Accuracy in Media

Anderson Cooper, whose program has been one of the few recent bright spots at CNN, apparently wasn’t able to replicate his cable news success in the competitive world of daytime talk shows. Warner Brothers announced on Monday that they are canceling his show, Anderson Live, after it completes its second season next summer.

Cooper’s show, which was produced by Warner Brothers’ syndication arm, Telepictures, issued the following statement:

“We are extremely proud of Anderson and the show that he and the entire production team have produced. While we made significant changes to the format, set and produced it live in its second season, the series will not be coming back for a third season in a marketplace that has become increasingly difficult to break through. We will continue to deliver top-quality shows throughout next summer.”

Those changes included changing the taping schedule so that the show could react to news events, adding a rotating co-host and changing the name of the program. But in the end it still failed to attract enough of an audience to continue for another year.

The main problem may have been that Cooper is viewed as more of a hard-news type, and daytime talk requires an ability to be more entertaining and less serious, as he normally is on CNN.

This is almost the opposite of what happened to Katie Couric, who had a miserable five-year run as the anchor of CBS Evening News following a successful run on Today, where she was more fluff than news. Couric has also launched her own daytime program, and even though it isn’t yet a hit, she probably stands a better chance of succeeding where Cooper failed because of her soft news experience.

Cooper should have paid more attention to what happened to Couric before venturing out into unknown territory, but maybe he thought this time it would be different.

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