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June 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Apparently concluding that it can no longer draw an audience during primetime with “straight” news, CNN plans to replace its 8:00 p.m. news hour with a Crossfire-type nightly debate between liberal former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer and conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for commentary this year. In an interview with the Associated Press, both Spitzer ad Parker took pains to distance themselves from Crossfire. Said Spitzer: “We want to be different; a bit more upbeat, affirmative, funny and also informative.” CNN’s decision to replace news with opinion at 8:00 p.m. drew criticism from Connie Chung, who anchored the hour at the cable news network in 2002-2003. She told the A.P. that she couldn’t understand what the Spitzer-Parker show had to do with journalism. “It’s been very hard for CNN,” Chung said. “I empathize with them because CNN’s competitors have gone off in extreme directions and what is CNN going to do? But I don’t understand this attempt at regaining viewers.” In 2005 CNN President Jon Klein canceled the long-running Crossfire, saying at the time that viewers were interested in information, not opinion. When the Los Angeles Times asked Klein on Wednesday to describe the difference between Crossfire and the new show, he replied, “You’ll have to watch the show and see.”