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TelevisionWeek is teaming up with TV industry veteran Marianne Paskowski. The blog will give Marianne a forum to convey her deep knowledge of the industry and pass along some of the juicy morsels she's hearing on the grapevine. Marianne has covered the TV industry from the inside out and top to bottom, and TVWeek's readers are bound to benefit from her sharp eyes, ears and wit. TVWeek.com invites readers to jump online, chime in and pick Marianne's brain on the latest industry news.

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March 2009 Archives

CNBC ‘Fast Money’ Host Ratigan Bolts?

March 30, 2009 11:38 AM

God, I felt like I got hit with a bolt of lightning when I read in many published reports today that Dylan Ratigan, who was the host of CNBC’s highly acclaimed “Fast Money,” reportedly left the network last Friday.

Dylan Ratigan

His contract expires tomorrow, but from all accounts he has his cap set on a bigger spot, namely a role at ABC News. Ratigan, who worked for CNBC for five years, also co-hosted “Closing Bell” with Maria Bartiromo, a veteran at the financial news network.

With the financial crisis growing, viewers need the passion and common sense that Ratigan delivers as he tries to make sense of this global economic mess for the layman.

Oddly enough, so far, CNBC has made absolutely no mention of his departure, even though he didn’t show up for duty Friday, and had been out earlier the week before with the flu.

So what’s the next platform for Ratigan? Some TV critics see him having his own late evening or early morning broadcast network show.

But could this just be a contract negotiation ploy on the part of CNBC?

Whatever, I miss the P.T. Barnum of TV financial news. May he return somewhere and soon.

CNN’s Gupta Withdraws from Surgeon General Search

March 5, 2009 9:26 PM

Here’s a headline that should make you think hard about how all the body parts are not working in the Beltway.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

The Associated Press reported Thursday night that Dr. Sanjay Gupta, well known as the host of CNN’s “House Call” and President Barack Obama’s first pick for the post of surgeon general took himself out of the selection process. What a ridiculous choice that was, President Obama, I have to say.

Gupta cited personal reasons, like wanting to spend more time with his family. Personally, I think the 39-year-old neurosurgeon, who also practices surgery at Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital, saw the political clouds of opposition forming.

He apparently didn’t have skeletons in the closet like tax issues, but was he really appropriate, given his age, and given that he is a TV celebrity with an active practice? Was he ready to become the talking head in Obama’s important and radical healthcare reform plan? I doubt it.

The AP said House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., circulated a letter saying that Gupta was inexperienced and urging Obama not to name him.

I’m glad Conyers did that. And personally I wish Obama would just slow down. Fix the economy, create jobs, untangle the mortgage/bank problems and then give healthcare more time to rationalize into a real policy.

Obama coulda, shoulda, but apparently hasn’t learned much yet from Hillary Clinton about her first botched efforts to reform health care.