CNN Mulling Dumping Kathleen Parker

The Wall Street Journal’s Sam Schechner writes about the possibility that CNN is going to replace Kathleen Parker on its 8pm show with Eliot Spitzer (sub req.)

CNN is considering replacing Kathleen Parker, co-host of its new evening program “Parker Spitzer,” according to people familiar with the matter, as the network struggles to reverse a steep slide in its evening audience.

The conservative columnist could be replaced by a new co-host to serve alongside former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, as executives mull a shake-up of the show, the people said, adding that no decision has been made. “Parker Spitzer” hasn’t been able to significantly build its audience since its debut just over three months ago.

A few points I would like to make to CNN…

1) Fix the stale and moribund format before you even consider making talent moves. Replacing talent is window dressing, not a substantive fix. Parker Spitzer’s problems are more substantive than cosmetic.

2) Kathleen Parker is not the problem. There is nothing wrong with her questioning or her positions. There’s nothing inherently wrong with her on-air personality. No, the problem is Eliot Spitzer and his Alpha Male dominating personality being used on a 50-50 format show. I don’t care who you bring on to replace Parker, you’ll still have Spitzer there butting in every chance he can get. You need someone to match Spitzer’s domineering personality in order to negate Spitzer’s domineering personality.

3) But there’s a price to be paid if you go that route and have two domineering personalities fighting to get a word in edgewise; you will have successfully re-created Crossfire. CNN doesn’t want that, or at least has said it doesn’t want that under the reign of Jon Klein (which had Jim Walton’s stamp of approval). That position may have changed with Ken Jautz taking over.

4) If you don’t want another Crossfire, there is only one solution that works; make the show Spitzer’s. That would better fit in with the mold of what the 8pm POV landscape currently consists of. It may not boost the ratings though unless the format is tweaked to make the show more confrontational and loud. Of course that opens up CNN to charges that it’s caving in and joining the pack. Personally I don’t have a problem with that. But CNN might as it continues to act like it wants to adhere to Jay Rosen’s View from Nowhere.

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20 Responses to “CNN Mulling Dumping Kathleen Parker”

  1. wheresthebeef09 Says:

    “Kathleen Parker is not the problem”

    While that is your opinion, I think many would agree that Kathleen IS the problem. She’s simply bad, period. While I don’t agree with much that Eliot says, he is a very engaging, sharp personality who helps carry the show forward and asks fantastic, probing questions to his guests. As a HOST, he is doing a fantastic job.

    Kathleen, on the other hand, is a stump. She just sits on her hands, nods, cracks a smile once in a while and adds ZERO VALUE to the program. I’m assuming you don’t watch the program very much, Spud – if you did, you’d see that Kathleen is a big, big problem. Getting rid of Kathleen and putting in an intelligent host who is willing to carry her weight and can stand toe-to-toe with Eliot will improve this show immensely. And quite honestly at this point, CNN has nothing to lose.

  2. Give Kathleen Parker a baseball bat, or, at least a flyswatter and a stopwatch to control the allotted time. This or, send MSNBC’s Mika over to CNN for one week to “explain” things to Eliot.

  3. E.D. Hill would be a good replacement. She doesn’t have to pretend to be a news anchor anymore. She is smart, funny, and engaging. She subbed for Parker one night (maybe more? IDK since I can’t watch the show for more than five minutes).

  4. She’s simply bad, period. While I don’t agree with much that Eliot says, he is a very engaging, sharp personality who helps carry the show forward and asks fantastic, probing questions to his guests. As a HOST, he is doing a fantastic job. Kathleen, on the other hand, is a stump.

    That’s one way of looking at it. Another way of looking at it, which is the way I see it, is that Spitzer makes Parker “look” bad by comparison. Spitzer overshadows Parker. But I see that as more of a function of Spitzer’s Alpha Male personality and the format CNN is using to do the show than anything reflective of Parker. Put Parker in a different format with a different co-host closer to her personality and the end result will likely change.

  5. The show has two problems. The lesser one is that conservatives despise Parker, so there’s no righty audience. The big one is that Eliot Spitzer has ‘hooker baggage’ that alienates everyone else. He’s fine as an occasional commentator, but he’ll never amount to much as a show host.

  6. Joe has a good point about the hooker baggage. That’s the main reason I never tuned into that program. I’ve never visited any ‘tricks’ myself, so why would I wanna hear from a dirty man that’s admitted to the deed?

  7. Parker is a moderate/right copy of Mika. I don’t mind Spitzer as a host and in fact he seems to have grown into the role as Parker has receded into the woodwork. Let him handle the show on his own and see if he can carry it.

  8. missy5537 Says:

    Seriously, Kathleen Parker reminds me of June Cleaver. Too bad actress Barbara Billingsley died a few weeks ago; she could have sat in when Kathleen was gone.

    But neither woman is a match for Eliot Spitzer. It’s like CNN cast Parker in that role just to be a doormat for Spitzer to run right over. And that’s what he’s doing.

  9. You’re killing me Missy…

  10. If Park could talk jive, they might have something.

  11. tinafromtampa Says:

    Getting rid of one half of this duo isn’t going to help; CNN needs to cancel and restart. Kathleen is pretty useless on the show, the few times I have watched,she has done nothing but giggle. But claiming Spitzer is the be all and end all of the show is also wrong; he needs to be schooled on history and be told the Soviet Union doesn’t exist anymore, and other things.

    The con and the faux con was a bad idea to start with and the whole thing needs to be canned. CNN has jumped the shark with it’s over the top coverage of the shooter and the blame game and they aren’t helping themselves any. Jessica yellen is nothing more than another Susan Rosegan (sp) and the entire network has lost it’s moorings.

    Cancel P/S, not just half of it, but the whole damn thing.

  12. wheresthebeef09 Says:

    ^ Given that you’re perpetually upset about everything that goes on CNN’s air, while your opinion is valid, I don’t think anyone would really take it into consideration.

  13. missy5537 Says:

    Beef, Tina’s probably like me, TRYING to give another network a chance, but being let down almost immediately.

    I have watched Fox most of the weekend, and thought I’d turn on Morning Joe to see what they were doing. The minute I tuned in, Joe was blaming Glenn Beck. Then the rest of the time he was talking about Sarah Palin and her “target” tactics, while insisting that he was not blaming her per se.

    Scarborough is the worst of the worst; he pretends to be a conservative, while bashing them at every chance. He and others completely ignore the fact that the shooter had contact w/Ms. Giffords back in 2007, before Sarah Palin even came on the political scene.

    And the teachers at the kids school are glorified because they threw him out. Why the hell didn’t they try to get him treatment – they just pushed his problem down the road until this horrific incident occurred!

  14. Scarborough is the worst of the worst; he pretends to be a conservative, while bashing them at every chance. He and others completely ignore the fact that the shooter had contact w/Ms. Giffords back in 2007, before Sarah Palin even came on the political scene.

    Missy…completely agree. Unfortunately, Joe suffers from the ever running “loss of common sense” syndrome for which there is no known cure. Instead of analyzing the individual who committed this terrible attack, Joe focuses his attention on Sarah Palin & Glenn Beck.

    I like watching Morning Joe however I quickly turned him off once he began his diatribe. MJ has this annoying habit of looking to blame others for the actions of one individual.

    Whatever happended to individual responsibility? Must we always blame someone/something else for any tragic event.

    Missy…with regards to the teachers I certainly understand their position as their hands were “pretty much tied due to individual privacy laws”. Quite honestly, there’s really not much they could do except for report him to the administration & campus security.

  15. the wall street journal..another one of murdoch’s fine publications. hey rupert..just combine all your trash media outlets already and put them under one name!

  16. Parker dosen’t get to talk enough anyway , might as well make it Spitzer or have a stronger Conservative woman ,they could poach someone.

  17. Yes , with Spitzer, we obviously are in dire need of another Left wing Dem yelling on the air. MSNBC is not quite enough.

    And with a dim bulb like Parker Spitzer runs her down like a crippled puppy.

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