Ed Driscoll

Wolf About to be Blitzed by CNN?

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

“33 years ago today Ted Turner launched @CNN & changed the way the world gets news. And we’re only just beginning.”

— Tweet by Wolf Blitzer, yesterday.

He doesn’t know it YET, But the CNN staff is whispering that Wolf Blitzer’s air time may be getting shorter and shorter. The struggling cable channel plans to make lots of changes as it tries to win back viewers it has lost, with the biggest shakeup being to on-air talent, including Blitzer, host of “The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer.”

“Wolf is going to be gradually phased out and replaced with a younger, hipper host,” one CNN insider dishes to Confidential. “The decision has been made that people want to look at beautiful people, and although Wolf is no beast, they’re thinking younger.”

— “Cryin’ Wolf at CNN! Sources say viewers will see less of veteran anchor Wolf Blitzer and more of younger, hunkier newsmen,” the New York Daily News, today.

At Newsbusters, Noel Sheppard asks, “Is this true, or is the Daily News’s insider full of beans?” Actually, the Daily News article, with its “whispers” from “the CNN staff” and a “CNN insider” sounds a lot like the way the retirement process was set in motion by ABC to force Barbara Walters’ hand, as Roger Friedman speculated last year at Showbiz 411:

ABC may have decided that the only way to make Walters retire was to announce it and see what happened. It’s too convenient that the two stories were published within a half hour of each other. I’m no particular fan of Walters, but this seemed pretty blatant today. I called a close friend of hers who said, “Barbara has been talking to them about retiring from the news side, but not entertainment.” Indeed, the Walters everyone knows would never, ever completely retire from television. It’s her life.

These stories today were also well timed by someone at ABC who knew that Walters’ personal publicist, Cindi Berger, was out of the country, traveling, and on business elsewhere. Berger’s office was surprised by the afternoon ambush. But this is the Machiavellian way networks conduct themselves these days.

But hey, rather than phase the 65-year old Wolf out for younger talent, why not simply go holographic with the veteran “liberal” newsreader?

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