Live from… New York?

(contributed by H. Laramey, Miami, FL)
The Fox News Channel’s often imitated talk show format left viewers wanting more as the United States began its October 7 retaliatory strike on Afghanistan’s Taliban.
While CNN provided extensive live reports from the ground in the area of the bombings, Fox was relegated to the occassional “expert” testimony piped into its New York studios. CNN offered viewers its live version of “nightscope” pictures, which are typically out of focus and digitally delayed. FOX on the other hand, opted for a black screen over the shoulder of anchor Shepard Smith. CNN’s view couldn’t be described as spectacular, however, it sure beat the FOX offering of night time in Afganistan.
While FOX’s day to day programming gives CNN fits in the ratings game, FOX’s global reach pales by comparison when it comes to making war home theater.
CNN won this battle, hands down… but don’t worry FOX – in the words of Robert Duvall’s Lt. Colonel Bill Kilgore in “Apocalypse Now”… “someday this war’s going to end.”

Wolf feels the bite… danger Will Robinson!

(contributed by R.J., Atlanta, GA)
No more impeachment hearings, no more convention or election charades, and no more, Wolf Bitzer?
Things may not be that desperate for the Wolf, but when news of the United States bombing on Afghanistan broke Sunday morning (10/7), it happened soon after “Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer” aired. and then as far as viewers were concerned… it was adios El Wolfe’.
Now this is not uncommon, breaking in on a regularly scheduled program for an event like the U.S. bombing a foreign land would be typical at any network. Add to the equation that Wolf’s program originates from Washington, D.C., and not CNN Center in Atlanta, and you can understand why the reins were taken away from the Wolf. However, what happened over the next several hours may be telling.
In a name, it’s Aaron Brown.
As CNN’c latest anchor de jour, Brown was handed the story and ran with it. The network has spent a lot of time and advertising dollars promoting their aquisition of the former ABC talent and his yet-to-be-named, “flagship” newscast slated for a Fall debut (isn’t it Fall already?) Anyway, Aaron stepped in, while Wolf and his weekend team dutifully, stepped aside.
Again, nothing unusual considering the circumstances. Over the next several hours however, Wolf was relegated to a small handful of
cut-ins, despite being located in the heart of the nation’s capital, where all the political players call home.
Why? The answer is simple… with the recent high-profile additions of Aaron Brown and former FOXer Paula Zahn, Wolf’s role has been, at best, diminished. And why not?… in all fairness, he’s already had his chance to impress from the anchor chair.
With both salaries and egos in play here, at some point CNN will have to make a very difficult decision. With Wolf, Aaron, Paula, (and don’t forget Larry), all making seven-figure paychecks, and ad revenue nearly in the toilet for CNN (as well as other networks), something has to give once things get back to normal in the “news cycle.” Hell, Lou Waters and Natalie Allen have already been tossed by CNN to make room for Aaron and Paula.
Wolf may well become a victim of his own aspirations.
He made the move from senior White House correspondent to anchor two years ago, and the program he signed on to lead (“The World Today”), was shelved a year later. The transformation to “Wolf Blitzer Reports,” perched in the front half of the same time slot, hasn’t proven to be the ratings grabber CNN had hoped it would be, and has already been retooled once (as we predicted, months prior to the change.)
So, what to do?
Wolf’s Sunday “Late Edition” will probably remain the “last word” for CNN on Sunday mornings (by the way, why opt for the “last word”… can’t the team get up earlier to beat the competition? Everyone’s watching football by the time Wolf comes on.) Beyond that however, the Wolf will have to give way to CNN’s “new” blood.
It’s simply the way of Wolf’s world.
And perhaps, a lesson for future anchor John King should consider. That being, be careful what you wish for – partucularly if it’s an anchor chair.

Love… something exciting and news

Now comes word that rising-star anchorwoman Ashleigh Banfield is getting married. Banfield got engaged last week to a TV producer who saved her life when the north tower of the World Trade Center collapsed.
The producer, Drew Nederpelt, kicked in a glass door and pushed her into the lobby of building to escape the falling debris.
Banfield and Nederpelt were dating before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
But when word came that MSNBC was sending Banfield to Pakistan last week, the couple decided to formalize their relationship. “I knew a week after meeting him that he was the one I wanted to spend my life with,” she told a Dallas newspaper.
They plan to wed next summer. (NY Post)

Bill, we get it already!

Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly is on the brink of becoming annoying. Not for his philosophies or his political leanings… those are both entertaining and informative. But Bill, STOP pimping your books on every other show already. We get it, you write books, and they sell… but you’re starting to sound like Larry King, who would endorse dog crap if he could make a buck on it.