After never really taking off, losing Kathleen Parker, and recently losing out in the demo to Keith Olbermann on tiny, tiny Current TV,* the many-titled Eliot Spitzer program (currently "In the Arena," formerly "Parker Spitzer") is down for the count. New lineup starts Aug. 8.
"We are in discussions with Eliot Spitzer about an alternative role," CNN topper Ken Jautz told staff in an internal email, but it's hard to imagine what that would be.
The one show unaffected by the flap is "Piers Morgan Tonight," which is substantially up over Larry King's low-rated final years and getting some attention for Morgan's various celebrity interviews (including King, among others).
Meanwhile, Erin Burnett is about to get her day in the sun – the former CNBCer is headed to the network's 7 p.m. slot, with "John King, USA" moving back to 6 and "Anderson Cooper 360" moving to 8 p.m.
TVNewser's Alex Weprin tweets a potential flaw in this logic: "10 PM is the most vulnerable hour on cable news, with Greta down and Schultz slow. Why is CNN giving up on it with a rerun?"
The new lineup, at least, seems to be more journalism-heavy and less talky; Burnett and Cooper make a nice one-two news punch, although it will take more than gravitas to knock Bill O'Reilly off his perch.
And yes, that's my attempt at a New York Post-style hed at the top. Clearly, the best course of action would have been to leave it to the professionals.
*amended: Spitzer was out the week Olbermann premiered, and "Arena" still beat him for the week. Olbermann's premiere logged 245,000 demo viewers (that's live + sameday DVR) vs. Spitzer-less "Arena"'s 89,000. Olbermann came down the next week (Current's carriage is fairly small), but typical ratings for "Arena" are in the 170,000 viewer range.