Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday talk show transition

My week usually allows me scant time to heed daily news, allowing only a cursory scan of print and electronic headlines, mostly. However, I relish the Sunday morning talk shows, apart from church attendance, to catch up on the headliner news and enjoy Wolf Blitzer putting the week's news through its paces for latecomers like me.

Today, Blitzer, who has led the Sunday lineup on CNN for eleven (11) years, moves from his slot to make room for John King, who is launching a new format that includes the high-tech wizadry and "We The People" democratic type input from citizen viewers that dominated the network news coverage during the recent U.S. Presidential campaign.

As cool, professional and detached as Blitzer usually comes across, I will rather miss him. He says he will still be putting in time in The Situation Room, which is CNN's weekday political news program, but I doubt I will catch up with him there. I believe one personality trait I've detected about Blitzer that probably drew me to him is his lack of an apparent "celebrity ego" that tended to dominate the network news anchor scene the past thirty years. He was somewhat self-effacing, and at times, actually generous.

So that leaves me with John King, whom I am going to have to learn to enjoy. King will host a show called "State of the Union," which begins airing next Sunday before the Obama inaugural events, January 18, 2009. King has not developed detectable personality traits that make him appealing to me--wonder how my over-45 demographic will respond. It's not that the technology isn't appealing (I'm still in awe over the holograms used during the elections), but the anchor's appeal is still central to such a show's success. Maybe CNN is going for the younger set.

Time will tell.

The Daily Show's John Oliver had a good time with a parody of King and CNN's use of the "magic wall" during the elections in November with this skit.