Wednesday, May 29, 2024

As the World Turns: CBS Chooses Second NFL Player for a News Show, Network of Cronkite, Murrow Eschews Actual Journalists


Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite just poured some drinks and rolled over in their graves. Ed Bradley is throwing up.

CBS News has announced they’ve chosen yet another former NFL player t ohost one of their shows. Akbar Oluwakemi-Idowu Gbajabiamila is going to co-host the low rated talk show called “The Talk.” He is also a commentator on the very serious news show, “American Ninja Warrior.”

This seems like a plot from “Murphy Brown,” a satire about TV journalism.

“The Talk.” an abysmal program, replaced “As the World Turns” a decade ago. Les Moonves created the show as vehicle for his wife, Julie Chen, to compete with ABC’s “The View.”

Akbar joins a motley crew including Sheryl Underwood, Amanda Kloots, and Jerry O’Connell. This is a meeting of no minds, although O’Connell is funny. Kloots has managed to turn the death of her husband, Broadway star Nick Cordero, into an Eve Harrington moment par excellence. Underwood’s charms are a mystery. But there they are.

Akbar follows Nate Burleson, another ex NFL-er, who replaced serious journalist Anthony Mason on “CBS This Morning,” now retitled “CBS Mornings.” While it’s great to see African American men join CBS News, maybe they should be professional journalists. There are plenty of Black correspondents who are probably really pissed at these announcements.

And what’s next for CBS News? Profiles of Kim Kardashian on “60 Minutes”? The whole thing is preposterous and sad.

But hey, congrats to Akbar and to Nate. I think they’re being used. But hopefully this will be good for their careers. They should get in touch with Sally Quinn to ask how CBS did with her years ago.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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