Monday, November 07, 2011

New York Times Looks at 'Anderson'

There was a very interesting article in the NYT yesterday about 'Anderson'. Like many of us, the author, David Carr, said he found, "I have grown used to spending quality time with Anderson Cooper in the evenings, he of the knitted brow, the emotional response, and, occasionally, the rugged line of questioning. But watching “Anderson” — the lack of an anchor desk, his tight sweaters and bonhomie with the audience — well, it takes some getting used to".
Carr went on to say "In signing up to do “Anderson,” Mr. Cooper has split his personal franchise: serious newsman by night and chatty host in front of adoring crowds of women during the day. He is probably hoping that the twain never meet. CNN has to hope as much as well".
And "...... After watching a recent episode of “Anderson” in which Mr. Cooper discussed the merits of plush toilet paper versus bargain brands, and engaged in a race to see which roll runs out first, I wondered if I would watch his next dispatch from a hurricane with new eyes. And that assumes he will have the time to put on the parachute and go. With an hour as a prime-time news anchor and an hour spent during the day, oh, say in a Toddlers and Tiaras debate with a woman who dressed her 3-year-old daughter as the hooker from “Pretty Woman,” who has time to get to the next earthquake?
A daytime show requires more than an enormous commitment; there is a bottomless need to find content for 180-plus shows a year. Not all of them are going to be winners".

Apparently, we are not the only ones who find the content on a whole to be weak and the lack of continuity and direction to be an issue. In the column Carr and Cooper's quotes seem to indicate that 'Anderson' is still trying to find it's way.

Here's the hotlink to the entire article. We encourage you to read it before commenting.
~ The ATA Team

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Anonymous said...

Someone better tell Hilary Mcloughlin that Anderson is NO LONGER the "champion of the underdog,' and that is why his ratings in daytime are so poor. If he were, he would have seen what Ed Shultz saw a long time ago in Ohio, and been down on Wall Street and not hanging from a wire suspended from the ceiling, which helps no one.
And while David Carr is mostly right in his assessment of his day show, AC is NOT doing so great at 8PM either and if he said that line to Bill O'Reilly, he and Ed Shultz, would have a laughing fit.
At 8PM he is doing a mediocre job and a repeat of the same at 10PM, where he has consistenlty placed third following Lawrence O'Donnell.
It would be helpful to Anderson if he repeated the following words:
"I will help define the labor movement and my ratings will rise."
Until he does, it will be doom and gloom during the day."

Anonymous said...

A very well-written article that almost completely mirrors my own thoughts on "Anderson."

Thank you for posting it.


Anonymous said...

With respect, Carr did not say in the article that he found "the content on a whole to be weak". He is talking about it being daytime material and something he has to get used to seeing a person he associates with news doing. He does not say Anderson should change the content, he actually seems sympathetic to the fact Anderson has a broad range of interests and to accept the material as appropriate to daytime. His suggestions he mentions making to Anderson are about format and delivery in terms of Anderson looking a bit lonely or awkward, not about content.

The underlying purposes he gives for Oprah (a better life) is something she developed only after being on air for a long time, and the one he gives for Ellen and Dr. Drew are so broad it would be easy to come up with a similar one like "to gently inspire and inform" for Anderson. Carr also acknowledges the show has barely started and with develop with time.

Anonymous said...

That is purely YOUR interpretation.
I too read the article and David Carr also said that Anderson's night audience better not meet his day audience and he thought he was having a bad dream when he saw Anderson suspended from the ceiling on a wire, only it was true.
It would help if you reread it, objectively.

Anonymous said...

Judy, the labor movement doesn't move me. And a Vanderbilt hardly seems like an appropriate person to "help define" it.

Anonymous said...

1:34 I did read objectively. I did not project onto it, which I respectfully suggest some people are doing.

For instance, David Carr didn't say Anderson's day audience better not meet his night audience. What he actually did was mention the business proposition of "splitting your franchise" and speculate that Anderson and CNN themselves probably were hoping there wasn't a meeting. Carr could easily be wrong with that speculation. It's not hard to think it possible that Anderson and CNN might have some hopes that the new daytime audience will give 360 a chance and vice versa, and that some will find both appealing while others will just want to stick with one. Anderson's fans have always been more female than male, and his talk show is tailored towards females so that is a crossover fit. He appears as a polite, socially conscious person on the daytime show and he does some joking around and pop culture references on the night time show and Regis & Kelly, so there is some continuity. Indications are there for viewers that he's adopting different professional roles but is still the same human being.

Carr didn't say he had a BAD dream. If you check the article what he said was just that he had a dream, which led into him talking about how weird it was for him to adjust to the seeing Anderson in the two worlds. He was saying it was surreal, not that it was bad.