57 Candles For Aaron Brown

By Brian 

Happy birthday, Aaron Brown. The former CNN anchor turned 57 today.

An e-mailer thinks this commentary, from the Nov. 11, 2002 edition of NewsNight, is especially prescient in the wake of Brown’s exit from CNN:

  Good evening again, I’m Aaron Brown. Here’s a depressing thought, I turned 54 over the weekend and that means I only matter for another 364 more days. That’s right. On the day I turn 55, I am irrelevant. Not completely irrelevant of course — some of you will still like me — but to advertisers, irrelevant.

Advertisers, or at least the people who advise them, figured out that when you reach the ripe old age of 55 you are no longer willing to change your mind so you don’t matter. If at 54, you decided you preferred Heinz over Hunts, well that’s the way it’s going to stay. At 54, you’re willing to try new and improved Dawn. At 55, you stick with Palmolive.

But that seems too simplistic, Brown said. He concluded that in the next year, “I’m going to try everything this year, a new beer, a different car, dump my old insurance company, say goodbye to my barbecue sauce, my soap, all of it and live large while I can.” His last sentence is a bit sad; “I want to make the most of being relevant for as long as it lasts and the clock, sadly, is ticking.”

Here’s the transcript…