TVNewser has learned, and a CNN spokesperson confirms, that in an editorial meeting this week, CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein asked his show producers to avoid booking talk radio hosts. “Complex issues require world class reporting,” Klein is quoted as saying, adding that talk radio hosts too often add to the noise, and that what they say is “all too predictable.”
One of CNN’s longtime show hosts, Lou Dobbs, hosts a daily radio show. A few political contributors also host radio shows including Bill Bennett and Roland Martin. They are presumably not affected by this. Said the story.
But this means other talk radio hosts who appear regularly on CNN, probably won’t in the near future including names like Stephanie Miller, Michael Medved, and Ben Ferguson.
We asked Geller Media International President Valerie Geller what she thought of this development: “By nature talk show hosts are “generalists” and while they do a lot of reading and prep, and talk with a lot of people – they tend to know “a little bit about a lot of things,” and that’s part of the charm. If CNN is truly looking for in-depth reporters, authoritative experts and stories from those in the “field” – CNN (and every other news organization) needs to develop (and pay) for bureaus and journalists who can afford to take the time and go deep with a story over time, and allow the time it takes to specialize. With the news cutbacks, we’ve got less “boots on the ground” for true fact finding and journalism. That’s the core of the problem.”