A plan to revive CNN’s “Crossfire” appears to be moving forward with the news that none other than Newt Gingrich is being considered for a role on the talk-show reboot.
The outspoken, conservative former Speaker of the House is a candidate for one of the co-host’s roles on the show, according to this story on the Hollywood Reporter Web site that THR picked up from Politico.com.
The story of CNN’s possible revival of “Crossfire” has been around for a while.
It’s part of the ongoing effort at the all-news cable channel to raise its profile and revive its ratings under new CEO Jeff Zucker following years of declines.
The THR story names Gingrich as one possible participant on the show, along with two political types who are lesser known than he: Stephanie Cutter, described as an adviser to President Obama, and Kevin Madden, an adviser to Mitt Romney during the 2008 and 2012 campaigns. The two have shown up on TV from time to time.
While the rumors about a new “Crossfire” have been around for a month or so, CNN has never confirmed them. Still, the stories are insisting that a new “Crossfire” — a show last seen in 2005 — will be up and running on CNN this summer. Whether it will have Gingrich or these other two remains to be seen.
One interesting tidbit that keeps getting mentioned in all these “Crossfire” stories: The role played by Jon Stewart of all people in the long-running brand’s demise in 2005. The stories say Stewart’s withering criticism of the show on his “Daily Show” undermined it to such a point that CNN had to dump it.
So now we’d like to know: In 2013, will CNN be as responsive to Stewart’s critiques of the new “Crossfire”? Fact is, Stewart spent part of last week lambasting CNN for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath, so it’s clear Stewart still has his claws out for the news channel.