Eliot Spitzer quit the New York governorship three years ago because he was involved with prostitutes. Now CNN has quit on him because he's not interesting enough on air to win the ratings.
Spitzer's political talk television show In the Arena with Eliot Spitzer was canceled by CNN on Wednesday after only nine months. Anderson Cooper's nightly newscast will move into the 8 p.m. ET time slot held by Spitzer's show. Cooper's show will also be rebroadcast at 10 p.m. nightly.
CNN said in an internal memorandum the network was discussing an alternative role with Spitzer at the network, but Spitzer issued a statement saying he thoroughly enjoyed his time with CNN, suggesting the relationship is over.
It never really got started.
Former New York Governor Spitzer initially went on the air with CNN in a program called Parker Spitzer. He shared airtime in that program with co-host Kathleen Parker. She was pulled in February of this year due to poor ratings, leaving Spitzer on his own to try and increase the audience the two never received in the prime time slot.
Marked with a common sense style that was lacking in flair required for prime time success, according to a former employee of CNN, Spitzer never found that charismatic thing on air that brings talk show hosts to large-audience success. He also suffered by hosting a program of political subject matter while being largely bipartisan on air, since most successful political talk show hosts lean strongly one way or another in political views.
But it's also believed the audience never warmed to Spitzer because of his past. Once a popular governor who enjoyed cajoling with the media, Spitzer rise to political power was marked by his being a fierce enforcer of ethics in public life. Then came the news in 2008 that Spitzer was caught in an investigation into a prostitution ring. He was caught on a federal wiretap engaging with high-end prostitutes.
He apologized for his actions and became the first New York governor since 1973 to quit in the midst of his elected term.
Two years later, Spitzer was hired by CNN executive Jonathan Klein to do a prime time news show for the network political in nature. But just weeks before the Parker Spitzer show launched on CNN late last year Klein was dismissed by CNN. The Parker Spitzer program suffered with low ratings, and Spitzer tried it on his own before CNN canceled the show Wednesday because the ratings did not improve.
Spitzer did not say what his future plans are.