Cable Noose Network
: It was no surprise to me that Walter Isaacson left CNN. Walter’s a smart guy with that touch of cockiness that Time Inc. adds to even a Rhodes scholar. Like his colleagues, he’s essentially a snob.
The Times story says that at CNN, he was frustrated with TV’s concentration on ratings (well, that means you’re frustrated with serving your audience, doesn’t it?) and negotiating with stars (he was the one who switched to a star system from Ted’s anonymous newsreader system) and allegedly shallow TV news (he was one of those guys who wanted to bring major reporting to Time — when, as far as I’m concerned, Time was best when it was the precursor to The Week magazine and weblogs too: namely, a summary of others’ reporting).
So why did he take the job in the first place? Got me. You should love TV and TV’s audience if you’re going to work in TV — and if you don’t, it will show. And it showed. CNN is dull. FoxNews isn’t.
Now let me be really unfair to the guy and suggest that if Isaacson had not also muffed Pathfinder — and with it, an online strategy for Time Inc. and thus Time Warner — they never would have felt the need to go out and get in bed with — and F’ed by — AOL.
Walter’s going to go to Aspen to think big thoughts. That is where he belongs.