Here’s some cheery news for May Day 2008. Welcome back Aaron Brown.
The Associated Press reports from Los Angeles:
Aaron Brown, the former CNN anchor who found cable TV an awkward fit, is joining PBS’ “Wide Angle” series and ending his on-air absence of more than two years.”
An awkward fit for him, but not for Brown’s faithful viewers who welcomed his particular style of anchoring.
Brown was displaced in tasteless haste by CNN in 2005 to make way for the silver fox, Anderson Cooper, whose star was in the ascendant post Katrina. CNN wanted his time slot for Cooper so Brown was sacked.
Brown remained under contract to CNN for a reported two years following his dismissal, and according to its terms was restricted from taking a job with a competing network and speaking to the media. He therefore took up a post at Arizona State University teaching television history, and is its first Walter Cronkite Professor.
Brown’s legal obligations to CNN ended 1st July last, but as he states, opportunities like the one at “Wide Angle” are rare.
A bit further down in the article Brown tells AP:
Anchoring “Wide Angle,” a weekly public affairs series with a global focus, offers the chance “to work in an environment where people just think about making good TV and good journalism,” Brown said.
Brown contrasted the work he expects to do at PBS with how cable television operated at times during his tenure.
“I don’t want to get into the business of indicting cable TV, but some of what went on was just television, not journalism,” he said. Expanding on his comments, he said that cable TV is a tough business that can be pushed into focusing on sensational, “tabloidy stories.”
Anderson Cooper likes to think, or make us think, reporting these types of stories are an awkward fit for him as well. However, it seems to me Cooper is right where he belongs, and now Aaron Brown is too.