Thursday, February 27, 2014

Piers Morgan Replacement?


As you may already know, Piers Morgan is gone from CNN's 9pm timeslot, effective March. It has not been decided who will replace him yet or whether he'll stay at CNN or not. Here are some candidates CNN should consider. Some of these names have been suggested by NYDN.

  • Howard Stern - see HERE
  • Rosie O'Donnell - She's not ashamed of her politics and would be very polarizing for CNN, which is normally right down the middle. She would definitely bring in an audience for the first couple of nights but she would need someone to battle against in order to keep people interested. Rosie would've never been a star on "The View" without Elizabeth Hassleback (and vice versa). 
    • Two questions arise with this potential move: 1. She already tried coming back solo TWICE on NBC (a variety show) and OWN (a talk show) in recent years. Could she really be the answer to CNN's problems? 2. What happens when breaking news occurs? Would CNN depend on Rosie to anchor?
  • Don Lemon - He's the ultimate minority (a gay black man). He'll go toe-to-toe with anyone no matter what party they represent and he brings diversity to the very "white" primetime lineup which exists in cable news. He also has experience covering breaking news but can also cause a stir and bring buzz back to CNN which it currently lacks.
    • But, Is Lemon a big enough figure to have a constant audience which stands by his side and watches daily when there's nothing major happening? Lemon can garner a huge audience and easily beat Fox in the demo if there's a big racial issue, court case or celebrity drama in the news. But who will tune in to him for 5 days a week when there's nothing happening? If CNN hires him, they need to put him out on as many media tours as possible for mainstream America to get to know him.
  • Dan Savage - He's a sex expert who writes a syndicated column and has a fanbase full of college students. At times, he comes on cable TV to speak his mind on gay rights issues but other than that he doesn't appear on TV as much. A talk show mixing politics, current events and sex aimed for young people with guests that aren't the norm for cable news mixed in with comedy could work.
    • But, Savage is stuck in the same situation as Lemon. Does mainstream America know you well enough to tune in every night? Also, is Savage willing to give up his speaking career for a talk show which could fail? And how is this different from Dr. Drew's show which airs on sister network, HLN?
  • Joy Behar - see HERE
  • Rachel Maddow - If you can't beat her, get her to join you? That's the logic behind this potential move. Although, if Alec Baldwin is correct and Maddow secretly runs MSNBC, then why would she leave?
  • David Muir - Intelligent, good looking, and a pro's pro. He's definitely someone who people can trust when big news develops. But isn't he basically another Anderson Cooper? Also, he seems to be either next in line OR the heir apparent after George Stephanapolous to the top job at ABC News. Why leave the potential manna?
  • A panel show - No. CNN has tried "The Cycle"/"The Five" copycats twice in the 10pm hour. What makes you think it'll work in the 9pm hour?
  • Jay Leno - Probably not. He's not a good interviewer, he's not a satirist and 9pm on cable news wouldn't be the right timeslot for a "Tonight Show" copycat telecast. The intelligent high-brow audience that is usually watching CNN at that time wouldn't be entertained and the 18-49 demographic which CNN is seeking would think it's way too corny.
  • Phillip DeFranco - He's a popular YouTuber who mainstream America has never heard of but he does have millions of fans and is the main source of news for many people in the demographic which CNN seeks to grab for it's audience. He covered the conventions for YouTube and would be viewed as an outsider, which is not only a positive in politics but also on TV because viewers feel like they can relate to you more.
    • Problem is, 1. no one knows who he is 2. his YouTube enterprises are owned by Discovery Communications
  • Jerry Seinfeld - Funny guy. Check. Built in audience. Check. Experience with interviews. Check.
    • Problem is, 1. He doesn't want to do a TV talk show or else he would've done it already, he loves what he is currently doing because it's online and everywhere. 2. There's nothing that'll convince him to do it. He has all the money in the world.
  • Bill Weir - Why? Because he's been under contract with CNN for a long time and hasn't done much. It was also rumored that he was promised primetime. Problem? It's just more of the same. He's not different or captivating. He'd be great for the 7pm hour where there's not as much competition (Greta and Chris Matthews are more beatable than Maddow/Kelly). 
  • Vice News/Vocativ - Vice currently has a deal with HBO while Vocativ has a deal with MSNBC. But both entities have said openly that they're looking to sign as many deals as possible. Maybe CNN should give either outlet or some other outlet which does something similar to what they do, a whole hour each day to do live uncensored guerrilla reporting internationally.
  • House of Cards/The Newsroom - Rumor has it that Zucker has money to blow. Why not spend it on syndication rights to two hit shows which are talked about all the time but aren't available to a mainstream audience? Are either shows news? No. But they do feature storylines which take the viewer behind the scenes into how the worlds of politics and media work. You can easily have a post show hosted by a CNN anchor which relates the plot of the episode just shown back to real world experiences/current events. It'll be another way of telling the news. 

1 comment:

Michael T said...


Bill Weir strikes me as a Jake Tapper clone in someways.

Both good journos, somber, a tad bit humorless, attended conservative colleges, lean right.

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