Cathleen Parker Axed at CNN – She Deserves Better

Posted on February 26, 2011

It finally happened.  Cathleen Parker, Pulitzer Prize winning co-anchor of CNN’s Parker-Spitzer has been fired.  Her perpetual-motion co-host, former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer, will go on to a revised format with more male right wingers who can effectively take him on.

To pair those two was to pair a spider and a butterfly.  Of course Spider Spitzer won the moment he sat down beside her.  The new format was announced by CNN:

In a memo to staff, CNN President Ken Jautz said that “In The Arena” would be an “ensemble” show, with “several newsmakers, guests and contributors joining Eliot Spitzer each night.” Among the regulars will be former Fox News anchor E.D. Hill and National Review writer Will Cain. [Huff Po]

Like the name of the new show, “In the Arena”?  Isn’t that what we’ve been watching for the past 5 or 6 months?  With a combative personality such as Spitzer’s, it may not be a good idea to give him encouragement.  He may just end up the last man standing.

Viewers checking out TV schedules may get the show confused with “Monday night RAW” and pass it by.  Either way, it’s a deadly time slot.  And alas this may not be the best lead in to the prime 9:00 hour.

Poor what’s-his-name, the Brit who confronts us in full frontal pose, arms crossed  in the ads as Larry King’s replacement needs all the help he can get attracting viewers.  His lips are too pursed, his brow too arched, his manner too precise to be the kind of easy-going host who “disappears” needed in the spot.  Viewers must be weary worrying about how he’s doing and missing what the guest is saying. It’s a nervous talk show without real talk but with grilled guests served up.

CNN needs to go back to what it does or rather did best:  Report news from around the globe.  Face it al Jazeera and other foreign television and internet news formats have been taking their audience.  Why?  Well, programs like one about a spider and a butterfly whose predatory relationship took down a good time slot.  It remains to be seen if Spitzer alone can bring it back.

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