Is America Ready for CNN Without Kathleen Parker?

In your gusty Friday media column: Kathleen Parker may be doomed, Adweek's big reinvention approaches, the Iraqi shoe-thrower gets nabbed again, the USA vs. James Risen, and Dylan Ratigan's not holy after all.

  • Could the end be near for Parker Spitzer, the buddy comedy that defined our generation? Page Six reports that Eliot Spitzer is running around telling all his "friends (who then leak to P6)" that Kathleen Parker "will be gone within a week." And then he'll have an unwatched show all to himself! But what about banter, Eliot? Banter.

    Update: Oh, that was fast. Here's the memo:

    Email to staff from Ken Jautz

    I want to share with you some news today regarding our 8pm show. Kathleen Parker has decided to leave the program to focus on her writing, and we have decided to take the show in a new direction. We will be adopting an ensemble format with several newsmakers, guests and contributors joining Eliot Spitzer each night. The new program will be called, "In the Arena," beginning Monday. E.D. Hill and Will Cain will join the program as well others within and outside the CNN family.

    We have been pleased with how the 8pm hour has become a centerpiece of substantive, policy-oriented conversation, and we are looking forward to building on that with this new format. Simply put, the new program will look beyond the headlines to analyze and discuss the most important stories of the day. The program will provide context and analysis through balanced and thoughtful discussions and interviews with a wide range of guests and newsmakers who cumulatively represent various points of view.

    Kathleen will continue to appear on CNN occasionally to provide her insights and commentary. We thank Kathleen for her hard work and all that she has done to help us launch our new 8pm program. We respect her as a colleague and appreciate her perspective and contributions.

    Ken

  • Say goodbye to the print editions of Brandweek and Mediaweek, both of which are folding for good when Adweek relaunches its website in April. Michael Wolff's grand plan will be unveiled! "One ex-Adweeker said Wolff has been surrounding himself with younger, cheaper writers, dubbed the 'Wolff Pack.'" Hahahaha. Are they really dubbed "The Wolff Pack," though? Someone please send evidence of this, at once.
  • International hero Muntazer al-Zaidi (sic?), the Iraqi journalist who whipped his shoes at George Bush, was reportedly arrested again in Iraq yesterday while trying to hold a press conference to call for protests. The world is watching, etc! Don't mess that guy up, Iraq, he's your most popular citizen.
  • New York Times reporter James Risen was formerly subpoenaed in connection with his reporting on CIA sources. That wasn't enough, obviously; now it turns out that the government was spying on Risen himself—getting his phone records, travel records, and other information about him. Obama! You're supposed to make everything different.
  • Steel company Nucor decided to sponsor Dylan Ratigan's show last December, and he promised: "I won't talk about Nucor on the air, absolutely not." Today: watch Dylan Ratigan's upbeat story about Nucor! Die young or sell out, kids, there are no other choices.

[Photo: CNN]