Viewers Cross Borders to Watch Lou Dobbs
Well, it looks like Lou Dobbs has basically earned the right to all "up in our newz, deescribin our leperz" because in the merry month of May, Dobbs basically owned the entirety of CNN, winning the 25-54s, besting perennial draw Larry King, and competing robustly with Brit Hume and the Fox News Channel.
Also Ascendant: Joe Scarborough
The skies over Scarborough Country grow bluer by the day as well, as Joe's show "showed 'the strongest growth' among the 9pm shows on cable news." The Scarborough brand is the May grower on cable news--posting sizable gains both in total viewers and in the 25-54s. May was basically a good time to be at MSNBC, whose "sales prime" stats find themselves within spitting distance of CNN, but Scarborough's rising star outshines them all, and it places him as the de facto frontrunner to replace Don Imus. As one of a rotation of guest hosts, Scarborough's been bringing in good numbers at WFAN, too.
Another Potential Breakout: Dylan Ratigan
John Friedman's bullish on CNBC's Ratigan, according him "Vince Vaughn" levels of "swagger" and citing his "exuberance" and "knowledgeable freak[ishness]." Friedman explains that Ratigan's current duty is "to help his employer fend off a frontal assault by Fox" and their aspirations to compete in the biz news biz--no small task, given what Rupert Murdoch's been up to lately. As for career aspirations, Ratigan's pretty clear on his dream job--to be the next Conan O'Brien. "If I could get an audition, I'd be in heaven."
Brian Williams: Waiting to Cash in His Chit
Over at network news, Phil Rosenthal of the Trib gets NBC anchor Brian Williams on the record about why he shies away from going "Full Metal Olbermann" (Kubrick references! We likey!) Williams professes to keeping his urge to make commentary in check: "I think you get one of those a career in my line of work...[Walter] Cronkite chose to use his chit on the Vietnam War that he witnessed. But I think you only get one." Uhm...okay. Maybe something potentially newsworthy will happen one of these days, Brian.
Finally, Some Bad News: Adams Damns Couric with Cynicism
Cindy Adams' New York Post column is garnering attention today, for the way she paints Couric as a lost cause as CBS. Of course, in Adams mind, it's not Couric's fault: blame society's view of women, the fluffiness of Today, the fact that other women are mean, the curse of "perkiness," etc. But Adams' reasoning is centered completely on superficialities--all of which were "known knowns" from the minute Couric was hired.
Perhaps Couric's femininity alienated viewers, but those losses occurred at the outset. What's propelled CBS to record-setting lows have been matters of substance, most notably, Couric's purloined blog post. It's not a coincidence that CBS' death spiral began in earnest after that scandal emerged. More to the point, however, that incident pretty much exposed that CBS' problems aren't entirely Couric's. The blog incident (as well as the dubious recycling of a well-debunked matter concerning Barack Obama) occurred on somebody's watch at CBS. Removing Couric from the anchor seat doesn't even remotely address all of CBS' problems.
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