The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz has an interview with Campbell Brown…
Brown’s move raises two intriguing questions: Why are only two other women (Greta Van Susteren of Fox and Nancy Grace of Headline News) on the air as prime-time cable news hosts? And is it possible to succeed with an 8 p.m. show built on news and interviews — as Zahn tried to do — when up against the ultra-opinionated likes of Bill O’Reilly and Keith Olbermann?
Zahn was pushed to try several different formats, from politics to magazine-style reports. She concedes the constant changes hurt her ratings, but she also won plaudits for tackling such difficult subjects as race in America. Still, despite some gains with younger viewers, she sometimes slipped into third or even fourth place (behind Grace).
“Looking at the success of the opinion-driven shows, we tried to counterpunch as best we could, and we never sacrificed our objectivity or our quality,” Zahn says.
Brown now inherits a similar challenge. “It’s an incredibly difficult time slot,” she says. “I can’t obsess over that or I’ll make myself crazy. . . . I’m not Bill O’Reilly. I’m not Keith Olbermann. I’m not going to do opinion. That’s not who I am.”