Roland Martin Takes Over for Campbell Brown (Will You Watch?)

Firstly, does anyone actually watch Campbell Brown’s “No Bias, No Bull” on CNN? I’m guessing most people on this blog watch Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Sean Hannity — either for serious or for giggles — Bill O’Reilly or absolutely nothing because you hate them all.

Or maybe you’re like me and you’re watching “Ugly Betty” or the “Lost” repeat with the obvious pop-ups or something.

I always saw No Bias, No Bull as the world’s most unnecessary show (with the most ludicrious title), largely because Brown is kind of boring to me … Just like Paula Zahn was and CNN doesn’t seem to know how to nurture a proper polemic, even a so-called unbiased one.

But if you watch CNN you may have noticed that Brown is super pregnant and will be taking a leave of absence. With that leave, CNN has finally decided to free TV commentator/host/pundit/personality Roland Martin from the “Pundit Plantation” and have him sub for Brown.

I thought Martin, who was signed by CNN but has barely been used by the network (other than one special and some Obama-based, election punditry), was going to end up in that same closet where they keep Soledad O’Brien, but now Martin will get his chance to helm a show and possibly later, get his own show, if things go well.

But some are wondering if he’s the man for the job.

Some especially loud squawkers at Media Bistro’s TVNewser are asking how Martin, who became an Obama partisan during the campaign, will be Mr. “No Bias, No Bull” for CNN? (They also claim he once supported both Bushes. Can anyone verify that? Roland? Roland, you out there? Did you actually support both Bushes? If so, that’s some 180 degree turn! The Bushes and Obama don’t agree on anything!)

But I digress …

After the news about Martin’s appointment yesterday, Politico’s Michael Calderone wrote about a CNN staffer who, “said a couple weeks back that they didn’t expect Martin because he’s regarded as a partisan, while Brown’s show is billed as a non-partisan alternative to her 8pm competitors, Keith Olbermann and Bill O’Reilly.”

A CNN spokesperson put it this way to TVNewser: “Can Roland Martin — who has been a journalist for 20 years and has supported both democrats and republicans — offer common sense and a broad range of opinions when he subs for Campbell for a couple of months? Yes — watch the show in April.”

But seriously, if the show is “No Bias, No Bull,” how will Martin fit? And is this to make up for that terrible show they gave D.L. Hughley that is STILL ON THE AIR? (Does “Chocolate News” appears to be dead, yet Hughley soldiers on? Bizarre.)

Naturally, the cries of bullshit have already begun, with one commenter jumping down both CNN and Martin’s throats: “They will need to change the show to an hour of ‘Total Bull and Bias w/ Roland Martin’ Why is CNN referring to Martin as a journalist? He’s a commentator. He has as much credibility as a journalist as Sean Hannity.”

I’m not going to go THAT far. C’mon, Hannity? That dude is a total ass (on purpose). Martin just has a touch of the ego. He’s not an asshat. Martin once called me to task for labeling him as an Obama partisan BEFORE he actually came out as an Obama partisan (real smooth, buddy). I think he’s fully capable of being professional and reigning it in (much as Campbell, who is married to a prominent Republican consultant/TV pundit, didn’t go off on RNC screeds and caused McCain staffer Tucker Bounds to self-combust on live TV once).

But will you watch the show?

According to TV By The Numbers, Campbell’s show was being slaughtered by the competition. She can’t even beat out friggin’ Nancy “Missing White Woman of the Week” Grace on CNN’s Headline News. The O’Reilly Factor is still the clear ratings getter with Olberman’s Countdown, then Grace’s show in third and Brown, not even cracking one million viewers last week, in fourth place.

Safe to say, she’s no Maddow.

Industry insiders are yakking that CNN needs to makes some “big decisions” about their primetime line-up. While FOX News and MSNBC experienced double-digit percentage gains in February, CNN is finally coming down from their election highs.

(C)able has moved in the direction of programs centered on a host with strong views, and it’s apparent that viewers became used to them during the campaign and stuck around for the start of the Obama administration.

“Those of us who have strong personalities in prime time are going to do better at this,” said Phil Griffin, MSNBC’s chief executive.

(Source: AP)

MSNBC is ESPECIALLY pleased that their audiences for Olbermann and Maddow continue to grow. FOX News is crowing that they will only thrive under the Obama Administration, and have the numbers to back that up.

“The game has changed,” (MSNBC’s Pat Griffin) said. “The news game is on cable. We are still in an interesting, important time when people are glued to what’s going on … The voices they hear on cable are the ones they’ve come to identify with.”

MSNBC’s prime-time weekday average of 1.16 million viewers in February was up from 881,000 last year. Fox’s average of 2.84 million is up from 2.22 million in 2008. CNN’s average dropped from 2.04 million last year to 1.37 million this year, Nielsen said. CNN argues last year’s numbers were inflated because they included three exclusive presidential debates the network sponsored; take out those three nights and the average was 1.47 million.

Larry King’s audience is up this year, but viewership dropped for “Anderson Cooper 360.” And CNN’s 8 p.m. hour, now hosted by Campbell Brown; last year it had rotating hosts as “Election Center.”

(Source: AP)

So now what? Will you turn off Keith (or O’Reilly, I don’t know what turns you on) to watch Roland take a stab at it? And if CNN gave Roland his own show, would you watch that too?

35 thoughts on “Roland Martin Takes Over for Campbell Brown (Will You Watch?)

  1. Sorry, but Roland is an embarrassment. He’s loud (in tone, and apparent affection for zoot-like suits) and greasy. It’s amazing CNN and NABJ consider him a "journalist." We cringe whenever he pops on the air, and then we flip the channel.

  2. seeing as how keith reruns like 3 times a night. i may pop in on roland to see whats up. i like to give people a chance or two. now that he’ll have "his own" for a bit, maybe he’ll switch it up on us and tone it down a bit

  3. C-SPAN baby!Unfiltered Gubment Feeds. The no journalists zone!Although that Joe Q Public call in show is heelairous & scary all @ once.any cable news haps worthy of my ADD are posted on blogs like snob, jjp, fn, slate or huff.

  4. Why not amy holmes? The hotness factor alone would bring ratings up. She’s much more well spoken than Martin and more experienced in politics. She’s black, so she shouldn’t have a problem on the newly christened 24 hour news channel for black america. I just think she’s a more logical choice.I think Martin is a joke. It wouldn’t suprise me if he pulled a "you will give me what I want or I’ll cry racism" Sharptonesque type move. He wrote one relevant thing about marriage on other than that I pay no attention to him.In the "Age of Obama" if Hughley and Martin are the best that can be done for high profile opinion journalism than there is still much progress yet to be made.

  5. @ halfmoonIf CNN were smart (and they aren’t) they would just rip-off my "View" clone idea that would pit Amy Holmes and Alison Stewart in a room together with Aisha Tyler as the funny, but smart moderator and get rid of Hughley all together. But nooooooo. Sistas can’t do it for themselves (on CNN)!I even have a "cutesy" title: "Politics, Not Personal." Please, CNN. I beg you to STEAL THIS IDEA! (If only for them all to get regular jobs. They can’t, CAN’T do worse than Campbell Brown.) And don’t forget to have Wanda Sykes and Donna Brazile on as guest hosts once or twice a week too along with ol’ what’s her face from the Independent Women’s Forum, Michelle Bernard.Besides, if FOX News can put every hot Republican blonde in the history of mankind on TV (whether they have a brain or not), I don’t know why you can’t pack a show full of adorable black women? What does CNN have against incredibly adorable, smart black women? What? WHAT! They could even have Soledad moderate if they don’t like my idea of giving Aisha Tyler a job. Lawd knows that child needs something to do.

  6. Genius, Snob! I agree and love your idea. Did you see Aisha Tyler on Olbermann last night? She so killed it for the little time she was on. Martin may not be the best fit but he beats Hughley hands down. Hughley is just so…Not. Politically. Astute. Was that REALLY the best they could do?

  7. I’ll try and tune in to Roland but I’ve got to be honest, it’ll largely depend on how interested I am in his topics or else I’ll stick w/ Keith. I know it’s the "in" thing nowadays to pan Olbermann as the bleeding heart liberal (especially after SNL lampooned him), but he’s an entertaining bleeding heart liberal. And let’s face it, I like my infotainment; hence, my devotion to the Daily Show and the Colbert Report.Funny, I was just telling someone last week how much I thought Campbell Brown’s show was boring. Glad to see that someone else agrees.

  8. @SnobI absolutely agree with you. If they are going to go than go all the way. The news world needs a channel loaded with "adorable black women". Every other news station that ‘s not about to go under does it (CNBC, Fox, Fox business). I mean c’mon. If they would go the attractive black female route I guarantee their ratings climb signifigantly. Instead they keep tripping over their own stupid ass liberal agenda.

  9. No time for tv. What I learn is from blogs with embedded video clips. TV spends too much time telling you what’s coming. By the time you get to what’s been hyped, you’ve wasted too much time for what you get.I notice this particularly when I’m at the garage waiting for my car. GMA is awful when you haven’t seen it for a while. You really see how they waste your time. Olbermann does it, too, so I’m no longer watching. So Snob, if R. Martin is great, be sure to let us know! Embedded clips still preferred!!!

  10. Danielle,As an aspiring journalist myself, I am majoring in Journalsim at my Collegiate High School, I think that the mainstream media lacks diversity when it comes to women of color. Amy Holmes, granted I do not care for her views, is a good journalist with valid points. She is smart, cute, and could possibly be really likeable. I think that if the Republicans want a bigger minority vote, they need to diversify, black and latino women are a FORCE. We need representatives from both sides.

  11. OMFG "Pundit Plantation" I really want to know why you aren’t getting paid big bucks. Really, I do.

  12. @ HalfmoonCNN has an agenda OTHER than to punish me with Rick Sanchez? I mean, that’s what I find highly insulting. That Amy Holmes is on that Pundit Plantation, even though I don’t always agree with her, but RICK "ROB RIGGLE" SANCHEZ is on "twittering" like a numbnuts every afternoon. He’s insulting to me as a journalist, a brown person and earthbound creature. If you’re going to have a dumb ox run a show, could he AT LEAST be a GOOD LOOKING dumb ox?[Insert obligatory TJ Holmes plug … here.]Screw it. I’m starting a "Politics, Not Personal," get my sisters off the Pundit Plantation, Free Amy Holmes and Alison Stewart, HOT SMART, FUNNY, BLACK WOMEN WILL SAVE YOUR NETWORK campaign. How do you start those stupid petition thingies on Facebook?@ NAGROMAmy Holmes is amazingly likable. I like her and I don’t even agree with anything she says. She used to be a Liberal when she was younger, I keep wanting to convert her back due to her amazing likability, but I’ll take her as she is if it means she and Alison Stewart would debate to the death every night. I’m pretty positive I could sell tickets to "Curly-Headed, Afro Girl Political Warz" by the bundles, with Aisha Tyler and Michelle Bernard there to tag-team in at a moments notice if anyone actually becomes at a lost for words.

  13. I really don’t mind Roland Martin though. He is a President Obama supporter so duh, he is definitely biased, but in my opinion, Anderson Cooper is slighlty biased(I think that he is a secret Republican), Lou Dobbs is biased, and Campbell Brown seems…odd. I really do not believe that CNN has a liberal agenda, as halfmoon said, you have to read between the lines, they are actually trying to be fair while remaining slightly Republican.

  14. LOL, @ the Rick Sanchez comment. He isn’t ugly but average in the looks department and he is a DRAMA KING! Amy Holmes is so much better, TJ Holmes is like black McDreamy. So cute. I really love your terminology. Pundit Plantation.LOL. I think that Danielle Belton should be a broadcast Journalist, or atleast a well-known opinion columnist.

  15. @ NAGROMIt ANNOYS me when Rick busts out the faux outrage without actually LISTENING to whomever he is interviewing and I hate, hate, HATE the overall adult ADD nature of the show. How can you do a proper interview in less than ONE MINUTE? How can you just hop to video footage but have NO CONTEXT? WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT ME!?!? Things I all ponder when I wind up staring at the Riggle Sanchez.

  16. @ NAGROMOh, and thank you for the compliment. I did write a column for a newspaper a long, dusty time ago. Perhaps if the newspapers would get over that bad case of media ebola virus that they’re all dying from I can once get health benefits to complain about things again.

  17. @ everybodyI’ve always thought that rick sanchez was a way to get a white guy anchor with a politically correct last name. Unfortunately he doesn’t have the moxy of a shepard smith so we go back to that ox thing you’re talking about.

  18. @ NAGROMI don’t know why you would think CNN is remotely republican. The only thing truly conservative(beck) about that network went to fox news and the other somewhat conservative(dobbs) thing helped found the freakin network. Anderson Cooper might be a closet something but it ain’t a republican. So could you clue me in as to what’s between those lines that I’m not seeing. If anything CNN has mainly become one thing-African-American.

  19. I actually watch Nancy Grace because I’m always wondering, "Where are all the missing white women?" I like Roland, whom I call "Uncle Poogie" since he looks exactly like old family friend. I found Brown annoying and boring, so Uncle Poogie will be an improvement.

  20. @ halfmoon circleI really cannot stomach Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs is a Latino hater, and another thing, if you really pay careful attention to Anderson Cooper, you would see what Im talking about. He one time slipped up and said something along the lines of "us who did not vote for him" in reference to President Obama. I notice his infatuation with a certain Republican figure too. He is a total Republican; he always criticizes the President on little, silly, petty, issues too. He is nice to look at, but his slanted partisanship is getting on my nerves.

  21. @NAGROMMy friend you and I are at two different ends of the spectrum and I didn’t come here to bicker. I respect where you’re coming from I just don’t agree. My overarching thought about this is that Roland Martin should not be taken seriously. He is a step down from Campell Brown ( I never thought I’d say that ) and CNN should go in a different direction.

  22. I know that we are because you are clearly a neo-con. I do not understand why anybody could watch Glen Beck or Hannity for anything other than laughs. I mean, come on! Hannity literally lives for downing President Obama, he LIVES for talking negatively about the man, even if he’s done nothing wrong. I understand that we disagree fundamentally, and that’s fine, but I’d take Roland over Obama-bashing Hannity or Beck any day.

  23. And another thing, I am not bickering with you, I am stating my case. I mean, come on, if you are black(which Im assuming you are) How could you sit there and watch these two dusty white men BASH into President Obama on a daily basis???? Hannity is like the King of "NOBAMA", Im like EWWWWWW, when I see that greasy-haired, long chinned man!!!!

  24. @NAGRAMWhy don’t you go back and look and what you said and I said. You said that CNN was slanted republican. I said it was not and that the two most prominent conservative elements either left or are currently rotting on screen. I never said that I was a glenn beck fan or sean hannity fan. I came here to talk about roland martin. I think you need to work on that name calling thing of yours. It’s very unbecoming. You know what happens when you assume don’t you.

  25. Roland might be interesting. I could trust Fareed Zakaria in this role–but then Campbell may not get her job back. Amy Holmes would have little credibility as an unbiased spokesperson–cuteness and likability aside.

  26. @ NAGROM & HalfmoonAll right. All right. Let’s stay on topic. There’s no need to fling loaded terms like "neo con" around. We’re all entitled to our opinions on what is wrong (or right) with CNN without being accused of catching "war cooties" from former UN Ambassador John Bolton. Let’s not have a mini-flame war on the thread over how CNN’s is slanted. As you both know, my opinion is that CNN is slanted towards "crappy," which is why it is presently in third place during the 8 p.m. hour. And let’s be honest, any flame war over CNN is a pretty lame flame war. You both basically agree with my CNN is kind of crappy theory, you just have different opinions on what makes it crappy.Which makes me RIGHT either way! (And very pleased with myself.)As for Anderson Cooper, um … no comment. (Other than TJ could totally do that job and look just as good, if not better, in a tight black T-shirt.)And lawd, yes, Shep Smith IS better than Sanchez. But almost everyone is [insert second TJ Holmes plug … here]. Shep Smith is friggin’ Mike Wallace by comparison. I’m friggin’ Murrow by comparison.@ heatherYeah. Amy’s not exactly unbiased either. But that’s why I’m continuing to push my bipartisan hot black brainy chick political slugfest. Why bother with "No Bias, No Bull" when you can just make a better, sexier, BLACKER version of "Crossfire?" Come on! CALL ME, CNN! You know you want to! Just imagine all the hijinks our hot, adorable black women could debate themselves into? How long would it take before someone made a hot comb reference and apply it to the economic crisis? To hear Michelle Bernard say this stimulus package makes it look like someone needs to tighten up their lacefront? Because you know they’d forget non-black people were watching after awhile. It would be like Kathie Lee and Hoda, but everyone will be sober.

  27. While I agree with Roland’s views, im not sure I can listen to an hour of his delivery style…its like Roland, can you stop yelling at me, im right here!!I like Jamal SImmons, but he is too soft spoken to be a host….I WOULD LOVEEEE to see James Carville and his side kick (I forgot his name) from Louisiana to do a show (they are funnnnyyy) and I love the way they totally make fun of republicans (they are total partisans), Although those 2 did piss me off during the primary with their Hillary Clinton bias!! But I have made my peace with them

  28. I like Roland, although I am occasionally embarrassed by/for him. He needs to stop spitting out this thoughts and just, like, take a deep breath, ya know? I cannot stand Amy Holmes and I was especially annoyed with her during the election cycle. She was better than that Leslie Sanchez, though ugh.I like bright and sunny, Fredricka on the weekends. And Don Lemon is easy on the eyes to me (even if he’s bland). I’ve gotten used the D.L. so maybe I need to raise my standards (as Steve Harvey has instructed!! lol)

  29. Talking about who leans Left or Right on CNN, John King clearly leans Right. The problem with CNN is that they’re desperately trying to look unbiased because they’re afraid that Papa Limbaugh and others on the right will lump them with MSNBC. The problem is that they overreach with their unbiased reporting.

  30. Roland will be compensated by CNN with S-Curl activator and pin stripe suits that make his azz look wider than it needs to! Is this dude a preacher man, too?!?

  31. Actually Snob you’re wrong on saying the network barely uses him, obviously you must not watch CNN that much:) Roland is on Situation Room, Campbell, or other shows at least twice a week. He’s always..always..always on Campbell actually and has stepped in for her before. They also gave him his own show the month leading up to the election…so to say they never use him is simply not true.

  32. @ TinaUnfortunately, I watch and unGodly amount of CNN. But I probably could have been more specific there … when Roland was signed, it was under the assumption that he would be taking on more of a reporting role, but they continued to still largely use him as a pundit (hence the "Pundit Plantation" joke). So while he does get on CNN as a commenter, up until now they’d only used him for one special and mostly punditry.As for him subbing for Campbell, I had no clue about that one as I obviously don’t watch that woman’s show. It’s dull to me. Dull as hell.

  33. I totally agree with O-nista. I can’t stand Roland. I think at best he’s only a notch better than Al Sharpon and Jesse Jackson on their bad days. He’s a talking head just like the rest of them, and is completely bias, but tries to hide it. All of that and he looks like the Black version of the Penguin from the Batman movie if you look closely.

  34. Sure Martin is biased but he's entertaining and smart. I enjoy him on CNN and his appearances on The Tom Joyner Morning Show. But if CNN were really smart, they'd hire Tamron Hall away from MSNBC and give her a show. She's smart, funny, knowledgable and easy on the eyes. I'd watch her…I'd also drink her bath water because she's so damn FINE. Wait. This post started out pretty good but then degenerated into some porntastic mess. I'll leave now

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