CNN host Campbell Brown is leaving the network, saying she's unwilling to "inhabit the kind of persona" who can compete against opinion-mongers Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann in the 8 p.m. slot. Who might be better suited? Rumors are circulating that former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, whose political career was destroyed in 2008 by a vice girl scandal, is being considered. Though he's denied it, Spitzer is reportedly in the frame to present a "Crossfire"-type show. Could it work?
CNN would have to compromise its brand: CNN has to do something about its "abysmal ratings," says Barry Silverstein in Brand Channel, and a partisan, infamous figure like Spitzer could "ratchet up" viewership. CNN is founded on "hardcore journalism," however, not stunt casting "disgraced" politicians. That said, at this point, it may just want a ratings quick-fix "and worry about the brand impact after."
"CNN continues to boil as Brown leaves"
Tainted or not, Spitzer would shake things up: Appearing on CNN could be a "good way for Spitzer to improve his reputation," says Olivia Allin in The Frisky, and bring the "awesome things" he did as governor to a cable news audience — namely, "supporting gay marriage," reforming immigration, and cracking down on white collar crime. His particular passions could be an interesting addition to the mix.
"Campbell Brown leaves CNN and Eliot Spitzer steps up."
Spitzer's particular bias is more suited for MSNBC: Though Spitzer's destined for TV, reports Jason Horowitz in The Washington Post, sources close to the "lantern-jawed ex-pol" say he would only take a media gig "if the venue allowed him to be as partisan as he wanted." And while it's true that CNN has hired "the conservative firebrand Erick Erickson and the centrist former Rudy Giuliani speechwriter John Avalon," it's more likely Spitzer's "left-of-center politics" will land him on MSNBC.
"Will Eliot Spitzer land at CNN or host for another news outlet?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The 5 best and worst states for a well-lived life
- What religious traditionalists can teach us about sex
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- As deadly skin cancer rates keep climbing, surgeon general says to stop tanning and wear sunscreen
- Why Texas' abortion rates aren't falling as quickly as everyone expected
- The 6 best low-cost smartphones
Subscribe to the Week