Political Domination?

The New York Times’ Allessandra Stanley writes about politics dominating cable news.

The 2008 presidential race truly is about change: Tucker Carlson of MSNBC, Paula Zahn of CNN and John Gibson of Fox News were swept out of the way to make room for newsier programs that treat each night like election night — a Super Tuesday that never ends.

CNN gave Ms. Zahn’s slot to Campbell Brown, who is the host of “Election Center,” while MSNBC turned “Tucker” into “Race for the White House” and put David Gregory, the chief White House correspondent for NBC, in charge. Fox News replaced “The Big Story,” led by Mr. Gibson and his co-host, Heather Nauert, with “America’s Election HQ,” whose hosts are Megyn Kelly and Bill Hemmer. (Ms. Zahn left CNN; Mr. Carlson and Mr. Gibson remain with their networks.)

The distinction of all three new hourlong programs is that the hosts are not the stars, the campaign is. Speeches, interviews, surrogate gaffes, opinion polls, delegate math and even party deliberations are showcased with the same swooshing sound effects and flashy graphics that tip viewers to an appearance by George Clooney on “Live With Regis and Kelly.”

The Big Story may or may not have been cancelled to make room for a political program (I have my doubts on that, hindsight appears to suggest that the show may have already been on the bubble for some time and the addition of Heather Nauert to the program may have been a final attempt at keeping it going) but Zahn was long gone well before anyone had any idea that Campaign 2008 would be as big as it’s been (and Stanley neglects to mention Rick Sanchez’s Out in The Open which had filled in once Zahn was gone…my guess is because it would ruin her thesis of permanent shows getting taken out for political ones since Out in the Open was always temporary at 8pm.) And MSNBC had been quietly looking to get rid of Carlson’s low rated show for a while but didn’t have anything to replace it with.

Update: TVNewser has FNC insiders “re-iterating” that The Big Story hasn’t been cancelled but is off the air while America’s Election HQ is on the air. To that I would note that Studio B Weekend was never officially cancelled either and we haven’t seen that show return to the air since it left it last year. Maybe Big Story will return but I have to question the thinking behind pre-empting a daily program like that for so long. There’s no upside for the Big Story to be off the air that long.

For whatever it’s worth, NewsBusters read today’s stories to mean that the Big Story was cancelled.

5 Responses to “Political Domination?”

  1. avagardner Says:

    Stanley isn’t the brightest light in the hall, and I believe retractions and corrections to her articles are now a regular feature in the NY Times. But this was an interesting read. But I disagree with her that the anchors aren’t the stars–David Gregory? Andrea Mitchell? Those are two of the biggest names that NBC has in it’s stable, in terms of political reporters for sure.

  2. Honestly, comparing this to the Studio B Weekend phaseout makes no sense. FNC might be reconsidering Big Story with how slumped the program became in the ratings towards the end of it’s reign pre-HQ temporary takeover, but B Weekend was always kind of an odd fit in my book, the program not completely translating to the weekend, feeling more like another hour of FNL than a different Studio B style.

  3. It compares only because they never said it was cancelled and said it could return at some future point if events warrented. It was an open ended removal. Just like the Big Story has been.

  4. tiamatsrevenge Says:

    I’m not missing “Big Story” … The last time I saw it was when Gibby was making an asteroid outta himself by his unprofessionalism with the Heath Ledger story (the day the man died) …

    Usually, I switch to a different channel after F&F or the Bill ‘n’ Meg show …

  5. […] with Bitcoins Buy American Steroids Online with Bitcoins Buy American Steroids Online with Bitcoins Buy American Steroids Online with Bitcoins Buy American Steroids Online with Bitcoins Buy American Steroids Online with Bitcoins Buy American […]

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: