Carol Costello is Back, And She’s Not Messing Around

By A.J. Katz Comment

Carol Costello is returning to cable news, and she’s very excited. She thinks you should be too.

Her new HLN show, Across America, premieres this coming Monday, and will broadcast from Los Angeles weekdays from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET.

“It’s the ‘no bullshit zone,’ Costello told TVNewser. “That’s the easiest way to describe it.”

Here’s what else the veteran TV newser had to say about the new show, a revamped HLN, and her thoughts on a certain NY-LA rivalry.

TVNewser: Tell us about Across America with Carol Costello.

Costello: I really want my show to be down to Earth, unpretentious. I want to be in touch with actual people who live in the United States, and not a bunch of talking heads. I want to be totally transparent. My show will be where you go to see what’s happening right at this moment, and also to examine issues instead of talking about the political game.

TVNewser: Talk about the HLN relaunch as you understand it, and how the network’s news coverage differs from what others are doing.

I think HLN is really striving to be the place that people go for news that actually affects their lives directly. I think the other networks are just talking about the political game, they’re into political gamesmanship and that’s all they talk about. We’re going to be something different. We’re going to talk about politics because it’s part of the news too, but we’re going to go deeper. We’re going to talk about issues that really affect people. For instance, Trump rolled out his infrastructure package, but then he said all that stuff about the Confederate monuments and the demonstrations in Charlottesville. Well, lost in all of that was this infrastructure package that actually was pretty interesting. Unfortunately, no one seems interested in it anymore. We are going to delve into that too, in addition to just talking about the sexy stuff. We’re going to the stuff that’s not so sexy, but does affect people’s lives and is the reason people voted for the man.

TVNewser: Across America was supposed to premiere in April. Then June. It’s finally premiering on Monday. Why the delay?

Oh gosh, I wish I could answer that question because I’ve been dying to get on the air! I think it was just the world of CNN, HLN and all of the other networks under that umbrella. It’s just a big, bureaucratic place. Plus, we wanted to get the show exactly right. We wanted to hire exactly the right people. I had to assemble a really strong team because I’ve never done this before. I have never played a part in creating a team, creating a show and coming up with a strategy, and that takes a while. I think we might have been a little overzealous. So, in order to hire the right people we wanted, it just took longer than we thought.

TVNewser: You were at CNN for 15 years, and have undoubtedly noticed a lot of change since you arrived. Can you speak about how CNN has changed over time?

I was there when CNN got horrible ratings, got middling ratings, and got great ratings. I have run the gamut. The most fun has been in the last few years when we have had great ratings. Frankly, I owe that to [CNN Worldwide President] Jeff Zucker. He has been a great leader. He really has been. I think when he came to CNN it was the first time I actually understood what the network was all about. I understood our mission, and what he wanted. He’s a good leader and I think that has everything to do with the ratings success that CNN is enjoying now.

TVNewser: Now that you’re basically settled into your new LA stomping grounds…In-And-Out or Shake Shack?

Definitely In-And-Out because supposedly it’s healthier, although I honestly have my doubts!