Could Joy Behar be the new face of CNN?
A “yes” answer to that question seems premature at the moment, but a published report says the outspoken talk-show personality paid a visit to new CNN President Jeff Zucker at CNN headquarters in New York.
The speculation about the visit includes the possibility that Joy might have a role to play in the network revamp Zucker has been feverishly working on. However, no details of what Joy and Jeff may have discussed at the meeting were reported in the story — which was essentially a gossip item in the New York Post (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
Behar, 70, certainly has a track record in talk TV — at least some of it successful. She’s the longest-running member of the “View” crew (along with Barbara Walters, who appears on fewer days per week than Behar) and she hosted a prime-time talk show on CNN-owned HLN (formerly Headline News). Critics and at least some viewers enjoyed that show, in which Joy mainly interviewed celebrities. But HLN dropped the show in 2011 after just two years even though “The Joy Behar Show” was said to be HLN’s second highest-rated show (after “Nancy Grace”).
She then moved on to Al Gore’s Current TV, where she hosted a show called “Joy Behar: Say Anything.” And again, there was nothing particular wrong with the show or Behar’s hosting abilities. The problem was: No one watched Current TV.
More recently, the network was sold to the Mideast company that owns Al Jazeera. The new owners plan to revamp and rebrand the network, which will henceforth be called Al Jazeera America. Since their plans will not likely include talk shows such as the one Joy Behar was hosting, she is evidently shopping herself elsewhere.
The question is: Will CNN give her a show as part of Zucker’s effort to re-create the network (particularly its prime-time slate)? We don’t know the answer to that, but we do know that CNN parent Time Warner is counting on Zucker to turn around a once-mighty news brand whose ratings have been declining steadily for years. Stay tuned.