Well my mornings are shot to hell now.
Nearly every morning for the last year, I’ve put my daughter on the school bus, took my brisk two mile walk, then had my breakfast while watching CNN’s American Morning with Bill Hemmer, Soledad O'Brien and Jack Cafferty.
My husband and I always enjoyed the rapport between Soledad O’Brien and David Bloom when they were on NBC’s Weekend Today Show. After Bloom’s death in Iraq in 2003, Ms. O’Brien moved over to the CNN morning show so I started watching it. The other network morning shows have grown stale over the years with the same old shtick. (Katie, Matt & Al clowning around and doing pseudo serious interviews; Charlie and Diana clowning around and doing pseudo serious interviews, whoever they are on CBS clowning around and doing pseudo serious interviews). I was looking for something different.
And American Morning was it. Something about the combination of O’Brien, Hemmer and Cafferty clicked for me. Unlike the been-doing-this-for-years quality of the Today Show and Good Morning America, the banter of this group came across as natural and unscripted.
But it was Cafferty that made it all work for me. In a business where a handsome face and a pleasant demeanor are mandatory for anyone on the air, here was a rumpled, cranky middle-aged man, who was not afraid to speak his mind. I tuned in to see the Cafferty file, Things People Say and of course The Question of the Day, in which viewers e-mailed answers to whatever issue was bugging Jack that day. I was so proud the day Cafferty read my answer to “What is your favorite memory of Johnny Carson?” (If you’re interested in my answer, leave a comment and I’ll post it)
As part of CNN president Jonathan Klein’s attempt to “shake up” the network’s morning show ensemble, Hemmer and Jack Cafferty were out. Hemmer was offered a position in Washington but turned it down and is said to be looking for “other opportunities” elsewhere. Cafferty is now with Wolf Blitzer’s show The Situation Room in the afternoon. Hemmer has been replaced by Miles O’Brien. Soledad O’Brien gets to stay.
Guess someone in programming thought it would be cute to have co-anchors with the same last name. Maybe people will think they’re a married couple or something.
And the reasoning behind all this?
"We're honing the cast of 'American Morning' in order to focus on what the audience wants most and what CNN does best: the latest news delivered with the greatest intelligence," Klein announced on the CNN website.
Hey, I'm the audience and this is what I think of your show now: It’s bland, it’s clunky and it’s lost everything it had going for it. Nice going Jon, you made it ordinary.
Looks like I’m going to have to drink my coffee while reading the newspaper.