Good Cop, Bad Cop
FTVLive, which has owned the Erin Burnett story since last week, has a must read tick-tock of how this mess erupted…
FTVLive got word that Zucker had thrown in the towel on Burnett and had started looking elsewhere. We reported that Burnett going to mornings was “dead in the water.”
Others picked up on the story and started get information of their own. Stories appeared on other websites and it newspapers. The problem was most of the stories casted Burnett as trying for a money grab and making her look like a “greedy bitch.”
Burnett’s agent should have been the one taking the heat. That is what all good agents do for their clients. They make themselves out to be the bad guy, while the client stays clean. That wasn’t happening here and Burnett was not happy in the light she was being cast.
Burnett reached out to Zucker without her agent. The two started talking again and maybe working towards a deal. Burnett told Zucker she did not want him to start his reign at CNN with such a negotiating mess.
Yesterday, I suggested that FTVLive was “hedging” about the Burnett/Zucker mess but it’s obvious from reading this that if there has been any hedging it wasn’t coming from there. What a mess. Not only has this saga cast Burnett in a bad light, deservedly or not, it’s also raised the bar for everyone to nearly impossible to achieve levels.
Let’s say that somehow a deal does get worked out now and Burnett ends up joining Cuomo in the mornings on CNN. If things get off to a rocky start or, worse, the chemistry between Burnett and Cumomo is rocky, the blowback to everyone will be insane. Zucker will get it bad for being so single minded in pursuing Burnett. Burnett will catch a ton of flak as being the “problem” in the new show because of the way these negotiations have dragged out whereas Cuomo will, comparatively, get a pass precisely because his move to CNN was handled quietly without any speedbumps. This has really turned into an “all or nothing” proposition for CNN, something the network really does not need in Jeff Zucker’s young tenure at the network. Expectations have now been set way way too high because of what has gone down between Burnett (or her agent) and CNN. Under such circumstances, Zucker is probably better served by dropping the idea of getting Burnett and moving on. This deal is now riddled with potential boobytraps…