Anderson Cooper On His Upcoming Syndicated Show: ‘This is not a news program’

By Alex Weprin Comment

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper participated in a keynote discussion at the Promax/BDA conference in New York Wednesday. Cooper was interviewed by his former colleague, CBS “Early Show” anchor Erica Hill, who had a busy day of her own starting with the morning show and concluding with a taping of the “Late Show” later today.

Cooper was at Promax to talk about his upcoming daytime talk show, “Anderson,” which debts in the Fall.

The anchor said that the ability to continue doing his daily CNN program, as well as traveling across the globe when news breaks, was important to him. The syndicated show will be shot with that in mind.

“The idea now is that we will probably be shooting two shows a day, three days a week,” Cooper said. “We will have enough shows on tape to cover a week if I have to go somewhere. I was in Egypt for a week or 10 days, and Japan as well. I know for a fact I will still be able to travel, and that is very important to me. If I go somewhere for a breaking news story, and there is something that may have interest for a daytime audience, we will bring some staff from Anderson, and do that.”

Cooper says that despite his hard-news pedigree, his new show will not be a news show. The closest it may get is leading up to the 2012 elections, where he says they may ask the two candidates to come on and reveal their softer side:

“In terms of content, on CNN at night I am talking to politicians and pundits, on daytime TV I am not going to talk to any of those people,” Cooper said. “This is not a news program, we think this year we will be the only show on the air that covers a broad spectrum of topics. From a big celebrity interview one day, to a hot-button social issue the next day, and the following day an interview with a real person who has a real-life challenge we can all learn from. And pop culture stuff, I am as big a student of pop culture as anyone out there.”

Cooper also took a moment to have some fun, talking about his favorite reality shows, and making a quip about his side gig as a correspondent for CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

“I used to be the youngest person in the newsroom,” Cooper said. “That I why I like to work at “60 Minutes,” because I am still the youngest person in the newsroom. 40 years from now I will still be the youngest person there.”

He also relayed a drunk dial he received from one of the “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” NeNe Leakes:

“I talked about my interest in NeNe a lot, maybe too much,” Cooper recalled. “I am sitting there doing the news, my phone goes off and it is NeNe Leakes in the back of a limousine, I think clearly drunk, yelling ‘don’t be tardy to the party!’”

Cooper’s show will launch a full year before some stiff competition hits the air in the form of Katie Couric, Ricki Lake and Jeff Probst. It is both a boon and a potential problem for the show. A boon because it has a better chance of being successful this year without having to go up against a plethora of big-name talent. A challenge because if it is not an immediate hit, stations may be more inclined to pull it after one season to make room for one of the newcomers.