Eliot Spitzer to host CNN primetime news show

8:03 AM PST 06/23/2010 by James Hibberd, AP

Former New York governor to team with Kathleen Parker

It's official: CNN will launch a primetime news program co-hosted by former New York governor Eliot Spitzer.

Spitzer will replace Campbell Brown in the network's 8 p.m. slot, a time period that's underperformed in the ratings. Brown announced in May she that was stepping down.

CNN will team Spitzer with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Kathleen Parker. Together they will host a roundtable discussion program that will debut this fall.

As a New York Attorney General, Spitzer won acclaim prosecuting abuses among major Wall Street firms. He resigned as governor two years ago after acknowledging visits to a prostitute.

CNN's move is bewildering to some critics.

"How did the Harvard Law School graduate-turned-crusading New York Attorney General-turned-middling New York governor-turned-Client No. 9-turned-disgraced tabloid punching bag-turned real estate family man-turned Slate columnist suddenly amount to a viable cable news candidate?" asked the New York Observer.

Jon Klein, CNN's president, defended the decision by drawing a thinly veiled comparison to Fox News and MSNBC.

"Other cable news channels force-feed viewers one narrow, predictable point of view; in contrast, CNN will be offering a lively roundup of all the best ideas -- presented by two of the most intelligent and outspoken figures in the country," said Klein. "Eliot and Kathleen are beholden to no vested interest -- in fact, quite the opposite: they are renowned for taking on the most powerful targets and most important causes."
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