Monday, June 5, 2017

Media Monday

The rumors have been around for a while, and CBS pretty much confirmed it last week.  Scott Pelley is out as anchor of the CBS Evening News.

I will admit that Pelley wasn't the most dynamic anchor in the world.  In fact, the CBS Evening News was his first anchor job, but he brought gravitas back to the Cronkite chair.  It was badly lacking after the Katie Couric days.

You knew the direction of the broadcast on the first night Pelley took over.  CBS returned to the classic theme music used way back when.  The music has changed again, but it was the perfect message for that opening night, six years ago.  CBS kept it up.  I always thought, since Pelley took over, the content was rock solid.

The big suits say Pelley was done in by the ratings and some friction with the head of the news division.   I know nothing about the alleged friction, but I do read the ratings news.  Yes, CBS is in last place.  However, you can't pin that all on Pelley.  Inside baseball:  A broadcast's ratings are influenced by the ratings of the show that directly precedes it.   Local CBS stations in a lot of big markets are struggling, so there wasn't a big audience leading in to Pelley's broadcast.  An anchor switch won't change that.

So, who is next?  Anthony Mason is the temporary anchor.  The New York Post reports of a division at the network level.  There is no consensus choice.  Norah O'Donnell would be great, but she is doing nicely on the morning broadcast.  There's an old saying in the business that you don't wreck one broadcast to fix another.  Jeff Glor seems to be a popular choice.

I suspect CBS will follow the ABC model.  David Muir anchors World News Tonight, but George Stephanopolous is the network's chief anchor.  CBS will give the evening job to Glor, but Norah O'Donnell will be in the main chair for the big events.

And then, there is Kathy Griffin.  The alleged comic was recently photographed with a bloody severed fake Donald Trump head.  She's apologized.  CNN has cut its ties.  Griffin co-hosed the past couple of New Year's Eve broadcasts.  Griffin would say something in poor taste and outrageous every year.  CNN would show mock horror-- and then hire her back the next year.

I love the First Amendment as much as anyone, but Griffin wasn't funny before and she's not funny now.  She couldn't get attention to she reverted to saying outrageous things as a substitute for funny and as a way to get attention.  David Letterman was fond of saying that there is a price to be paid for being stupid.  Kathy Griffin is stupid.

Friday, Griffin blamed President Trump for derailing her career.  Nope.  Not by a long shot.  The wound is self inflicted.

Gilbert Gottfried said some unfunny things after the Indonesian tsunami, and he is still sitting on comedy Elba.  His comments pale in comparison to Griffin's action.  Gilbert should have a little bit of company on the island.