Dissent Among CNN Staffers Over Blitzer-Sanchez Shift

By Andrew Gauthier 


When CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton made his annual appearance before Washington bureau staffers this month, he got an earful over the network’s decision to shave an hour off “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer in favor of rising star Rick Sanchez and “Rick”s List,” his new two-hour show.

Blitzer has a loyal following in the Washington bureau, which, according to one CNN staffer, “tends to be more traditional in its approach to news.” Sanchez, who incorporates Twitter heavily into the show, is viewed by some in Washington as merging entertainment more with the news content than is customary at the network, and at one point Howie Lutt, senior director for “The Situation Room,” stood up and asked the roughly 200 staffers assembled in the bureau to raise their hands if they respect him or Blitzer as a journalist, according to network sources.

Almost everyone assembled raised their hand for Blitzer; only a few showed similar support for Sanchez. More…