Yesterday evening, there was a surprise waiting on you when Fredricka Whitfield signed off. CNN Newsroom (Don Lemon’s block) was actually co-hosted, and they weren’t both in New York City. Ana Cabrera was in New York City, while her co-host Michael Holmes was in Atlanta. You may be thinking, well, he was in Studio 7 (the set that Brooke Baldwin, Carol Costello, New Day Weekend with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul, and Fredricka Whitfield). And you would be wrong. Instead, Michael was co-hosting with Ana from the CNN INTERNATIONAL newsroom. As I’ve said before, I don’t actually have CNNi, but my grandmother does, and from the few times I’ve seen News Center with Isha Sesay, I believe that Michael Holmes was hosting from the CNNi newsroom set that Isha also uses.
Regardless of what set he was using, he wasn’t using Studio 7, the only Atlanta set that you often see used by CNN. But here’s the kicker: Ana and Michael were co-hosting. That’s significant as it is; CNN doesn’t often use cohosts except for its morning shows. But what is even more significant is the fact they were both in separate cities, and the fact Ana Cabrera is CNN’s Denver-based correspondent. So, think about that. Ana doesn’t work out of the CNN NYC bureau. Yet she traveled to New York as opposed to Atlanta. I know that normally, CNN flies their substitutes to whatever city the normal anchor does their show out of. In yesterday’s case, however, that was stupid. If Michael was going to cohost with her from Atlanta, then it would make sense for her to be flown to Atlanta and anchor in the same city with him, as opposed to one being in Atlanta and one being in New York City.
And then, there’s the question: why was Ana Cabrera in New York City, anyway? Michael Holmes is a veteran journalist covering war zones, and I get that, so CNN wants him to anchor their weekend special on Iraq. Cool. But he’s also a news anchor. So why did they have Ana reading the news headlines for him? He’s more than capable of doing that himself. He hosted the entire 5pm hour by himself, with a panel of three CNN senior international correspondents and one other guest (Kimberly Dozier); with about fifteen minutes left in the 5pm hour, he brought in Ana to read through some headlines. The other block of Newsroom (4-4:30; 6-7), the two co-hosted together, though.
(Note: Don’t think that Michael Holmes may be given Don’s spot. He anchors CNNi’s iDesk weekdays)