The Mirror reported late last week that several members of CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer‘s staff have marched out in the last year. That is, ever since they brought on a new executive producer, Jay Shaylor, to allegedly save Wolf’s hide.
New details are emerging regarding Shaylor spurring the resignations of Wolf’s longest serving staffers.
“Wolf gave Jay full reign to make any changes,” said a CNN insider who is in a solid position to know what’s happening in The Situation Room. “The show is about to die. It’s now or never.”
Which brings us to another floated theory inside CNN about Wolf, which is that the 66-year-old anchor, who has been with the network since 1990, is too afraid to say anything that would defy Shaylor and rest of top management, lest he risk his own job security. Some are saying he’s old, washed up and therefore has good reason to simply obey and do as he’s told. While many in the cable news industry perceive Wolf to be a sturdy franchise for CNN, others aren’t convinced his standing there is so air-tight.
But isn’t Wolf a brand?
“Ratings suck,” a TV media observer explained. “He is the face of CNN. They are beginning to think it may be that he’s too old and too boring. Which he is. He stutters. He’s terrible.”
The Mirror sought comment from Blitzer, Shaylor and CNN publicists Edie Emery and Lauren Pratapas. None returned emails on the matter.
Sources are telling The Mirror that Wolf’s former executive producer Patricia DiCarlo, who now works in the network’s investigations unit, was purposely shoved out, despite the narrative about high burnout. “Patricia DiCarlo is highly partisan and was moved out to create more balance,” said the TV media observer, explaining that partisan, in this case, means leans Democrat.
Staff have complained to HR and to Wolf about what they view to be Shaylor’s poor work ethic and condescending personality — but to no avail. Wolf listened, but did nothing. Known for their loyalty, Wolf’s staffers have typically remained with him for years and years.
But not anymore.
Surprising to many is the upcoming departure of Linda Roth, his longtime producer, who is moving on without a plan. She’s been by his side since 1997. One insider went so far as to say that Wolf wouldn’t be the brand he is today without Roth.
But more and more it’s looking like Wolf is embracing any and all changes.
As the saying, in with the new, out with old. Just so long as it’s not Wolf being put out to pasture.