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Brown Bags CNBC Show - Broadcasting & Cable

Brown Bags CNBC Show

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After months of low, and recently subterranean, ratings, Tina Brown has pulled the plug on her weekly CNBC interview show, Topic A with Tina Brown.

A memo sent to CNBC employees late Friday said that Brown was leaving the show to work on what is apparently her new "topic A," a book on the legacy of Princess Diana.

But Brown's ratings tell a more compelling story. Last Sunday, Topic A's prime time airing  managed to draw just 4,000 souls in the key news demo, adults 25-54. Total viewership reached just 26,000.Year to date, her average was higher, at 75,000 total viewers.

The weekly show debuted in February 2004, hinging on the ability of Brown -- former editor of Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and Talk magazines -- to secure high-profile guests. She got the guests, but never the ratings. The show will wrap up May 29.

Here's the memo from CNBC's new president, Mark Hoffman:


"As many of you may be aware, our very own Tina Brown has recently secured a major book deal with Doubleday to write about the legacy of Princess Diana. The book is set to be published in 2007, to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Princess' death.

This book will be a major undertaking for Tina. She is under a very tight deadline and will be required to travel frequently to London. Therefore, she has asked me if she could relinquish her "Topic A" duties to focus on the book. I have much respect for Tina and understand the amount of time she will need to dedicate to her new project, so I am announcing to all of you that the last episode of "Topic A" will air on Sunday, May 29.

Though I have only personally worked with Tina and her show unit a short time, I have always been very impressed with the high quality of guests that they secured and the engaging conversation that Tina hosted week after week. Tony Blair, Sumner Redstone, Sen. John McCain, Les Moonves, Annette Bening and George Clooney are just a few of those who made time to speak with Tina.

I ask that you join me in thanking Tina and the entire "Topic A" team for all of their hard work and tireless dedication. They have done great work and I know that we all wish them nothing but the best in their future endeavors.

Mark

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