This time it wasn’t Donald Trump, but CNN’s new U.S. Network Executive Jonathan Klein …and if he didn’t say the famous words Donald Trump tried to copyright, it was close: adios to Tucker Carlson and, most likely, to Crossfire itself.
And the new CNN chief made it clear — in remarks devastatingly critical — that Crossfire’s screechfest style isn’t his cup of tea.
There have been stories popping up in the media about how Carlson might just jump ship when his contract was up and go to MSNBC. Whether those were sourced by MSNBCers or by people in Carlson’s camp (hoping to get a good deal from either network) may never be known, but the net impact has been the same: CNN isn’t renewing his contract and they’re not teary-eyed about his departure. The AP:
CNN will probably fold "Crossfire" into its other programming, perhaps as an occasional segment on the daytime show "Inside Politics," said Jonathan Klein, who was appointed in late November as chief executive of CNN’s U.S. network.
Klein on Wednesday told Carlson, one of the four "Crossfire" hosts, that CNN would not be offering him a new contract. Carlson has been talking with MSNBC about a prime-time opening replacing Deborah Norville.
In addition, Klein made it clear that if he had to back Carlson or Comedy Channel’s Jon Stewart in the famous showdown on Crossfire, he wouldn’t back Carlson.
The bow-tied wearing conservative pundit got into a public tussle last fall with comic Jon Stewart, who has been critical of cable political programs that devolve into shoutfests.
"I guess I come down more firmly in the Jon Stewart camp," Klein told The Associated Press.
He said all of the cable networks, including CNN, have overdosed on programming devoted to arguing over issues. Klein said he wants more substantive programming that is still compelling.
"I doubt that when the president sits down with his advisers they scream at him to bring him up to date on all of the issues," he said. "I don’t know why we don’t treat the audience with the same respect."
It doesn’t sound like the network chief is exactly is sad to see him go.