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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Kathleen Parker steps down from CNN after five months

250px-Parker-spitzerCNN announced the departure of Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist Kathleen Parker from the network, leaving former New York governor Eliot Spitzer to host a new show dubbed “In the Arena.”

“We will be adopting an ensemble format with several newsmakers, guests and contributors joining Eliot Spitzer each night,” CNN Executive Vice President Ken Jautz wrote to staff today.

The original show “Parker Spitzer,” which debuted last October at 8 p.m., was supposed to be a daily debate hashing issues in a substantive, analytical manner with Parker leaning right and Spitzer leaning left. Ratings, however, remained relatively anemic.

Last week, the show drew about 500,000 viewers a night, according to Nielsen ratings. That’s about half of what Lawrence O’Donnell pulled in at MSNBC and one-sixth the numbers Bill O’Reilly received on Fox News.

“Parker’s a very talented writer, but I don’t think anyone had a whole lot of specific praise for her on air,” said former CNN anchor Bobbie Battista. Parker and Spitzer “didn’t gel well at all.”

In December, the New York  Times reported that there were tensions between Spitzer and Parker that fueled speculation that Spitzer would eventually go solo.

According to the New York Post, Spitzer felt he excelled when she was out sick and he hosted alone during the recent Egypt crisis.

In a statement, Parker said, “It was a difficult decision to scale back my column a few months ago and with the show going in a new direction, it is a good time to move on.” Spitzer also released a statement saying it was “a joy working with her as a teammate.” She plans to appear on CNN in the future as an occasional contributor.

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By Rodney Ho, rho@ajc.com, AJCRadioTV blog

83 comments Add your comment

Hated it!

February 25th, 2011
3:15 pm

Enter your comments here

Boring show

February 25th, 2011
3:16 pm

I’ve tried watching this show and it nearly put me to sleep. CNN really needs to re-vamp their prime time shows.

Joe

February 25th, 2011
3:21 pm

Bet he hit on her.

Joe

February 25th, 2011
3:22 pm

Maybe CNN could hire Lindsay Lohan to go on the air with him.

Joe

February 25th, 2011
3:22 pm

Or some other prostitute.

jh

February 25th, 2011
3:35 pm

she has blond hair, she could work at fox

Rafe Hollister

February 25th, 2011
3:48 pm

They should replace her with Rosie O’Donnell and call the show ROSIE and THE MAN, or Get way out there with Rosie and The Man.

granny godzilla

February 25th, 2011
3:49 pm

Spitzer is a scumbag ex-Governor that had to step down after he got caught sleeping with expensive prostitute while in office. Why CNN would give him a show is beyond me and maybe one reason their ratings suck. Also, it would creep me out to work with him. I am sure Parker is glad to get away from the scuzzball, Spitzer.

Elliot Garcia

February 25th, 2011
3:51 pm

Bring back Bobbie Battista! Does she still live off of Rumson??

Chris

February 25th, 2011
3:51 pm

CNN.. the criminal news network..

Buckeye

February 25th, 2011
3:54 pm

The fact that this scumbag is on the air is unfrreakin believeable. Is CNN that hard up for “talent”?

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rodney Ho, Atlanta Rio . Atlanta Rio said: Kathleen Parker steps down from CNN after five months: CNN announced the departure of Pulitzer-Prize winning col… http://bit.ly/fTXACs [...]

Tom

February 25th, 2011
4:03 pm

I finally agree with Granny@3:49p, can’t believe it!!! Spitzer should go to PBS, and then cut off all funding!!!

independent news watcher

February 25th, 2011
4:07 pm

I too was surprised that Spitzer got a show on CNN. But, Fox news never had a problem hiring criminals or unethical people…

To his credit, he is very knowledgeable. Parker never seemed comfortable and had little insight to offer. I would imagine her thought process works better for writing than broadcast journalism.

gm

February 25th, 2011
4:20 pm

How can a former Gov who resign after being caught in a prostitution ring have a show?
Only a white male in America can get away with this””’

Charles

February 25th, 2011
4:25 pm

” with Parker leaning right and Spitzer leaning left”

Parker may have leaned to the right with 5% of her body weight but Spitzer had leaned so far left he was laying on his side.

Tom

February 25th, 2011
4:26 pm

GRANNY, you do know that Kathleen is a Conservative??

LS

February 25th, 2011
4:35 pm

I will never watch any show with him on it.

Toodles McDiddle

February 25th, 2011
4:36 pm

CNN? Are they still around? Are they even relevant?

JF McNamara

February 25th, 2011
4:47 pm

They should actually replace her with Christine O’Donnell. She’s crazy enough that she would get ratings and she wants to be a star more than a politician. She’s probably holding out for a FoxNews show though.

Clay

February 25th, 2011
5:33 pm

CNN is absolutely horrible at bringing in talent that people want to watch. And even the few times that they did bring in a few talented people they left for Fox News where their ratings soon went thru the roof. I always root for CNN because they’re a hometown company but their ability to put together engaging, fun-to-watch shows is terrible.

Escaped from Email Purgatory

February 25th, 2011
5:33 pm

I enjoy the show and the format. It’s a pleasant break from O’Reilly’s bombast – although I’m a big fan of his and watch The Factor often.

Parker’s a cutie. I’ll miss her.

Spitzer’s all right. You harpies get off his back.

Jejune Missive Monkey

February 25th, 2011
5:36 pm

Ashley Dupree would be a great replacement. She could discuss what The Lov Gov looks like in his socks. BTW, CNN stands for Client No. Nine.

Viewer

February 25th, 2011
5:47 pm

I did not realize until I started watching the show just what a brilliant intellect he is. Too bad about keeping his pants zipped. Parker is likeable, but I agree she seemed uncomfortable. Few people will be able to hold their own with Spitzer.

Joe

February 25th, 2011
6:01 pm

Bill O’Reilly? He’s a self-centered, arrogant ass. When he and Glenn Beck get together for fun, who’s the girl?

Freakshow Blue

February 25th, 2011
6:27 pm

Parker is no more a conservative than the man on the moon. CNN really sucks. Their high point was the guy on the phone under his bed in the 1st Iraq war. You know, back when they had no competition.

TRUTH

February 25th, 2011
6:41 pm

Hey, Ms. Parker (Friday). Can you take Wolf Blitzer with you?

Myra Richman

February 25th, 2011
6:42 pm

Who would even look at that creep Spitzer — with or without his socks!

Steve

February 25th, 2011
6:50 pm

Wow. A show on CNN that dares to have a ‘mild’ Conservative viewpoint and it didn’t have high ratings with the liberal viewers of that station? So shocking.

CNN is finding out that being MSNBC Lite isn’t working. MSNBC is crazy slanted, Fox is about half as bad, and CNN is right there with Fox. Simple fact is, CNN is getting beaten out by it’s competition on the liberal agenda, and they are too liberally slanted to draw in most Conservatives.

They need to either come back to 20 years ago when they were ‘mostly’ a non-partisan network, or they need to just come right out and tell the world they are no longer going to try to hide their liberal agenda (like casting Parker as a Conservative .. lol).

KenGo

February 25th, 2011
7:09 pm

Saw Spitzer and Michael Steele go at it one night. He would be a great replacement.

KenGo

February 25th, 2011
7:10 pm

and i hate michael steele. he looks like a muppet!

TRUTH

February 25th, 2011
7:13 pm

who cares!!!!!!!!!!

mirandalambert2012

February 25th, 2011
7:44 pm

No surprise there. I watched it a lttle bit when it first came on and the show was quite frankly unwatchable. Parker became famous for one reason only: she was a supposedly conservative writer who trashed Palin. So for that she got accolades from the left wing press. That why she got this gig and now the show has bombed.

Ted

February 25th, 2011
7:54 pm

Why is this news?

Wrong Again

February 25th, 2011
8:34 pm

CNN gets it wrong again!! The problem was not with Parker but with Spitzer. I am appalled that CNN would give him air time!! Best of luck to Ms. Parker.

george

February 25th, 2011
8:42 pm

parker was nothing but blonde diva anyway. she didn’t deserve the Pulitzer & was nothing but an Obama hater with borderline racist tendencies. send her to Fox News where she belongs anyway.

Jason T

February 25th, 2011
8:58 pm

CNN is still on the air??? HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Chris Matthews

February 25th, 2011
9:04 pm

Send Tucker and Bookman up there. And Luckovich too.

Reality

February 25th, 2011
9:10 pm

Let’s face it…the Cartoon Channel does better than MSNBC and CNN. The loony left just doesn’t get it. Nobody buys their snake oil anymore.

Top School

February 25th, 2011
9:16 pm

They both READ most of the information like a HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS in front of the camera. Their personalities are not fit for this kind of journalism. The tension between the camera and their dull reading with mono tone voices are not missed by the general public.
Their reports sound like a student in front of a classroom reading a bad report…

AND PLEASE…THE CNN British accents need to go!
Didn’t MADONNA try that about 10 years ago?
I am totally tired of it!

Find someone that looks like they are at least enjoying what they are doing.
Joy Behar is great!

NANCY GRACE…eeew…I can’t take all the makeup and vile tone. It is too much like the FOX attitude of Orielly and HANNITY…and that other guy that talks like he is a puppet…in about 5 different voices…and should just include …are you stupid on the end of every comment because it sounds like he saying it even if he isn’t.

Where are some decent everyday people with some style and grace…
Please…bring back some quality to the CNN cast. Anderson is all you’ve got going for you right now. Doesn’t he have a few buddies he can bring up to the table?

Piers might as well be interviewing the same person every night…The questions and tone are the same over and over again. Big buildup for nothing…the money spent on promoting him was a waste.

Reality

February 25th, 2011
9:20 pm

“…Please…bring back some quality to the CNN cast. Anderson is all you’ve got going for you right now. Doesn’t he have a few buddies he can bring up to the table?…”

Oh, I’m sure ol Cooper has some “buddies”…LOL

Client Number 9

February 25th, 2011
9:23 pm

Granny, I wasn’t exactly “sleeping” with the prostitute! Wide awake the whole time, believe me.

AS PREDICTED...

February 25th, 2011
10:18 pm

I actually gave this show 3 months.

Choppinmama

February 25th, 2011
10:36 pm

I can’t stand to even look at that guy. Tried to watch the show several times though………borrrring, and no on air chemistry between P&S. She’s smart to leave this sinking ship while the band is still playing.

Jane

February 25th, 2011
10:49 pm

I think Nancy Grace would be a perfect replacement for her. She could totally emasculate Spitzer like she does every man on her show. I wish, just once, one of her panelists would call her out on the way she treats people. That woman is pure evil. It just goes to show how desperate a lot of people are to be on TV, when they’ll go on her show and be chewed out just for her own pleasure.

Jane

February 25th, 2011
10:51 pm

Joy Behar is great! Love her

she wa' hot

February 25th, 2011
11:22 pm

she wa’ hot. Elliot all over her after da’ show.

Bail out!

February 25th, 2011
11:23 pm

Is anything on CNN not sinking?

Whatz?

February 25th, 2011
11:24 pm

george
February 25th, 2011
8:42 pm

parker was nothing but blonde diva anyway. she didn’t deserve the Pulitzer & was nothing but an Obama hater with borderline racist tendencies. send her to Fox News where she belongs anyway.

George must date fat ugly women.

Georgia Girl

February 26th, 2011
12:40 am

Never even heard of this show.