The former CNBC business host jumped networks to take on her own evening news program, OutFront, which debuts tonight on CNN. Politico says that the network has a “woman problem,” despite a viewership that skews 57 percent female: The last two women to take high-profile evening anchor jobs there, Kathleen Parker and Campbell Brown, “crashed and burned,” according to the site. How will Burnett deal? Well, she’s ready to state on the record that she’s not going under the knife!
“We acknowledge that I’m the only woman in this slot, and there aren’t too many other women at night anyway,” Burnett said. “Since it is what it is, and I’m not getting a sex change, it has to be a positive.”
Burnett, who is taking over for John King’s show, will apparently focus some of her reporting energy on women’s issues. “Seven is when you have a lot of things going on in people’s lives,” she explained. “There’s dinner, when all kinds of things go on that are family oriented — as opposed to later at night, when men are in charge of the remote.” And yet I have to wonder whether her gender might actually work to her advantage in another way, too. The comely Burnett, with her background in business reporting, seems like a hire who could make inroads with male viewers, in addition to increasing the network’s already robust market share with female viewers. She’ll be going up against two male anchors, Chris Matthews and Shepard Smith. And the dinner hour probably isn’t actually a time when women tend to be spending much leisurely time controlling the remote.
Can Erin Burnett fix CNN’s woman problem? [Politico]