It doesn’t make much sense. Brooke Baldwin is off this week (and according to her tweets, if I recall correctly, she’s vacationing in Mexico) – which means there are sub anchors. On Monday, Martin Savidge made his first anchoring debut since the flight simulator and submarine reports. Since he is based in Atlanta, Martin simply used Brooke’s studio. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Brianna Keilar anchored the first hour of Brooke’s show, and Pamela Brown anchored the second hour of her show. Both anchored from Washington, DC, where they are based. And both, unfortunately, lacked a studio, and were using flash sets.
It’s annoying. The DC studios are the best that CNN owns, in my opinion. And they’re so underutilized. The “main” DC studio is used almost exclusively by Wolf Blitzer – during the weekdays, Wolf and the Situation Room are both broadcast from that studio. On Sundays, both Inside Politics and State of the Union with Candy Crowley originate from there. And then there’s Jake Tapper’s studio, which, to my knowledge, no one uses but him for his weekday show, The Lead.
So if they want Pamela Brown and Brianna Keilar to split Brooke’s shift, that’s fine. Great. But goodness, give them a studio! To the casual viewer, it may not be that big of a deal. But to anyone who pays even the littlest bit of attention, they’ll notice that they never zoom out on the anchor – and they can’t, because it’d be a little embarrassing since they’re not actually in a studio.
Both Pamela and Brianna were interviewing guests who were in the CNN DC building (hint: so were they). So why not put them in Wolf’s set, or Jake’s, and let them anchor from there… and have their guests in-studio, as opposed to on a separate flash set, somewhere else in the building?
That’s not to say you can never use a flash set. On occasion, when Robin Meade is, for whatever reason, in Chicago, she still anchors Morning Express from CNN’s Chicago bureau and merely uses a flash set. That’s okay; it only occurs on occasion. But CNN has been relying heavily on flash sets for their anchors in DC, despite the fact they have gorgeous studios that could be utilized.
When a New York-based correspondent/anchor subs for Brooke Baldwin, they normally use the CNN Money news desk. When in Atlanta subbing for her… They just use her studio. Only in DC, for the most part, do they use a flash set.
(Credit goes to Iceman for discussing this with me and giving me the desire to blog about it)