Saturday, February 9, 2013

Mornings Are Being Revamped at CNN

Less than a month into his presidency of CNN Worldwide, Jeff Zucker announced a revamping of the network’s management and programming. That includes reshuffling the morning lineup.

Zucker, Soledad O'Briens's former boss at NBC, is given credit for for making NBC’s Today show the most watched TV news show in his time there.

He announced at the end of January that Chris Cuomo, co-anchor of ABC’s 20/20, would be teaming up with CNN evening anchor Erin Burnett to take over the morning slot that Soledad had occupied hosting Starting Point.

Starting Point, and CNN generally, has had ratings issues. CNN’s 6 a.m.–to–9 a.m. slot (Starting Point and Early Start) drew about 220,000 viewers in January as compared to MSNBC’s Morning Joe with 446,000 viewers and Fox & Friends led the cable morning with 1.2 million viewers. In 2012 Starting Point averaged only 234,000 viewers. Of course, the morning shows on CBS, ABC and NBC had millions more than any of those programs.

The announcement received additional buzz online because it was noted that the program's small audience was also “too ethnic, based on the high concentration of minority viewers.”

The morning changes doesn't mean Soledad will be leaving the network. CNN told Politico that "Soledad is very important to the network, and we're discussing various options with her.”

It may be that Soledad will return to the long form documentaries that she was hosting before Starting Point such as the popular "In America" series. Those documentaries included multiple installments of "Black in America" as well as special on being gay, Latino and Muslim in America.

In a time when reaching out to minorities has become a hot button issue for the GOP, many commentators see it as ironic that the idea that the program attracted a stronger minority audience became a negative.

Others have said that it was more the small audience that was the issue and that the fact that it was predominately comprised of minorities was secondary.


At this time, there are no immediate plans for what Soledad will be doing next.
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