BA on Assignment

January 1, 2012

This Week on ABC

I AM VINDICATED! When the announcement was made that Christiane Amanpour would be taking over as anchor of This Week on ABC, I had mixed feelings. Not because I don’t think she’s great – I think she’s great. But, I wasn’t sure the format was the best fit for her. Turns out I was right. Now George Stephanopoulos is returning. I was right about that part too.

When Stephanopoulos was named anchor of This Week, I knew that was the right fit. Likewise, when Amanpour got the show and he was shuttled off to Good Morning America, I knew that was a bad fit. But, ABC has been desperate to create STARS instead of making decisions that create the best product and making the product the star. Here’s what went wrong…

Christiane Amanpour is an international journalist who grew up in Tehran and London; British mother – Middle Eastern father – educated in the U.S. at The University of Rhode Island. She’s a citizen of the world. This Week is a 100% American political show. Period. Much too confining for her. As the show progressed, you could see her attempting to bring education to the self-centeredness of Americans by bringing in world figures and highlighting with equal time the struggles and triumphs that happen around the world – not just what’s happening on Capitol Hill. That show is about Capitol Hill.

George Stephanopoulos is a political operative. Let’s not forget from where he came… He was, after all, President Clinton’s chief of staff and had been in politics his entire career prior to The White House. While he has no journalistic training qualifying him to be an anchor on GMA, his political background makes him perfect to moderate a
political talk show. Stop trying to turn him into a journalist ABC. Nobody is buying it – not even my friend John who has a low tolerance for news people. He repeated this exact sentiment to me yesterday. He said he’d rather watch me because at least I’m experienced as a journalist. As I think about it, as a journalist, I am more qualified than Stephanopoulos. Note to ABC…

But, the networks are looking for STARS, not people like myself who were on duty covering Stephanopoulos’ boss’ second inauguration. Or people like myself who learned how to be a journalist in the field. I wonder how much time George has spent in the field? That’s why we love Christiane Amanpour. There is no room for criticism. She’s earned every offer she gets from any and all networks. No beef from me. George on the other hand…

So here’s the fix: This Week gets an A for conceding defeat, but, restoring the continuity. Christiane Amanpour gets an A for getting back to the greater good as a journalist of the world. ABC News gets an A for being smart enough to keep Amanpour as a contributor, but, they get an F for not cutting the cord on Stephanopoulos at GMA. CUT THE CORD! ABC is so busy looking at only what’s inside their building, they’ve forgotten there’s a whole world out there to consider. You have other options. I’m a better option. Try looking for other options.

Campaign 2012 forward! I’ll see you and George on the campaign trail…




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One Comment

  1. rmaslikhov

    As always, you are so spot on with your observation. Nothing against George but now that I’m watching GMA after being a loyal Today viewer, the only thing I can’t stomach about GMA is George. Why can’t they just try someone new, like you, and put the effort behind making them a star. In your case they wouldn’t have to put much effort into it because you would set that show on fire!!!!

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