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The unperson

By RD Heldenfels Published: November 3, 2005

You can cease to exist on television in a second. An actress once bagged a scheduled interview with me because, on the day of the interview, her show was put on hiatus. I actually interviewed a producer on the day his show was pulled off the schedule. ''There have been better days,'' he said. Then there was a guy who went on a multi-city tour, complete with TV appearances, to promote his new show, only to see it canceled while he was on the tour.

Which brings me to Aaron Brown, the suddenly former CNN star. Last night, my onscreen cable guide still listed ''NewsNight With Aaron Brown.'' But the show was noticeably without him, or his name. (I have a posting below about the changes at CNN.) Come Monday, the time slot will belong to Anderson Cooper.

Is this a bad thing? To me, it's just a different thing. Can't say I've ever fallen under Cooper's spell; I still haven't shaken the idea that he used to host ''The Mole.'' But neither was I in Brown's cult. He always seemed stuffy and dull, with the white-glove quality that I associate with the worst of National Public Radio. He also had a smarter-than-you air, at least in my view; that might have worked in the era of Olympian anchors, but not these days. If nothing else, Cooper wants to be your friend.

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