Logo

Searching for TV’s News Elite

Nov 30, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Drawing up an unassailable list of the next generation of television news stars is a near-impossible and inherently suspect task, if only because the prescribed length of the list forces difficult choices.

TV News Talent

It’s also a rewarding task because it involves a lot of conversations with a lot of people whose business it is to know star power when they see it—in even its earliest forms—in the context of an increasingly daunting TV news landscape.

TelevisionWeek talked to network talent executives, agents and savvy viewers who are, first and foremost, news junkies. No one was in contention for the list without having been mentioned, unbidden, more than once, or without having provoked easy assent from the news junkies when mentioned as a contender.

Staying on the list as it was being pared down to a manageable (but inadequate) 15 nominations for stardom became an exercise in pitting intangibles against tangibles.

To those inclined to argue that this or that up-and-comer should have been on the list, consider yourselves welcome to submit your own candidates in the comments section of this story on TVWeek.com. The more the merrier.

To those who wonder why some better-known names are not on the list, perhaps a little explanation is in order.

Anderson Cooper, for example, might be considered a glaring omission, but one could argue that the CNN anchor and “60 Minutes” contributor is already pretty much at the top of his game. Would he be a bigger star somewhere other than at CNN? Most likely. Would other TV news organizations like the chance to prove that? Undoubtedly. Only he can decide if bigger is better.

Erica Hill is likewise appearing on both CNN and CBS, as a contributor to “Anderson Cooper 360” and as co-anchor of the Saturday edition of “The Early Show.” She definitely pops, to use the TV vernacular, but it’s still unclear how much depth is there.

Lara Logan at CBS News and Richard Engel at NBC News also might seem to be unjustifiably absent, given their steep ascent from the corps of correspondents who emerged from the Iraq war story with recognizable names and faces, but both are pretty well established—albeit with plenty of room in which to grow.

Jake Tapper, recently named chief White House correspondent for ABC News, is arguably the first to get big enough on the Web—his addictive political coverage on Salon.com made him a political household name—to earn the chance to get bigger at a network. No one doubts he’ll put his stamp on the White House beat, but that leads to the question of “And then?”

That same question applies to Shepard Smith, already acknowledged as the future of Fox News Channel. However, unless Fox dramatically changes the prime-time format that has been so successful, Mr. Smith is pretty much where he’s going to be–not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Likewise, his colleague Bret Baier, the chief White House correspondent who has all but grown up on Fox News Channel, has just a little of the edge needed in cable but is a solid reporter who isn’t a showboat. There certainly isn’t anything wrong with that. Right now, there is a palpable air of heir apparent to Mr. Baier, who has become the backup of first choice on Brit Hume’s “Special Report.” Mr. Baier seems well positioned to be that successor and a success, if not a white-hot star.

One additional bit of explanation. The position of people on the list is pure alphabetical order.

26 Comments

  1. At least the women are not all bottled blonde bimbos

  2. Thank you so much for featuring a dozen or so reasons why no one watches television news any more. Another group of well-scrubbed but vucuous children who are all salivating to be the next Guslton Dart or is it Arthur Kent or Ashley Banfield? They are all so memorable I can’t remember one from the other. But of course we all still tune in daily searching for them, yeah sure, only to find ourselves stuck with more of the same…Anderson Cooper, Campbell Brown and whoever else can come up with two last names. Where I come from if you have two last names you can pretend to have a past but you have no future other than to spend the rest of your life asking the proverbial question “Don’t you know who I am?” The answer is always the same “No we don’t know and we don’t care.”

  3. Hello, super blog, I truly enjoyed reading it. the blog gave me the push to try my own post, please check out my article by clicking my name at the top of this article, thanks

  4. Nice articles, but I am not clear about the point you mentioned about how to distinguish fake and real cheap one at watcheslux.com.

  5. Thank you for your article,It’s well written, in depth posts like these that have aided me in becoming a good forex trader.

  6. Thank you for your article,It’s well written, in depth posts like these that have aided me in becoming a good forex trader.

  7. Very good text. I’ve found your site via Google and I’m really glad about the information you provide in your articles.

  8. I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

  9. Informative information and excellent posts you have!

  10. Well, the post is actually the freshest on this laudable topic. I concur with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your future updates.

  11. Thank you for your article,It’s well written, in depth posts like these that have aided me in becoming a good forex trader.

  12. Very good text. I’ve found your site via Google and I’m really glad about the information you provide in your articles.

  13. I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

  14. Very good text. I’ve found your site via Google and I’m really glad about the information you provide in your articles.

  15. I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

  16. Interesting post! Do you have any predictions that you might be able to divulge in order to help us understand the first point a bit further? peace

  17. Wonderful to read!

  18. In related news, one of the women who slept with Tiger Woods said he never talked about golf during sex. However, he did keep his head down and his left arm straight.

  19. very good article..i love this…awosome

  20. I love the expression. Everyone needs to express there own opinion and feel free to hear others. Keep it up :)

  21. Love all the opinions expressed here! How is everyone? Love how everyone expresses whatr they feel :)

  22. Nice!! Great Ifo. Great People. Great Blog. Thank you for all the great sharing that is being done here.

  23. Really nice post here – I don’t know why you don’t just get the most out of these tools whilst they are free.

  24. Dreamin. I love blogging. You all express your feelings the right way, because they are your feeling, focus on your blog it is great.

  25. I enjoyed reading it. I need to study more on th is topic..Thanks for sharing a great data..Any way I am going to subscribe for your feed and I hope you publish once again quickly.

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)