Monday, October 31, 2011

Another Morning Reboot at CNN

Maybe They Should Call the Show "America Yawning"

Had a bit of a chuckle reading today's report in The New York Times about how CNN is going back to the drawing board yet again to figure out how to get someone, anyone, to watch its morning programming.

Again? Yes, again.

Not that the current offering "American Morning," is bad. It's not, but it's never been a category killer. And with the 800-pound Lauer and Co. keeping NBC solvent, the Fox & Friends comedy show and other comers, well, it's just too damn hard for Nielsen to give you a hug that time of day.

But CNN soldiers on. "American Morning" will apparently be sacrificed on the "we tried" altar. And now for something new or, at least, newish. From 5-7 a.m., Ashleigh (I'm Still Here) Banfield and Chicago import Zoraida Sambolin will anchor a block for the bleary-eyed, followed by a 7-9 a.m. program headed by American Morning alumna Soledad O'Brien (above) and "an ensemble," as Broadcasting & Cable puts it. O'Brien will also continue doing her well-received documentaries, her primary role since being kicked offf the dawn patrol in 2006.

So, I'll ask the $64 question: how will these shows be markedly different from American Morning? I know, damn good question. CNN isn't answering, at least not yet. But I wouldn't get tied up in a knot contemplating the possibilities. Granted, I don't have the answers either to what may be an unsolvable riddle.

When there are only so many eyeballs to go around that time of day, many of whom are tuned to top-rated local shows, CNN, without a defining personality to create destination viewing, is destined to be an also-ran when there is no breaking news.

It's a question I'll no doubt have to think about more, while I have a cup of Morning Joe.

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