CNN’s Mark Whitaker Describes Anderson Cooper As The ‘Anchor For The Future’

In an interview with Adweek‘s Brian Braiker, CNN managing editor Mark Whitaker describes his vision for the future of the news network. Simply put, it’s not just about breaking news, but it will probably look a lot like Anderson Cooper. “I think we’re in a day and age when you can have all the qualities of a great journalist but have a human side as well, and even a sense of humor. In many ways Anderson Cooper is the model that we increasingly are going to, not that everyone has to be Anderson Cooper.”

As CNN hosts like Larry King and Eliot Spitzer have left the building, the network has stressed the journalistic bona fides of its emerging stars, like ex-CNBC anchor Erin Burnett, who made her first appearance on CNN Monday night and will debut her own show at 7 p.m. in September. Burnett’s described by CNN bosses as a savvy reporter who’s as comfortable anchoring a newscast as she is reporting in the field–the same qualities Whitaker says are essential in making Cooper the prototype CNN anchor. “He has qualities that I think we want to see in our anchors and reporters. Anderson is not ideological, but he is demanding accountability; he’s asking tough questions; he’s not histrionic. He manages to relay the importance of events without being theatrical or over-the-top in any way.”

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