CNN Ends Soledad O’Brien’s Tenure on Starting Point Early…As ICN Said It Should…

CNN essentially killed Starting Point today and Soledad O’Brien signed off the network. I don’t want to get all FTVLive on you and do a victory lap here but I told you it needed to be done…

Last month I argued that CNN needed to kill the show and take O’Brien off it well before the new morning show launched. Here was my reasoning at the time…

CNN can ill-afford to create confusion for its viewers when the new show launches. It needs to acclimate them to where things are going. CNN does not achieve this by keeping Starting Point around or, worse, elevating its profile by keeping it on the air past its scheduled run time. There is nothing to be gained from running Starting Point over now. Whatever ratings gain the show achieves from such tactics is completely offset by the fact the show is already dead and the network is only building it up higher when it comes time to kill it which makes the fall all the harder and the changeover to the new show more difficult from a viewer standpoint.

Starting Point needs to die and it needs to die as soon as possible. Kill the show now and put on substitute anchors doing general news. Create a transition period between what was and what is going to be. The longer CNN keeps the show on the air and O’Brien anchoring it, the tougher the transition will be.

I had great fear that CNN would keep the show and O’Brien on the air too long when three days after I wrote that post, TVNewser’s Gail Shister interviewed O’Brien and this data point dropped…

“I’ll consider all pitches,” says O’Brien, 46, who will continue as anchor of ‘Starting Point’ until May or June.

May or June would have been way too long to keep O’Brien on the air. Fortunately in the month since that article hit the web, CNN’s internal deliberations changed and “May or June” became the end of March. This was the right move. I don’t know if CNN will keep the Starting Point name or not for the intervening period between now and when the new morning show launches but there will definitely be a long enough transition period to acclimate the viewers between what was and what will be.

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4 Responses to “CNN Ends Soledad O’Brien’s Tenure on Starting Point Early…As ICN Said It Should…”

  1. It seems like the show name will continue to stay considering the CNN Starting Point page removed Soledad’s photo from it, simply leaving the programs logo. I agree and think CNN should completely kill it off and replace it with CNN Newsroom until then or I think it would be better for CNN to just go ahead and expand Early Start to 4 hours. I’m assuming John Berman will continue to host for another two hours anyway. I’m reading that the new morning show will launch in the spring, however Michaela Pereira says she will continue to be on her Los Angeles morning show for another two months until the end of May. Not sure if the show will begin without her or if CNN is actually planning a June launch this Summer. Makes me wonder when she will have time to completely settle down in New York. Kate Bolduan co-anchored her final Situation Room today with Wolf Blitzer. I’m assuming she will be moving over to New York as soon as possible. The new morning show will broadcast for 3 hours from 6:00AM to 9:00AM. I think it would be better to do it from 7:00AM to 10:00AM like the old days of American Morning especially because of the time zone difference. It makes me wonder what the fate of Early Start will be and if CNN will still have a live 5:00AM morning news show. Finally as for Soledad O’Brien, I still wish CNN chose to move her to prime time. She, like Anderson Cooper, is great at holding people accountable.

  2. harry1420 Says:

    hey cnn needs to think simple for the new name of the morning show..CNN This morning! Simple to the point. why go crazy

  3. A tip o’ the Kelly hat to Spud for a great call!

  4. wheresthebeef09 Says:

    I wonder where this leaves John Berman and Zorida Samoblin? I think John Berman likely has a strong future at CNN in some sort of role, but Zorida seems like she might be done, unless CNN gives her the 5-6am slot…

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