CNN this morning will premiere new host Brian Stelter on Reliable Sources, a show that examines how journalists do their jobs and how the media affect the stories they cover. Stelter’s guests include The New York Times’ Bill Keller and Ryan Seacrest. EW asked Stelter, a former TV reporter for The New York Times, to answer a few questions about his new gig.
Why is this show still relevant? “Reliable Sources has been on the air on one form or another for a couple of decades. And it’s really one of the only shows on television that looks at the media and assesses what journalists do right and what journalists don’t do right, what they do wrong. We’re going to try to broaden it out and talk about the media at large. I think Reliable Sources is at its best when it’s looking at how journalists do their job and how we consume media nowadays. And as you know, the way we consume media is changing so much that there’s an awful lot to cover.”
Will you focus on online media? “I think that’s where some of the best stories come from right now. [Recently] I was at the headquarters of Capital New York, this startup news website that Politico bought, and I was interviewing the CEO of Politico there. Politico is a great example of this upstart that came in seven years ago and revolutionized journalism and media in Washington, and now, they’re trying to do the same thing in New York. If it works, I’ll try to do it other places as well. And so I think those stories are oftentimes some of the most interesting these days because sites like Politico are changing the way we consume media.
What kind of guests do you prefer? “The core of Reliable Sources, the heart of Reliable Sources is talking to media, reporters, and observers and analysts about the issues of the day. So in that case, yes, we would be bringing on journalists as we always have. But I also think we’ll be able to bring on news makers themselves, the people that are actually behind these stories. And that’s why I mentioned the CEO of Politico who I’m planning on having on on Sunday. That’s an example of something that Reliable Sources didn’t do as much of in the past but will try to do more of in the future where we talk to the principals who are involved in a story, who are the ones making news as well as the people covering it.”
What are your thoughts about Sam Champion’s decision to join The Weather Channel? “Boy, it was a big surprise to me, and I’m a little embarrassed to say that because I wrote a book about morning TV earlier this year. I’ve tried to keep very close tabs on what’s going on at Good Morning America, and I honestly thought that Sam would not leave. Right now, there’s contracts up for several of the Good Morning America anchors not just Sam Champion but also Robin Roberts, Josh Elliot, Lara Spencer. And I thought ABC would find a way to keep them all together. Well, Robin Roberts is staying. She’s this close to signing and be able to stay, and we’ll see what happens with Josh Elliot and Lara Spencer. television from free broadcast networks to hundreds of cable channels, and now Sam Champion’s the latest part of that.”
Reliable Sources airs every Sunday at 11 a.m. ET.