December 26, 2011

Don Lemon says 'He Just Wants to be Real'; Cable News is Broken and He Can Set it Straight

Earlier this month CNN anchor T.J. Holmes announced a multi-platform deal for himself with the BET Networks beginning in 2012. As recently as last week in a surprising move CBS weekend anchor and correspondent Russ Mitchell has decided to leave the network to become the 6 & 11 p.m. news anchor and managing editor at the local NBC affiliate WKYC-TV Channel 3 in Clevelend. When experienced news anchors leave traditional network news organizations, it signals a warning to them that they need to do a better job of capturing the stories that matter to viewers according to CNN anchor Don Lemon. The openly gay news anchor talked to CL Atlanta about what he thinks it will take to straighten out and fix the way news is reported on cable news networks.

Some highlights from the article:

Lemon is always on his iPhone, constantly checking Twitter and Facebook and talking back to viewers, even during live commercial breaks. ...He's also eager to say that television can do something his phone can't: "You have to have a personality, someone who is engaging, in order to pull people in. You're drawn in by a human, by someone who you relate to or a personality you like, because otherwise you may as well just go on your iPad."

Lemon checks his Twitter feed on his iPhone and shows me a message from a viewer that reads, "Why are all of the black anchors on the weekend?" When I ask him what he thinks about that, he just shrugs his shoulders. Later, at a photo shoot for this story, I ask him if he knows why T.J. Holmes decided to leave CNN for BET. He shrugs his shoulders again at that question, "I think he probably wanted something more than weekends." After considering it a bit longer, he says, "If we complain about it, we're malcontents but if you don't how do you sleep at night?"

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