For the near future George Stephanopoulos will man the ship at ABC's This Week but rumor has it the position isn't permanent and the network is considering at least four other journalists to anchor the public affairs show longterm. According to Politico's Mike Allen, that change will come after the 2013 inauguration and "ABC execs say it'll be Jake Tapper, Terry Moran or Jonathan Karl." Adding to the list, Page Six says Matthew Dowd is also under consideration. So what do these contenders have going for them? Here's a look at the roster:
Jake Tapper Despite being the fan-favorite, the top brass appears reluctant to give Tapper the chair, as his "interim" title at This Week suggested and the appointment of Stephanololous to takeover for Christiane Amanpour confirmed. But clearly, as Politico's Keach Haggey notes, Tapper has a lot going for him. "[He] was beloved by the political insiders who make up the show’s core audience. In his four months on the show, he had instituted format changes like live fact-checking that created buzz and at one point even led the show to beat 'Meet the Press' in the coveted 25-to-54-year-old demographic." If the improved ratings or myriad Twitter fanboys aren't enough to convince top executives to pick Tapper, perhaps the conversion of John Cook to becoming a true believer is? Yesterday, the Gawker scribe, who had assailed Tapper as a "hypocrite" and "tool" in the past, gave his endorsement. "He did stupid things like live-Twittering and inviting Politifact to politifact-check everything that his guests said, but the show seemed fresh and interesting and curious in a way it never did under Stephanopoulos' jaded insiderism."
Terry Moran The co-anchor of Nightline has the sort of voice of God delivery and dashing good looks of an anchorman parody. During the hype surrounding Stephanopolous's move to Good Morning America in December 2009, Mediaite also reported that Moran was a top contender for the This Week position. "One name we’ve heard for the This Week job is Terry Moran," Steve Krakauer wrote. "It would make sense – he’s in house, has been with the network for more than a decade and has conducted several high profile interviews (including a few with candidate Obama)."
Speaking of President Obama, following the president's historic election, Moran made one of the funnier on-air flubs. Everyone makes mistakes but the omniscient tone that is so common in TV news inevitably makes the gaffes even funnier. "The son of a black man from Kenya and a white man from Kansas, now, no matter what your politics, that is a moment for the history books."
Jonathan Karl In February, ABC's senior correspondent Jonathan Karl took his turn at the This Week chair as guest anchor and did not rock the boat or make any noticeable gaffes. Not known for having an outsized talk show personality, he does know how to break news and uncover scoops. "His reporting on Congressional junkets led to changes in the rules for the travel costs of members of Congress and their staff and his reporting on vacant federal buildings led to a new effort to sell-off unused government real estate," reads his bio. In terms of booking big guests, he's also an asset, as he's greased sources in his "Senate Subway Series" interviewing lawmakers on their way to work and no doubt picked up contacts on the campaign trail following the Bush-Cheney ticket in 2004. Clearly the vice president is comfortable with Karl, as he's been able to score exclusive interviews with him on a number of occasions, including the day after Osama bin Laden was killed. The downside? More cranky Sunday interviews with Dick Cheney.
Matthew Dowd The former George W. Bush strategist, ABC News contributor and National Journal columnist (full disclosure: NJ is a sister publication of The Atlantic Wire) got his turn guest hosting This Week back in May. Dowd doesn't put a boring gloss on his political analysis, such as his review of Mitt Romney's core political problems, but his snappy commentary can result in some odd analogies.
Take this moment on This Week comparing the Catholic Church's sex abuse damage controle to Toyota's
Regardless, Dowd is a deep thinker and in a news world plagued with plastic superficiality, it never hurts to have someone who can pen a good Tebow column.