Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Anderson Cooper 360 (Without Anderson Cooper) Tuesday, 12/10/2013

John Berman was in the AC360 anchor chair and AC360 tweeted the following:

This blogger is doing a head desk reading the above tweets.  How do you go from coverage of a memorial service for a world leader who changed the course of history to the above topics in a few hours?  FYI - Congress has not reached a budget deal; but rather a bi-partisan committee has reached a deal which now must be sold to both the House and the Senate...  (I learned this from watching a NEWS broadcast.)   And really, leave the crack smoking Toronto mayor to the tabloids; unless you are using it to introduce a segment as to why the US Congressmen from FL, busted for Cocaine in a DC sting, is on a leave-of-absence and in rehab vs. resigning from Congress and in jail like an ordinary US citizen.  Topics like the above are what has CNN in a ratings tailspin.  It doesn't matter who they put in the anchor chair if this is the type of story selection they chose to air.  How much more interesting would the program have been if Anderson had been able to stay in SA and interviewed people who attended the memorial service and talked about how Mandela and the end of apartheid in SA had changed their lives?  Paul Begala wrote a wonderful post for CNN.com today and could have been a good guest with a unique perspective.  Contrary to what some people think, things happening outside the U.S. do have an effect on us and Paul's post is a wonderful example.  I like to be educated and hear people's stories, not fed political talking points and stories better left to the tabloids.  - Wonz.

AC360 Transcript
AC360 Podcast

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Anonymous said...

@The ATA Blog Team: You are right.
The content of 360 is what is killing the show as well as the network. (The disjointed topics, that make no sense) As long as AC went to S A, why doesn't HE take charge and say "This is what I want to cover. I want 360 viewers to see as much of the funeral as they will allow the journalists to cover."
But he doesn't, and that is the problem right there.

Jaanza said...

Agree with Wonz and Anon 10:03 PM - Tuesday's 360 was a disappointment.

The rescue of the missing Nevada family saved after two days in sub-zerp weather. was indeed good news but shouldn't the story about the breaking budget deal been first? Nonetheless, I stayed with substitute anchor John Berman throughout the latest from Stephanie Elam (actually informative and worthwhile) and an interview with one of the rescuers (totally dragged on and on). However, Berman then talked to Joseph Tell, some kind of rescuer or cold weather expert or something. Berman asked, "Heating rocks, bringing them into the car, was that a lifesaving move?" Maybe Berman grew up in the tropics but for me it was time to switch to Hayes.

In the second segment, Berman did discuss the budget deal with Dana Bash. And there was a nice clip of President Obama speaking at Mandela's memorial. But the subtitle during that clip was all about the "historic handshake" with Raul Castro. Some folks are reading a great deal into this, both good and bad, but I refuse to see it as a major policy-changing cataclysm. When Berman introduced David Gergen and Ana Navarro, it was back to Hayes.

The NYPD report on the Kenyan government report on the Nairobi mall shooting - watched Hayes.
The segment on alleged husband-pusher Jordan Graham - watched Hayes.
An update on the Nevada family from a doctor - I did watch but when Berman began talking to a "cell phones forensic expert" I went back to Hayes.

At the very end of the program there was a video montage and song for Mandela. Though you could say it was at least something, to me it was another disappointment. Although Anderson covered the Mandela memorial live, couldn't he have put together a multi-minute taped piece giving more information about the service, who was there and what they said?

I was also disappointed there was nothing on Ukraine, Detroit, the Jana Winter court decision, immigration or the do-nothing Congress. Like Wonz said, content matters. And that's why Hayes gets mentioned so many times in my posts. Anderson and 360 will still be my first choice for news at 8 PM but when the content sucks my attention will go elsewhere.

Regarding the Mandela memorial, big thanks to ATA for all the great photos in the earlier posts.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 10:03PM Unfortunately, I don't think anchors have control over program content at CNN these days. I used to watch a lot of CNN and while there would be a major story or two covered each program, the rest of the stories varied from program to program/anchor to anchor. Recently while scanning for Anderson's live shots across programs from the Philippines and the last two days from SA - it really hit me how the content is the same for each program. It's basically a different anchor and different panelists, but the topic being discussed is the same. CNN seems to have centralized their program content instead of giving programs autonomy.

This is even evident with AC360 and 360 Later - different program formats, same topics discussed.

There's really no reason to watch CNN more than an hour a day anymore.

It used to be that programs had more autonomy and one could expect to find more international news/international correspondents on AC360 etc., but those days have changed and Zucker's arrival has only made things worse, because now it's more dumbed down content for endless hours each day.

I do think Anderson has more control when he's in the field as he can interview locals and it's a little hard to micro manage in a disaster zone from Atlanta. I have noticed that lately, even when Anderson is in the field they manage to stick a couple of pointless domestic stories into the program. The woman accused of shoving her husband off a mountain to his death was last night's.

Brian Williams anchored from SA still tonight, but CNN pulled their anchors the minute the memorial ended. Sending Chris Cuomo was pointless to begin with, but then Zucker is bound to do everything within his power to make New Day a success with Cuomo and Kate, instead of admitting he made a mistake with his choice of anchors. I have a feeling if Anderson had been given a choice he would have stayed in SA through the funeral, but Zucker is so ratings and profit driven that he was ordered back to NYC.

I fear that Zucker is driving CNN off a cliff with the moving away from news. There's a niche for CNN, but Zucker doesn't know how to find it or how to design programs to fill that niche. Ted Turner had a vision - Zucker has no idea what he's doing. That's why I was hoping that Anderson wouldn't renew his contract with CNN.

I'll get off my soap box now, but I've grown to hate CNN to the point that I don't watch except when Anderson is on - and when he's traveling and we scan the days for his stand ups it's pretty much torture to have to watch on FF with no sound!!


Anonymous said...

@Wonz: You make many good points and yes, I agree, Zucker is clueless.
Anon: 10:03PM
Also interesting story about the POTUS taking 'selfies' at the Mandela funeral, in the NYPost.
It is true because they show the photos.
If looks could kill, Michelle looks truly annoyed with 'her man.'

sandyeggo said...

I do like David Gergan's hair cut. It makes it easier to hear what he's saying.