No, not that Brown. Aaron Brown. Former CNN Anchor, who was jettisoned a few years back for the younger, more in-your-face, reporting of Anderson Cooper.
First, I must admit in writing this that I am an Aaron Brown fan. I was sad to see him replaced at CNN a few years ago by Anderson Cooper. It’s not that I don’t like Cooper, because I do, but Brown has a unique ability to tell the “important” stories. The stories, which many of us, myself included, might overlook because they are deemed dry or they seem like they’re half a world away (because they often are.) However, Brown makes theses stories relevant and manages to tell them with a certain brand of character that lends a sense of candor and warmth to these tales, making them interesting, informative, and educational.
So with that in mind, what can the 60-year-old Brown do for PBS? Perhaps, it is an opportunity for the outlet to rejuvenate its news coverage, to attract some younger or rather more varied audiences. Or perhaps, as Brown makes the case in this intro video (link) it is the ability to present those important stories that aren’t getting covered anywhere else the attention that they so deserve.
For PBS, and for Brown, I think that this is a perfect marriage. Brown’s analytical take, and ability to connect with the audience will match well with PBS’ more documentary and longer-form approach. While this initial run is scheduled as a limited engagement, I expect that this relationship will be successful and flourish in the coming months. Judging by the reaction fans have had on the Wide Angle website, with nearly 50 comments already posted by viewers, the audience is there and eager to have Brown back in the chair.
Look for Wide Angle on PBS beginning this evening, August 19th on your local PBS Affiliate.