Analysis: US Television News

Michael Park looks at the major American news presenters chosen to fill the shoes of high-profile retirees


Stephen Colbert

The Colbert Report, Comedy Central

"The next Jon Stewart" is what many people are calling Stephen Colbert, who last year left Stewart's The Daily Show to present his own satirical news programme. While there are similarities between the two shows, Colbert anchors his show pretending to be an egotistical and omniscient anchor ("On this show your voice will be heard ... in the form of my voice") who makes up words ("truthiness") and for comedic effect positions himself as more important than his guests.

www.comedycentral.com

Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper 360, CNN

Ever since Hurricane Katrina, media commentators have been falling over themselves to praise the suave, grey-haired Cooper, 38, whose genuine on-camera anger at the conditions he was witnessing in New Orleans helped to shame the Bush administration. Let loose from his studio to report from the site of any major news event, Cooper leaves his dark suits behind and dons jeans, sweatshirts and hooded tops to present one of CNN's most watched programmes.

CNN is available on Sky

Al Franken

The Al Franken Show, Air America

When liberal talk radio station Air America launched in the US prior to the 2004 presidential election, few gave it much chance of success. It was plagued by problems, but its future is now secure and many people credit comedian and writer Al Franken with being its saviour. Franken is one of the sharpest and wittiest liberal commentators working in any medium and is reportedly considering a run for Congress. In the meantime he continues to be one of Bush's biggest critics.

www.airamericaradio.com

Nancy Grace

CNN Headline News, Court TV

After the murder of her fiancé, Nancy Grace trained as a lawyer and worked as a special prosecutor in her native Georgia for more than a decade before switching to presenting. Grace, 48, is now the new legal star of American television. She presents programmes on two cable channels, CNN Headline News and Court TV, and controversially airs her unshakeable opinion of a defendant's guilt or innocence before a trial has started.

CNN is available on Sky

Cynthia McFadden

Nightline, ABC

When legendary anchor Ted Koppel decided to retire from Nightline, ABC decided to replace him with three presenters rather than just one: American journalist Terry Moran, Martin Bashir, and the rock-solid Cynthia McFadden, a qualified lawyer. The high-profile nature of the programme and her ability to do justice to both celebrity interviews and hard-hitting news items are what have brought her considerable praise in her new role.

www.abcnews.go.com/Nightline

Bill O'Reilly

Fox News

The O'Reilly Factor is the most-watched programme on any cable news network, making its host one of the most influential men in US television. A champion of the American right, O'Reilly takes aim nightly at supposed liberal bias in the media and overt political correctness. He knows exactly how to engage his audience and rile his critics and it is a recipe that continues to draw countless viewers from the American heartland and appal coastal-state intellectuals.

Fox News is available on Sky

Greta Van Susteren

Fox News

Another former attorney turned presenter, Van Susteren jumped ship from CNN to Fox News in 2002. On the back of what some media critics call the "missing white woman syndrome" (where more coverage is given to stories involving missing white women than to missing white men or missing ethnic minorities), she has positioned herself as one of the most focused and driven presenters. Her coverage gives her a high profile and consistently high ratings.

Fox News is available on Sky

Abbi Tatton

The Situation Room, CNN

Tatton, 30, a Leeds University graduate, is the stand-out English reporter on The Situation Room on CNN. For most of 2005 she kept the audience up to date with what was happening in the "blogosphere" with charm rather than wit, but her presence, her untainted English accent and her undiluted enthusiasm have won her many fans among bloggers and viewers alike. With such a following it can't be long before CNN gives her something more substantial to do.

CNN is available on Sky

Elizabeth Vargas

World News Tonight, ABC

Following the death of news presenter Peter Jennings, ABC decided to adopt a two-presenter approach to its flagship World News Tonight and chose Elizabeth Vargas to partner Bob Woodruff. Vargas stood in for Jennings on numerous occasions before his death and has considerable overseas experience, making her a safe but somewhat uninspiring choice for a network news presenter. She is only the third woman chosen to co-anchor a network evening news programme.

World News Tonight can be seen on BBC News 24

Brian Williams

NBC Nightly News, NBC

Williams, 47, took over presenting duties on America's highest rated evening network news programme last year. His star rose during Hurricane Katrina and he was called "the nation's anchor", after a moving report from inside the squalid Superdome. GQ has hailed him as "the most interesting man in television today".

Can be seen on CNBC, available on Sky

Bob Woodruff

World News Tonight, ABC

Woodruff hit the headlines recently for all the wrong reasons. ABC News last year announced he was to be the co-anchor of their evening news show with Elizabeth Vargas. But he's been spending most of his time on location; consequently, he was seriously wounded by a bomb while travelling with a US army convoy in Iraq last month.

World News Tonight can be seen on BBC News 24

Katie Couric

Today morning show, NBC

One of the first ladies of American TV, Couric is reportedly being courted by CBS to present its flagship evening news programme. Couric, who has hosted NBC's morning show Today since 1991, earns £6m a year. Perhaps only Oprah Winfrey is as loved and respected by middle America as Couric, who famously underwent a colonoscopy on air in 2000 to raise awareness of colon cancer after her husband died from the disease in 1998.

Couric's interviews are often screened on NBC's Nightly News on CNBC, available on Sky

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
Sport
football
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Sauce Recruitment: Programme Sales Executive - Independent Distributor

£25000 - £28000 per annum + circa 28K + 20% bonus opportunity: Sauce Recruitme...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Are you an ambitious, money mot...

Guru Careers: Investment Writer / Stock Picker

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: A freelance Investment Writer / Stock Picker ...

Guru Careers: PPC Account Executive / Paid Search Executive

£20 - 24K + Benefits: Guru Careers: An enthusiastic PPC Account / Paid Search ...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us