Despite the cancellation of CNN’s “John King, USA” and the recent announcement by Worldwide CEO Jim Walton that he’s a goner by the end of the year, the CNN DC bureau is trying to remain relevant. So last week they shot a pilot.
Could this be the shot in the arm they need?
The show is called “Unconventional Wisdom,” and is a pet project of CNN’s managing editor Mark Whitaker, who oversees the network’s program development unit.
One of the participants is Gloria Borger, CNN’s Queen of Conventional Wisdom. Shot in the DC’s bureau glitzy new studio, another CNN’er involved is legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
Among the bigwigs involved in the pilot is Eric Sherling, CNN’s director of DC Programming, and Amy Entelis, who joined CNN in January as Senior Vice President for Talent and Content Development for CNN Worldwide.
Memo to Mark, Amy and Eric: you better hope the pilot tickles the fancy of Walton. The last time CNN’s remarkably boring DC bigwigs shot a pilot, the reconstituted “Capital Gang,” a typical inside-the-Beltway show that so awful Walton couldn’t stomach 10 minutes of it and reamed out the executives assembled, got up, and left.
Shortly thereafter in March, CNN announced longtime employee Sue Bunda, executive VP of content development and strategy, left to pursue other opportunities. In fact, she was forced out after the horrible “Capitol” pilot. Four months later, her chief lieutenant, Randy Subarsky, vice president of development, was told she was toast but was allowed to finish out the year. Also shown the door was DC bureau chief David Bohrman, now president of Current TV.
Better make the show shine, Mark, Amy and Eric. Your future boss could be watching!