA
Yes.... they lie and are bias, and they have lost their objectivity and credibility.....and they refuse to fire crybaby JUDY WOLF WOLF !!!
19 posted on 01/26/2003 11:00:35 AM PST by GrandMoM
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To: Rummyfan
CNN talks down to the viewers. Almost arrogant like. Foxnews talks to the viewers as if its the viewers actually making the show.
20 posted on 01/26/2003 11:00:43 AM PST by ConservativeMan55
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To: The Great Satan
It's the left-wing bias, stupid.

Heh, that's what I kept waiting for the author to figure out but he never did.

Let's see now:

1. All the top talk radio shows are Conservative
2. (More)Conservative Fox News is kicking CNN all over the place.
3. Conservatives were just elected into office by large margins.
4. We're facing terror attacks and war with Iraq so the country is in a more conservative mood.

Now facing these facts, what does CNN do to counter all this? It puts on ultra-lib Donahue who promptly tanks along with fellow liberal Chris Matthew's Hardball. What a brilliant move.

These guys either don't have a clue or just can't bring themselves to move to the right just a little bit. I'll be glad when they sign off forever if they want to continue their left wing slant.

21 posted on 01/26/2003 11:08:52 AM PST by Reagan is King ("Where are we going, and why am I in this handbasket?")
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To: Sub-Driver
Executives at CNN tend to get exasperated when their network is defined narrowly in terms of its ratings race with Fox News Channel.

That just brings a tear to my eye. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

22 posted on 01/26/2003 11:11:50 AM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
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To: Sub-Driver
There's no simple answer. But facing a challenger with confidence and a clear sense of mission has only amplified the lack of those two qualities in CNN.

This is just silly.

Everyone including you and me and the CNN executives know what the answer is. And to say that there is no sense of mission at CNN simply compounds this silliness. Their mission is, was, and I think always will be to promote the liberal one-world socialist agenda. That is the mission. Their natural constituency is that group of people that agree with their extreme liberal viewpoint. That group is in the first place a minority in this country and worse for CNN, most of them don't have cable. They suffer from the the natural demographics that keep people listening to Rush and ignoring the occasional liberal personality that pops up on talk radio. The only reason they are still in the game is that they were there first and it has taken Fox some time to catch up.

The obvious solution that will not be undertaken: become "Fair and Balanced". In my humble opinion, I don't expect to see this happen in my lifetime.

23 posted on 01/26/2003 11:13:30 AM PST by InterceptPoint
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To: billorites
After the impeachment coverage, and after Gore's attempted robbery, I wouldn't go back to watching that channel (or MSNBC) if it was the last one of Earth.

the (stomach) churning point for me was the Operation Tailwind "story", where they teamed up with the anti-American Peter Arnett to slander our military.

24 posted on 01/26/2003 11:28:01 AM PST by CFC__VRWC
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To: Sub-Driver
A study last year by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that 37 percent of respondents believed all or most of what they saw on CNN, compared to 24 percent on Fox. When a big story breaks, like the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, more people are likely to turn to CNN for information.

I'm sure all the folks at CNN keep this tidbit pinned on their bulletin boards, hoping and praying that it is true (I know, they probably don't pray). The Pew Research Center is biased and turns in biased polls and research.

It's interesting that this article fails to mention any of the FoxNews notables other than Roger Ailes. How about comparing Brit Hume to whoever is viewed at CNN as editorial director? How about noting how FoxNews has been hammering the competition in all the vital day-parts, with shows and personalities that were mocked by the so-called elites at CNN. I can't remember the last time I tuned into Crossfire or the Capital Gang... are the shows still on? When CNN puts up Tucker Carlson as the token conservative (along with Robert Novak), they are admitting their bias unapolgetically. And America is tuning out in record numbers.

I'll look forward to the next research results from the Pew Research Center.

25 posted on 01/26/2003 11:31:28 AM PST by ReleaseTheHounds
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To: Sub-Driver
All the news channels are bunched together (around channel 360) except for CNN (channel 202) on Directv. Where are they on regular cable or Dish network? I have wondered if this helped Fox. Then again, Fox wasn't (still isn't?) offered to all subscribers for a long time.
26 posted on 01/26/2003 11:38:14 AM PST by chnsmok (Dware vs. 100 mussels! Pay per mussel! http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/829652/posts?page=1)
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To: Sub-Driver
CNN noise dived for several reasons. One is that they no longer had the top drawing celebrity, e.g., Clinton - as in the Clinton News Network!

CNN is more about providing entertainment and predisposed to "shaping opinions", or not offending the opinions of Arabs in the Middle East....

27 posted on 01/26/2003 11:53:05 AM PST by Jumper
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To: Paul Atreides
Herdildo Rivera...

*snicker*

28 posted on 01/26/2003 11:53:33 AM PST by Timesink (I offered her a ring, she gave me the finger)
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To: ReleaseTheHounds
When a big story breaks, like the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, more people are likely to turn to CNN for information.

What WERE the numbers from 9/11, anyway? I remember that CNN lucked out in a few ways: They're much further downtown than Fox, and much closer to the West Side Highway. Plus they had a producer that was already downtown for some other reason. Plus they had the perfect vantage point because they have a little "garden" on the roof of their building, facing south. (I remember it well, it's where my boss at CNN took me to tell me I was getting laid off!) All Fox had was poor Shepard Smith dealing with Fox's own million-miles-away camera and whatever microwave and satellite feeds were floating around.

In any case, I do think CNN will win in the ratings with the war coverage, but that it will be by a much smaller margin than all the news intelligensia thinks it's going to be. Fox/Sky has a LOT of people in and around Iraq, and they can put up a good fight.

29 posted on 01/26/2003 11:59:37 AM PST by Timesink (I offered her a ring, she gave me the finger)
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To: Sub-Driver
CNN's emphasis on establishing beachheads in its schedule with personalities has given birth to strong, informative programs helmed by Aaron Brown, Wolf Blitzer...

ROFLMAO   Informative and Wolf don't belong in the same sentence!

Wolf Blitzer's Idiot Moment    Neal Boortz - Newsmax^
I caught myself watching something called "War Room" with Wolf Blitzer on CNN last night. The assembled guests included a former ambassador to Afghanistan (I think), a spokesman for the Northern Alliance, and a retired Army general. Toward the end of the program Blitzer brought up a subject I raised on the air yesterday, that being whether or not the U.S. forces were pounding the Taliban as they fled Kabul.

Blitzer brought up the "Highway of Death" scenario from the Gulf War and then posed the question to the general: "Should the U.S. attack the columns of fleeing Taliban?" The general responded with one word: "Sure!"

Then comes Blitzer's finest moment: "But they're sitting ducks!"

30 posted on 01/26/2003 12:02:32 PM PST by GirlShortstop
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To: Sub-Driver
The way I see it, CNN is offering an invaluable service.
Should the day ever dawn that I give a s*it about what leftists think, I know that I can just turn to them (they should live that long!).
31 posted on 01/26/2003 12:09:14 PM PST by rockrr
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To: Sub-Driver
CNN...I remember those guys! Aren't they the ones that had Baghdad Pete Arnett giving coverage of the Gulf War back in 1991? Seems like decades ago. Wasn't that around the same time Walter Cronkite went off the air?

Anyway, I wonder if CNN is still around.

32 posted on 01/26/2003 12:09:21 PM PST by SamAdams76
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To: Sub-Driver
Ratings is one yardstick, and the others are the quality of CNN's journalism, the network's profitability and the people who work there...0 for 4?
33 posted on 01/26/2003 12:17:04 PM PST by RWG
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To: The Great Satan
I think the sucess of FNC is because it's less vag-ified
than the other guys. The "Today" show is constant cancer
stories and men-are-evil stuff.

"Fox and Friends" is lot more fun and the gals on FNC aren't
afraid to wear a skirt and show some gams.

Networks in general have been given over to women, cable is
the last redoubt of papa bear tv. There you get your Speed
Channel, History, TLC and the like. If I have a choice
between "Everybody loves Raymond" or "Monster Garage," well
CBS will lose.
34 posted on 01/26/2003 12:28:01 PM PST by ElTianti
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To: Little Ms. FReepette
I am still amazed that Aaron Brown is promoted as some sort of 'star." If memory serves me, he was a 2nd tier personality at ABC. Filled in for Koppel on Nightline, and was an weekend anchor, but was no 'star.' But, whatever his status at the other network, at CNN he has morphed into THE most boring, unctuous, and consdescending 'anchor' on any of the evening programs. Mr. Walton would do well to put "Little Gloria's" darling son (Anderson Cooper)in his place full time, not just on the weekend. The hour has a lightness of spirit, and a complete absense of "attitude" when he is filling in for Brown.
35 posted on 01/26/2003 1:19:05 PM PST by Cookie123
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To: Cookie123
I am curious about the upcoming War. CNN has certainly gone out of their way to distance themselves from the administration and our military. I wouldn't be surprised to see their "coverage" limited to a short daily briefing and the inside of their hotel rooms. This is not the CNN from the First Gulf War. They are going to have to rely on Saddam for most of their feed and we all know that his life expectancy may be cut short.
36 posted on 01/26/2003 1:24:41 PM PST by ARCADIA (Abuse of power comes as no surprise)
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To: RWG
Ratings is one yardstick, and the others are the quality of CNN's journalism, the network's profitability and the people who work there...0 for 4?

The network is profitable. AOL Time Warner doesn't publicly break down the numbers, but in 2002 CNN made around $200 million. Of course, that's $100 million less than it made two years earlier...

Anyway, the reason I know the profit margin is because I used to work at CNN, and I can assure you there are plenty of people there of high integrity. There just happen to be others that aren't.

37 posted on 01/26/2003 1:37:31 PM PST by Timesink (I offered her a ring, she gave me the finger)
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To: ElTianti
I think the sucess of FNC is because it's less vag-ified than the other guys.

Well, I agree FNC's more tolerable to the average masculine male, but don't think it turns off the women. I'm on a couple of FNC mailing lists, and they're FILLED with girls that do nothing but talk about all the "hot guys" on Fox.

38 posted on 01/26/2003 1:40:03 PM PST by Timesink (I offered her a ring, she gave me the finger)
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To: chnsmok
on Dish Network:
CNN - 200
Headline News - 202
Bloomberg - 203
Court TV - 204
FoxNews - 205
CNN International - 206
CNBC - 208
MSNBC - 209
CSPAN1 - 210
CSPAN2 - 212
39 posted on 01/26/2003 1:43:20 PM PST by auboy
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To: auboy
Well, there goes that theory. Thanks!
40 posted on 01/26/2003 1:49:10 PM PST by chnsmok (Dware vs. 100 mussels! Pay per mussel! http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/829652/posts?page=1)
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To: Sub-Driver
**Jim Walton, who will replace Isaacson (who leaves to join a think tank) this spring as CNN chairman, said he has four ways that he will measure success. Ratings is one yardstick, and the others are the quality of CNN's journalism, the network's profitability and the people who work there.**

Come on Jim, "the quality of CNN's journalism"? Don't you mean the quantity of CNN"s propaganda. If you're not smart enough to figure that one out, you won't be around for long either.

"and the people who work there"… ha… Woodruff… Begala… Carville. LOL
41 posted on 01/26/2003 1:50:18 PM PST by auboy
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To: Cookie123
I am still amazed that Aaron Brown is promoted as some sort of 'star." If memory serves me, he was a 2nd tier personality at ABC. Filled in for Koppel on Nightline, and was an weekend anchor, but was no 'star.'

Well, I wouldn't call him "2nd tier." He was very much on the front bench at ABC, but once you're on that bench, a weekend and Nightline anchor, there's nowhere higher to go but to be named permanent anchor of World News Tonight. And Peter's not going anywhere anytime soon. That's why Aaron moved to CNN; they offered to pretty much make him the face of the entire network. And along with him went the person responsible for hiring him at ABC in the first place, and many other members of the Aaron Brown/World News Now clique (the original WNN I mean, not the soulless CNN Headline News ripoff it is today).

Mr. Walton would do well to put "Little Gloria's" darling son (Anderson Cooper)in his place full time, not just on the weekend. The hour has a lightness of spirit, and a complete absense of "attitude" when he is filling in for Brown.

This will indeed happen ... when Aaron quits or dies. Mr. Cooper is very much a part of the Newsnight Mafia, and as you noticed, he's the permanent replacement anchor for Aaron. (They're also considering dispensing with the whole Atlanta-on-the-weekends thing and making Newsnight seven days a week, with Anderson anchoring from New York on Satuday and Sunday.) As for the attitude, believe it or not, but that's a big part of the reason Aaron's there in the first place; a lot of people really like his sarcasm.

42 posted on 01/26/2003 1:51:34 PM PST by Timesink (I offered her a ring, she gave me the finger)
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To: chnsmok
You're welcome.
43 posted on 01/26/2003 1:54:39 PM PST by auboy
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To: billorites
Today is Daryn Kagan's 40th birthday!

There's just something annoying about her, I'm not sure what. Do you remember last year during her Emmy interviews (or Golden Globes, one of those, whatever), she was wearing a strapless gown. In the interview, the camera's angle made it look like she was nude. *snort*

44 posted on 01/26/2003 1:57:26 PM PST by FoxGirl (/meowwww)
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To: squibs
I try to avoid CNN, however, I have noticed lately that they manage to get a bit closer to the action during some of the LIVE coverage. Other than that, gag.
45 posted on 01/26/2003 1:59:35 PM PST by FoxGirl (/meowwww)
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Comment #46 Removed by Moderator

To: Reagan is King
CNN's underlying problem is that they are merely another left-wing propaganda outlet. What is the difference between them and ABC/CBS/NBC? Nothing. They were able to skate by so long as the long-suffering conservatives in the viewing audience didn't have a choice. But once Fox came along, the rationale for CNN's existence larely disappeared.
47 posted on 01/26/2003 2:03:36 PM PST by quebecois
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To: Republican Red
Yeah, We'll hire Bubba's two most loyal, dogmatic, evil
talking heads, and call it balanced...CNN, an media ver-
sion of Monica Lew, Clintons' sycophant, away willing to
go down for party.
48 posted on 01/26/2003 2:06:25 PM PST by skinkinthegrass (Just be because your paranoid,doesn't mean they aren't out to get you. :)
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To: Cookie123
Anderson Cooper...The hour has a lightness of spirit, and a complete absense of "attitude" when he is filling in for Brown

I've noticed this as well. He does seem to be a likeable guy.(or someone I can at least stomach)

49 posted on 01/26/2003 2:06:34 PM PST by FoxGirl
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To: skinkinthegrass
OH!, I Forgot 'Tailwind' and the Jesse Jackson Show.
GOOD GRIEF, Two more examples of 'good' programing @
the Ctinton News Network. :(
50 posted on 01/26/2003 2:11:43 PM PST by skinkinthegrass (Just be because your paranoid,doesn't mean they aren't out to get you. :)
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