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mountainave last won the day on February 9

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  1. There is some truth to your point -- specifically during breaking news -- that average viewers are more interested in the facts than who's in the chair... but the networks also know viewers like familiarity. The networks have someone in the building 24/7 who is responsible for hopping in the chair in the event of breaking news. During the day it's a familiar face, but during nights, weekends, and holidays, it's often a correspondent or anchor of a less-watched show (e.g., at ABC, after WNT production is done for the night, it's often whoever is anchoring Nightline that night). If breaking news that merits a special report (i.e. interruption of programming) happens outside of daytime, the networks will usually start with the on-call person in the building. If the news is deemed to be truly significant (meaning coverage will be ongoing, involving more than just a special report during a commercial break), then the networks will typically call in the chief anchor or another daytime anchor who is more recognizable to viewers to take over the ongoing coverage. Can't speak to what the arrangement at CBS was the night Bob Simon died. There was obviously a very personal element to that specific story. Wouldn't surprise me if Pelley wanted to be the one to deliver the news, even if someone else was in the building.
  2. Sara Sidner announced at the end of News Central that she'll be off air for several weeks as she undergoes surgery related to her breast cancer. Wishing her a speedy recovery.
  3. Longtime CNN political commentator Alice Stewart was found dead this morning. She had just appeared on CNN yesterday. She was always smart and respectful. Colleagues in politics and media are sharing reflections all over Twitter. Rest in peace. https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/18/politics/alice-stewart-cnn-commentator-dies/index.html
  4. Phil Mattingly was named Chief Domestic Correspondent: https://variety.com/2024/tv/news/cnn-phil-mattingly-chief-domestic-correspondent-1235924781/
  5. What's been going on with Don Lemon (and Elon Musk)? - Following his termination from CNN last year, both parties agreed to a $25 million settlement for which he'll be paid the remaining 3.5 years of his contract: https://www.thewrap.com/don-lemon-cnn-split-deal/ - He signed a deal with X (fka Twitter) to produce a show a la Tucker Carlson's deal with X - The show launches next week with Lemon interviewing Elon Musk. It's now reported that following the interview taping, Musk texted Lemon's reps to say he was cancelling the content deal. Kara Swisher reports Musk was particularly angered when Lemon started to ask him about his drug use. https://www.cnbc.com/2024/03/13/elon-musk-cancels-x-partnership-with-don-lemon-after-interview.html - Allison Gollust, the former CNN comms executive with whom Jeff Zucker had a relationship, and who subsequently left CNN after Zucker left, is now Lemon's PR rep - Lemon will return to CNN for the first time since his ouster tonight to talk with Erin Burnett about his interview with Musk
  6. Longtime political analyst John Avlon's last day at CNN was today. Puck News is reporting he intends to run for Congress.
  7. Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos are quite different in personality, interests, demeanor, affect, etc and have been number 1 for years. Gayle King and Charlie Rose were pretty dissimilar but helped CBSTM rise steadily. You don't need people who are carbon copies of one another. Your argument that the three on CNN never truly seemed interested in making the show work nor supporting each other is not a factual one. Poppy and Kaitlan were and are close friends; their chemistry has always been evident. Don may have been an issue but could have been replaced with someone else from inside or outside the network.
  8. Bit of a shame. I may be in the minority, but I think the first incarnation of CNN This Morning with Poppy Harlow, Don Lemon, and Kaitlan Collins was a quality product that just needed time. The three of them each brought something -- Poppy as a longtime anchor with a business acumen, Kaitlan as an incisive political questioner, and Don as an older guy attuned to social issues with an ability to humanize. Yes, Lemon stuck his foot in his mouth one too many times, but in the three of them you really had an ensemble of three smart anchors with different yet complementary skills. When there wasn't off-camera acrimony or awkward on-camera blunders, the three actually did have good TV chemistry. To be clear, I'm not saying they should've kept Don. Just lamenting the show's potential, had things worked properly. Firing Don and plucking Kaitlan off was a one-two punch to the show. Then it never got the new set it was promised. Then they decided to return to a stale two-anchor format, and plopped in Phil Mattingly who has a goofy sense of humor and a great political acumen but is still somewhat awkward at the anchor desk and plays too much "inside baseball" when asking questions during his political interviews, which works for a midday show but not for morning. The morning warmth disappeared from the show and it started to feel like any other two-anchor show of CNN's prior days. Something else that's telling. After deciding to move News Central up, they could have moved Poppy and Phil from the morning slot into the 10a-noon slot, either together or each with their own show. Instead, they completely took them off the schedule, brought Acosta over from the weekend, and gave Pamela her own show. Apparently someone decided Poppy and Phil have had enough.
  9. Great job for a high school production!
  10. Sade shared she's having knee surgery and will be out for an extended period of time
  11. Interestingly, Erin Burnett, who usually anchors from NY, is anchoring election coverage from DC today, and Wolf Blitzer, who usually anchors from DC, is anchoring election coverage from NY today. They did the same swap last week covering Iowa, I believe.
  12. Morning edition of CNN News Central is back to using stand-ups with full graphics, but the afternoon edition still has Keilar and Sanchez sitting at a desk without studio graphics.
  13. The talent openings and transitions are too boxy for me (see @TheNewsTV's screenshots above), but overall seems like a nice dynamic update.
  14. Sara Sidner announced she's being treated for stage 3 breast cancer. https://nypost.com/2024/01/08/media/cnn-anchor-sara-sidner-says-she-has-stage-3-breast-cancer/ https://people.com/sara-sidner-breast-cancer-diagnosis-exclusive-interview-8423441
  15. Funny, I actually just came here to make the same observation that the the AM and PM versions seem to have almost entirely dropped the stand-ups that were meant to define the show in favor of anchors stationed at a desk. Bit of a shame, in my opinion. I think Licht was onto something -- the stand-ups did give the show more of an active feel that differentiated it from the rest of the day's desk-based programming.
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