NEW YORK (AP) - With a purposeful stride across
her new studio toward the camera, Connie Chung opened a new
era for CNN on Monday night with the debut of her prime-time
Chung was hired from ABC as part of CNN's
strategy to develop news stars that can compete with cable news
leader Fox News Channel. She's in the same time slot as Fox's
biggest gun, Bill O'Reilly.
"I can promise you I'm not going to
yell at you," Chung said.
CNN built a new studio for Chung in midtown
Manhattan, and she wore a burnt-orange suit to match its dominant
She led the program with the day's top story,
President Bush's Middle East policy speech. She then proceeded
into what is expected to be the meat of her show — provocative,
occasionally newsy interviews.
For her debut, she interviewed the brother-in-law
of Colorado wildfire suspect Terri Barton, then spoke to the
Milwaukee man arrested after writing to Dear Abby to confess
his attraction to young girls.
That interview treaded close to tabloid territory.
"It started with a simple e-mail, grew into a media firestorm
and ended with a shattered life," Chung said to introduce the
Sound effects made whooshing noises every
time words appeared on the screen.
Chung then brought Jon Stewart, host of Comedy
Central's "The Daily Show," on for an interview. It seemed for
a while neither knew what he was there for.
"It's an honor to be here, especially
following arson and pedophilia," Stewart said. He stuck around
for an interview with two players and a coach from the U.S.
soccer team that had just made an improbable run at the World
Chung will be followed nightly on CNN's prime-time
lineup by "Larry King Live" and Aaron Brown's "Newsnight." CNN
hopes that news and interviews delivered by recognizable personalities
will cut into Fox's ratings lead.