January 07, 2005

Crossfire: What Went Wrong?

According to Bill Press, former co-host of the CNN show, it was the CNN management:

For 21 years, “Crossfire” had thrived. It was one of CNN’s signature shows. It got the network’s second-highest ratings, after Larry King. It was one of television’s most famous programs. Because it worked: two guests, two co-hosts, one topic, one half-hour, live television. Anything could happen, and did! It was a magic format and there were some magic moments ... Sadly, it was Walter Isaacson who killed “Crossfire,” in his short stint as president of CNN. He took a serious political debate show and turned it into a gong show. And, by putting it in front of a live audience, he made the whole point of the show, for guests and co-hosts alike, simply scoring cheap shots in order to get a laugh out of the audience – instead of serious debate on a serious topic.

Then they moved Crossfire from 7:30 p.m. EST to 4:30 p.m. And the show’s been on life-support ever since.

Posted by Eric at 07:23 PM | Comments (18)

January 06, 2005

Carlson Gone from CNN

Not much of a surprise, but don't expect him to disappear from TV; AP:

CNN will probably fold "Crossfire" into its other programming, perhaps as an occasional segment on the daytime show "Inside Politics," said Jonathan Klein, who was appointed in late November as chief executive of CNN's U.S. network.

Klein on Wednesday told Carlson, one of the four "Crossfire" hosts, that CNN would not be offering him a new contract. Carlson has reportedly been talking with MSNBC about a prime-time opening replacing Deborah Norville ... "His career aspirations and our programming needs just don't synch up," Klein said. "He wants to host his own nighttime show and we don't see that in the cards here. Out of respect for him and his talent, we thought it would be best to let him explore opportunities elsewhere."

An MSNBC spokesman had no comment on CNN's decision.

"We think Tucker is a great journalist and we're exploring our options for a new 9 p.m. show," said MSNBC's Jeremy Gaines.

Posted by Eric at 12:29 AM | Comments (6)