To be completely clear, I have high hopes for CNN Tonight as a whole. (Including when it moves to its official time slot at 10pm, and I expect the show will be something I’ll be blogging about for a while). That being said, I wasn’t overly impressed from the get-go.
The title card for the show was appealing enough, I’ll give them that. (I tweeted a screen grab I took of it, in case anyone was curious). However, the show icon in the left corner was impossible to read. The red “CNN” blended in to the background; the “Tonight” part was visible enough and looked aesthetically pleasing enough, though.
As was to be expected, they played the whole “This is CNN Breaking News” sound and had the breaking news graphic. And then, CNN Tonight went to Boston, where Bill Weir is live. For the first fifteen minutes until its commercial break, they spoke exclusively on Flight 370. Pamela Brown reported first for CNN Tonight, followed by Michael Holmes and Joe Johns. Weir then spoke to a few of CNN’s aviation analysts before going to commercial break. When he came back? You guessed it… MH370. And when he came back again? … More MH370.
So, I confess, I’m confused. He’s anchoring outside in Boston. He’s not inside some building. He’s outside. Now, I understand that tomorrow is the day when the Boston Marathon Bombing occurred. I get that. But thirty minutes into his show, he’s only alluded to it in segments that are coming up… So why is he in Boston? Or, why is he in Boston tonight? If CNN Tonight wasn’t going to focus too heavily on Boston tonight, then he should’ve just stayed in NYC to do the show, and have flown to Boston after today’s broadcast/tomorrow morning to do CNN Tonight tomorrow night live from Boston… but only if they truly intended to focus on Marathon Bombing anniversary. Otherwise, he should have just done the show from Perth, Australia, or Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I mean, more than half his show focused exclusively on MH370.
At 9:37pm, CNN Tonight finally began discussing the Boston Marathon Bombing. Bill Weir interviewed a Boston Globe photographer who had taken “iconic images”. The interview lasted from 9:37-9:45 before going to a commercial break.
All in all, I’m not overly impressed with Weir’s performance. (I wasn’t impressed when he filled in on The Lead, nor when he subbed for Piers). I thought that when he had his own show, he would do better, since it was hopefully going to focus on his strengths. I’ve come to a conclusion that either he has no real strengths, or anchoring a show on-location just isn’t something he’s good at. I dunno. However, what I do know is that if he doesn’t start doing better than he did on The Lead and Piers Morgan Live, then I sincerely hope when CNN Tonight moves to 10pm, he doesn’t rotate as a host too often. (Though let’s face it… He’ll rotate frequently).
On the bright side (sarcasm, of course), they were already running advertisements for tomorrow’s CNN Tonight. The segments, you ask? MH370 and Boston. Naturally… MH370 will probably take most of the time.
Segment Break–down: (Including Commercial Breaks)
9–9:37pm – All MH370; spoke to CNN correspondents and analysts
9:37-9:45pm – Spoke with Boston Globe photographer
9:49 – 9:53pm – Spoke with Carlos Arredondo, who helped victim after the bombing; brought the photographer back in to speak with him, too
9:57-9:59pm – Don Lemon had a brief segment where he prepared viewers what to expect on his CNN Special Report, airing right after, at 10pm
9:59 – 10pm – Weir had a quick piece on “survivor’s guilt” before concluding the show
So… That’s a total (again, with commercials in some cases), of 39 minutes on MH370; 13 minutes on Boston. And that was all of CNN Tonight… no other stories.