Wednesday, August 12, 2009

CNN moves away from booking radio talkers

Following reports from TVNewser, and a confirmation from a CNN spokesperson, Jon Klein, the president of the network's U.S. division, has asked his show producers to avoid booking talk radio hosts. "Complex issues require world class reporting," Klein is quoted as saying, adding that talk radio hosts too often add to the noise, and that what they say is "all too predictable."

So, does this finally mean they're getting rid of Lou Dobbs? Ehh, doubtful.

But what this does mean is that they will cut down on the clutter and screaming a bit. And that means potentially less face time to the likes of Bill Bennett, Michael Medved and others. However, that would likely apply to people like Stephanie Miller, so take the good with the bad.

Radio-Info's Tom Taylor, in his daily newsletter, thinks "it doesn't necessarily sound like a 'ban', as some early reports had it, but more like a caution to the bookers to avoid the same old radio faces. Problem is – those familiar folks make pretty good guests, especially when breaking news happens. They may indeed be predictable in terms of their take on current events. But their training in doing a daily radio show with no script in front of them and no producer talking in their earpiece makes them naturals for TV. I’m betting that Jon Klein’s recommendation will be adhered to for a while – and then old habits will reassert themselves and old phone numbers will be dialed again."

Nonetheless, it is nice to see a 'news' network move away from the back-and-forth screaming. Let's hope at least they raise the caliber of guests, rather than encourage shouting and bloviating matches.


Unknown said...

Blame Ron Reagan. He was on Anderson Cooper last week and when asked to comment of Sarah Palin he said that all she needed was a huge red nose and exploding shoes because she is such a clown. A couple of days later Klein said no more talk show hosts. So what now? More of Ann Coulter because she writes books?

jvwalt said...

Yeah, it's a false dichotomy. Not all radio talkers are screaming morons -- and for sure, not all non-radio talkers are founts of wisdom. C'mon, Klein, is Michelle Malkin more qualified to be on CNN than, say, Rachel Maddow?

If Klein wanted to do something substantive, he'd do away with the four-way split-screen panel o'shouters and commit to analysts and reporters who don't spout the predigested lib/con talking points.

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