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4 items from 2007

Zahn heads for the exit at CNN

25 July 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

NEW YORK -- A day after CNN announced that Campbell Brown will join the network in the fall, another high-profile anchor, Paula Zahn, did the expected and said that she is leaving.

The six-year CNN veteran's last day on the network will be Aug. 2. Her 8 p.m. slot, occupied by "Paula Zahn Now", will be filled by a stream of substitutes until Brown's as-yet-unnamed show takes over in November.

Zahn was approaching the end of her contract at year's end and, in the course of discussing the next step with CNN-U.S. president Jon Klein, they mutually decided there wasn't a place for her at CNN.

"After 30 years in the business I've worked every daypart on the dial, and there really wasn't anything here above and beyond the show that I was doing that would have been new to me," Zahn said Tuesday.

Zahn's departure had been long rumored following the failure of her primetime show, "Paula Zahn Now", to gain traction against Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor" as well as MSNBC's "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" and CNN Headline News' "Nancy Grace". Although the ratings have improved recently and the show has won awards and critical attention for its coverage of topics like race relations, "Paula Zahn Now" remained mired in third and often fourth place in the ratings at 8 p.m. »

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Brown gets CNN primetime gig

24 July 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

NEW YORK -- CNN confirmed Monday that departing NBC News correspondent Campbell Brown will join the channel for a primetime show beginning in November. CNN-U.S. president Jon Klein refused to confirm speculation that Brown's program would be taking the slot of the low-rated Paula Zahn Now.

The rumors of the demise of Paula Zahn Now have been around much longer than the speculation that Brown would leave NBC for CNN when her contract expires Thursday. Brown told her Weekend Today viewers on Sunday that she would be moving on.

NBC News still wanted to keep Brown, though CNN was able to work out with NBC the terms of Brown's departure that included a clause that will keep her off CNN until November. The 39-year-old Brown, who has worked for NBC a decade and has been White House correspondent and Brian Williams' designated sub on NBC Nightly News, will work for about a month on the air for CNN before having her first child, due in late December.

In a conference call with reporters, Klein wouldn't say that Paula Zahn Now would be canceled. He said that a formal announcement about scheduling would be coming within several days. »

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Paula Zahn Now: CNN to Cancel News Show

18 June 2007 10:21 AM, PDT | | See recent TVSeriesFinale news »

Word has come down that CNN is planning to cancel its low-rated news show Paula Zahn Now. Up against Fox News and MSNBC in the very competitive 8pm timeslot, the show often came in third place in total viewers.

Newswoman Zahn has been with the network since September 11, 2001 when she joined anchor Aaron Brown to covering the tragic events of that day. She then hosted a morning program entitled American Morning with Paula Zahn and began hosting Paula Zahn Now in September 2003.

CNN is reportedly trying to woo Weekend Today's co-anchor Campbell Brown away from NBC to fill the slot. Zahn is expected to leave CNN in the fall when her contract runs out. Stay tuned! »


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4 more years: MSNBC counts on Olbermann

16 February 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

NEW YORK -- Keith Olbermann will continue to count down the day's top stories on MSNBC for another four years and will add two primetime specials a year and occasional essays to NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams.

Financial terms of the deal for the Countdown host weren't announced.

Locking up Olbermann gives MSNBC added security and firepower at a time when it has never been in a better position against second-place CNN in the cable news race. Countdown, which Olbermann hosts weekdays at 8 p.m. against Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor and CNN's Paula Zahn Now, is been a major growth agent in MSNBC's rise.

Olbermann's ratings have jumped 89% year-over-year, in part because of his commentaries against the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina and against the war in Iraq. And a on-again, off-again feud with O'Reilly as well as the show's quirky, informative and fast-paced tone haven't hurt ratings either.

"It's an incredibly important franchise for us," said NBC News president Steve Capus, adding that Countdown has been the centerpiece for the resurgence and growth at MSNBC. »

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