“He originally pitched himself as the next Larry King,” says a former Clinton staffer. “He envisioned himself hosting a talk show from New York, Los Angeles and Washington, wherever he happened to be.”
At that point, the discussions were in the $20 million range for a four-year deal that would put him on the air two or three nights a week. But it became apparent after his initial conversations that the big money was in five-nights-a week servitude. “He couldn’t commit to that,” says the source
So Clinton backed out of talks. Still, NBC has been aggressively chasing Clinton for months, but not for the network. Its wants to put him on its floundering cable channel, MSNBC, which has been running third, sometimes fourth against competitors Fox (the overall leader), CNN, and CNBC.
“Clinton is not a cable guy. He’s a network, prime-time guy,” says another former Clinton associate. “If they want to put up $50 million, they aren’t going to stick him in a backwater with the likes of Chris Matthews or Bill O’Reilly.”
True, Clinton’s aspirations do run to higher fare. Not only did he want to be the next Larry King, in the discussions with CBS he pitched himself as another Charlie Rose. “But not the Charlie they already have on ‘60 Minutes II,’” says the former associate. “The Charlie Rose that’s on PBS.”
Never mind that CBS had the Charlie Rose of PBS fame long before PBS did, and the show tanked.
Now, Clinton wants to be next Oprah (Why not the next Rosie?). A senior NBC executive in Los Angeles privy to the meeting between executives and Clinton says that the room got very quiet when Clinton explained his vision for a show that would bring the nation together, people of all races, all backgrounds. That he could still be the national healer he saw himself as years before. “It’s always impressive hearing him speak,” says the executive. “But then his people brought up the numbers. Katie Couric numbers. Fifty million? Too rich for us. And we know what other people were talking to him about numbers wise. It wasn’t $50 million.”
Clinton has been getting advice on his TV future from longtime Clinton and Democratic National Committee donor Haim Saban, whom Clinton is meeting with while in Los Angeles. Saban, who produces and syndicates mostly TV fare for children, is said by current and former Clinton aides to be a driving force behind the former president’s aspirations to regularly appear on TV. “He [Saban] thinks Clinton’s a natural, and of course he is, everyone knows that,” says the former Clinton staffer. “But President Clinton is used to showing up, getting miked and then just talking. He has no idea what it entails to put together a show. He’d have no time for anything else. This would be his job.”
But Clinton doesn’t care. In L.A. all parties agreed to keep talking, and Clinton’s representative hinted that there might be flexibility on the numbers if a syndication deal could be reached that gave the ex-prez a larger piece of the pie. “If he could be a part owner in syndication, where the real money is, then I think he’d want to listen to lower upfront payments,” says the former staffer.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?