After months of awkward tweaking and tanking ratings CNN is reportedly considering replacing Kathleen Parker.
Despite a NYT piece just last month that firmly denied that any replacement was even being considered (the article noted Parker had just signed a two-year lease on an apartment in New York) the WSJ is reporting a change is in the works.
The problem of course isn’t all Parker. While her mother hen-like clucking at Spitzer – likely conceived to make viewers feel safer with the disgraced ex-governor — is interminably annoying it is far from the only problem
The show, initially taped and edited ahead of time, often feels awkward and the terrible graphics that float behind the anchor’s heads throughout are irritating and distracting.
But the real problem continues to be that Spitzer never seems to be allowed to be Spitzer: the unpredictably, fiery person New Yorkers heard so much about when he was governor. Airing the show live, and capitalising on the unpredictability that would come along with that would be the easiest way to grab some attention.
Meantime, who to replace Parker with. The NYPost hears it may be E.D. Hill a former Fox News anchor and co-host of “Fox and Friends” who got booted for her “terrorist fist jab” remark.
But I think CNN needs to go big here in order to reconvince people to tune. Someone like Michelle Malkin might work — she has a wide audience, could probably hold her own with Spitzer, but is not so extreme in her views (a la Ann Coulter) as to turn off mainstream viewers.
But perhaps she’s not mainstream enough to solve the problem. Before Parker Spitzer first went on air CNN did the regular audience testing and discovered Spitzer wasn’t as nationally recognised as they had assumed.
So what about replacing Parker with someone like Elisabeth Hasselbeck. She’s well known, appeals to a wide audience, fits the conservative bill, and after years spent standing up to the ladies of the View would likely not have a hard time facing down Spitzer. The fact she recently signed on to be a contributor to Good Morning America suggests she’s looking to broaden her repertoire. And she wouldn’t be the first of the View to make the leap — Joy Behar launched her own HLN show last year to a reasonably good response.
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