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Regina Weinreich

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Erin Burnett Anchors Out Front

Posted: 09/29/11 12:30 PM ET

In the elevator moving 9 floors up the Museum of Art and Design to Robert Restaurant, C and Jeffrey Toobin hotly debated the news of the day: the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray. Would Michael Jackson's doctor be convicted of involuntary manslaughter? Chances are he'll get off. Then again, . . . . Doors opened to a throng of television news A-listers abuzz, celebrating Erin Burnett's upcoming show, Out Front, to premiere Monday. Cameras flashed. Anderson Cooper posed in front of the CNN scrim.

Robert is a medium-sized restaurant with giant windows facing Central Park South and up Columbus and Broadway but the space was so packed you had to snake your way through, nodding hello to Joy Behar, Pat Kiernan, a CNN alum before he landed on New York 1, Jim Cramer, Bob Jamieson, Maury Povich & Connie Chung, Piers Morgan, hosts Mark Whitaker and Ken Jautz, and others just to see the city lights. Off in Robert's ell, clips of Erin Burnett, the perky, smart chief CNN business and economics analyst looped on a giant monitor, her eyes flashing blue. Mark Whitaker greeted the crowd to say how passionate she is, emphasizing her long hours, not just charismatic but committed, a real hardworking newswoman.

In this world of television news, no one gives it a rest. Mort Zuckerman stopped to ask if I am fine. Yes, are you? It's complicated, he replied. We'll survive, he said in a bonding moment. But a lot of people won't. 25 million Americans are unemployed and will never recover the standard of living they enjoyed before they were unemployed. It's a tragedy. I have to get a drink.

A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.