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.