Ann Curry to CNN?

Page Six keeps making hay

Incoming president of CNN Worldwide Jeff Zucker has plans to bring ousted “Today” show co-host Ann Curry to his new network as a high-profile anchor, sources tell Page Six.

Zucker — the former executive producer of “Today” and one-time NBC Universal head — is interested in installing Curry in CNN’s 8 p.m. time slot, we hear, which is currently occupied by Anderson Cooper.

Sources say Cooper could then segue to a “Christiane Amanpour role” as a globetrotting correspondent.

“Jeff wants a headliner like Rachel Maddow or Bill O’Reilly in prime time,” a source says. “He cannot allow the low ratings at CNN to continue . . . so he can’t hire a nobody. Curry fits that CNN-smarty-pants-foreign-affairs type.”

The source adds that Curry’s ouster as co-anchor over at NBC’s “Today” would actually work to boost her appeal with audiences. “Package her experience as a news anchor for 14 years at NBC with the sympathy that’s remained out there for her after the way the ‘Today’ show treated her,” the source said.

This is the ultimate non-starter. For one thing, Curry is under contract to NBC and it’s probably a lengthy one as it had to have been just renegotiated in order to dump her from Today. NBC isn’t just going to let her go walk. For another thing, this strategy of bringing in a supposed ‘name’ into CNN is a strategy that has been tried many times before. And it hasn’t worked. And it’s not any more likely to work now. Plus, as far as name and brand are concerned, Curry’s isn’t that big or well defined outside of NBC. Bringing her to CNN will not bring the instantaneous zip that Page Six makes it out to be. On top of all that, if Zucker wants an O’Reilly or Maddow type headliner, Curry doesn’t fit that bill. Hiring her would be closer to putting Christianne Amanpour on. That isn’t what CNN needs in primetime.

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10 Responses to “Ann Curry to CNN?”

  1. The Post is a News Corp Pub, and just having fun with this all. Curry and Burnett in those roles is nonsense. Curry as an amapour or doc series makes sense, and needed. Curry with bourdain, though would help the globe/cultures angle they’re going in. What CNN needs is a independent talking head who doesn’t give F*** about either side and lays down the law like a chelesa Handler or Don Imus. Peirs or Soledad could be that role if zucker lets him as he is on twitter. They need someone to tell a senator that anyone watching shouldn’t vote for them. Someone radical in delivery, and that people are afraid to be a guest on their show, but highly respected by the public.

  2. savefarris Says:

    Someone radical in delivery, and that people are afraid to be a guest on their show, but highly respected by the public.

    Jon Stewart doesn’t want the job.

    I’ll grant that this could all be a load of hooey, but if this is the type of move that Zucker thinks will re-invigorate the CNN brand, Roger Ailes can just go ahead and start gloating now.

  3. ^For some reason I found that insanely funny. I guess I’m too stressed.

  4. Wouldn’t Curry at 5PM, 8 Eastern, be a continuation of the death spin that time slot is at CNN? They already had Paula Zahn hold that hour, get removed, and then put longtime NBC anchor Campbell Brown there, get removed, and then they put Anderson Cooper there – and removing him with another well known female anchor from other networks achieves what exactly?

  5. Ann Curry would fail with her own show on CNN for the same reason she failed as a Today host: She has a labored, unappealing style. There’s a pleading “I feel your pain” vibe to it which drives viewers away.

  6. You noticed…

  7. That’s what it is!

  8. I see your point joeremi, very well said. Throwing Curry in at 8pm is a stretch but she could serve a role at CNN. The smarty-pants-foreign-affairs type describes her well. Its entirely possible Anderson stays at 8pm but they are really looking to replace his repeat. They need more shows in the evening and the Wolf/Anderson duo can’t hold up the whole d@mn channel. Curry is a big name and has a following – who else is there? Rachel didn’t just drop into MSNBC primetime – she was developed as a talent. CNN has no bench to speak of. As for the idea that contracts will hold Zucker back, I don’t buy it. Campbell Brown got out of her contract – she could have fought and stayed longer. I hear stuff like Matt Lauer or Katie Couric coming to CNN – I seriously doubt that. They have much tighter ties to their current endeavors than Curry. Regardless of who they hire, they are in desperate need of some gravitas in the evening. Moreover, the more important thing is the Zucker cleans house behind the camera and establishes a new, serious ethos at CNN. New talent is NOT going to fix the problem if they don’t fix the drifting mission and haphazard editorial decisions. I am skeptical Zucker can do it, but they are gonna give him a chance to try.

    Capricex, I think Soledad could play that role well. She gets pegged as a leftie but if you watch her show, she goes after both sides (even though she is personally left of center). I follow her on twitter and she is very willing to engage even with people who disagree. As she said this morning, she will tell people off on facebook and twitter all the time. It really is entertaining and she is the only one at CNN that aggressively questions the spin. I like her and people that don’t just might watch because they love to hate her.

    As for why this news keeps leaking out, I have to think it is Zucker. The back-handed compliments to what is arguably CNN’s weakest primetime “talents” – Burnett and Morgan. These kinds of PR stunts are quintessential Zucker. Who knows if anything like this will happen but he is stirring the pot. I never thought Zucker was a good idea to come to CNN but now that it is settled, I like that he is going to do something dramatic. Who knows if it will work. All this talk is still months away from being able to happen. But the NY Post tidbits will keep coming.

  9. When does Keith Olbermann’s non-compete end?

  10. Surprised that Page 6 never seems to have an “insider” at Fox News but they dig up stuff on every other news outlet.

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