THIS probably isn’t going to matter to most of you, since hardly anybody watches the show at issue anyway:
Soledad O’Brien will no longer be a host on CNN, but she’s staying with the network — sort of.
O’Brien told the New York Times that she is returning to the role she had before she became the host of “Starting Point” in 2011: a roving documentary reports. The twist this time is that she is forming her own production company, Starfish Media, and will not be tied exclusively to CNN; she will be able to shop programs to other networks and air them on the Web as well.
O’Brien’s future as a regular face on the network was immediately put into doubt when CNN announced that Chris Cuomo would be its new morning host. O’Brien’s “Starting Point” had generated plenty of headlines, but was perpetually low-rated.
My own view is that “Starting Point” has been a pale imitation of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” with a group of guests and regulars sitting around a table discussing the news.
O’Brien’s cutesy style isn’t as edgy as Joe Scarborough’s, nor is the overall chemistry of the show anywhere near as compelling.
It’s too bad that CNN, the grandaddy of cable news outfits, has had such trouble trying to get its act together in recent years. None of its major personalities — Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer, et al — can cut the proverbial mustard.
We’ll see if the network’s new boss, Jeff Zucker, can right the ship. But I wouldn’t count on it.