Archive for December 12, 2012

Arwa Damon Profile

Posted in CNN on December 12, 2012 by icn2

Vouge Magazine’s Heidi Mitchell profiles CNN’s Arwa Damon…

“She looks like this California hippie with the jewelry and bangles and scarves and everything else,” says Tony Maddox, executive vice president and managing director of CNN International, who was instrumental in hiring Damon. “But she can seamlessly integrate. I always tell people, if you want to know how to dress in a war zone, just check out Arwa.” Beyond her low-key, up-for-anything style, of course, is a dogged determination to go everywhere, to blend in, to shed light on the human toll of war. She’s done big interviews for her network and been known to rattle some chains—most notably when she fought to remain in Baba Amr in Homs, Syria, a neighborhood where veteran war reporter Marie Colvin, a hero and housemate of Damon’s, would later return and be killed. And in 2007, Damon pushed to do a segment on a five-year-old Iraqi boy who had been badly burned in a raid. It was a small story, but the piece led to an enormous outpouring of support from viewers. Ultimately, CNN allowed Damon to find the boy medical care in the States, and then to follow the story for four years. Permitting such a level of engagement between a reporter, a subject, and her audience was something of a first for the network, and it made Damon a popular figure, both inside CNN headquarters and out.


Ann Curry to CNN?

Posted in CNN on December 12, 2012 by icn2

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.

Free for All: 12/12/12

Posted in Free For All on December 12, 2012 by icn2

What’s on your mind?

Piers Morgan to Move?

Posted in CNN on December 12, 2012 by icn2

The New York Post’s Claire Atkinson writes about the possibility of Piers Morgan Tonight moving to later in the night…

CNN host Piers Morgan could join the late-night crowd.

The slumping cable news network is considering moving his hour-long interview show from the prized 9 p.m. slot back to 10 p.m. — or even later, The Post has learned.

While sources said no decisions have been made, incoming CNN chief Jeff Zucker and his new bosses at Time Warner are focused on boosting ratings in the primetime hours from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

One source said Zucker may look to carve out a role for Morgan when his three-year, $8 million contract expires next year. In 2010, the British journalist was hired to replace the retiring Larry King and help win back viewers from rivals.

“They will keep Piers. He’ll be the kind of person Zucker will want to keep. They are not interested in doing a total cleaning of house,” said one exec familiar with the discussions.

Update: Making note to pay closer attention in the future to difference between “Publish” and “Save Draft” buttons…