Chelsea Clinton planning to stay on at NBC; insiders, critics wonder why

By

Published February 24, 2012

| FoxNews.com

Being the daughter of a former President and the current Secretary of State certainly has its perks. 

Despite poor marks for her reportorial performance it looks like Chelsea Clinton is preparing to renew her contract with NBC News.

According to insiders familiar with negotiations, the Stanford and Columbia graduate is poised to extend her contract with the network to work on special segments for the shows “Rock Center” and “Nightly News,” a move that has media watchers confused.

“She has done a bunch of warm and fuzzy stories that haven’t gotten any kind of critical appreciation but she does have that Clinton name,” US Weekly senior television editor April Bernard told Fox411. “Critics say she doesn’t dig deeply enough as a reporter. She is amateurish and green. She also isn’t charismatic on camera which is surprising because her dad is so appealing. It is just hard to watch her and know she is there because of who she is.”

If it’s hard for the audience, it is even harder on some NBC veterans.

NBC insiders tell FoxNews.com that Clinton is doing a job meant for deserving journalists within the network who have toiled for years, and sometimes decades, in the trenches to get the chance to produce segments and report them on air.

A representative for NBC did not respond to calls for comment.

Clinton joined the network as a special correspondent in December, creating “Making a Difference” segments which profile people and organizations that do good works. Since signing up with the network she has reported on just three soft news stories in more than a ninety day period.

Her December 12th premiere profiled Annette Dove, the leader of an after-school program for at-risk kids in Pine Bluffs, Arkansas. Critics were severely unimpressed.

Washington Post Reviewer Hank Stuever blasted Clinton’s debut.

"It’s no surprise whatsoever that Chelsea Clinton didn’t electrify broadcast journalism with her debut Monday night on NBC’s Rock Center With Brian Williams, because she has no experience in broadcast journalism," Stuever wrote. "Rather, what was surprising to see on Monday night’s show is how someone can be on TV in such a prominent way and, in her big moment, display so very little charisma — none at all. Either we’re spoiled by TV’s unlimited population of giant personalities or this woman is one of the most boring people of her era."

Newsday television critic Verne Gay wrote that “there was nothing else that necessarily dismissed charges (mostly by TV critics, although they were not alone that she got this job because of that name.” Gay also remarked that Clinton displayed the “spontaneity of any TV rookie.”

Her second segment profiled a World War II veteran who raises money to provide service dogs to returning vets, and last week she profiled a charter school in Rhode Island.

In contrast, fellow former first daughter Jenna Bush Hager has worked with much greater regularity on her segments for NBC’s “Today Show.”

Media analyst Brad Adgate of Horizon Media thinks that NBC wants to keep Clinton on their roster in an attempt to appeal to a younger audience who is less apt to watch network news than their parents.

“I think it’s her name recognition more than anything else, or maybe they think she has shown some promise as a news correspondent and want to slowly break her in,” Adgate told Fox411. 

But even though NBC may be clinging to Clinton’s possible appeal, Adgate says there has been no discernible difference in ratings yet for the program “Rock Center” since Clinton made her debut. 

URL

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/02/24/chelsea-clinton-planning-to-stay-on-at-nbc-insiders-critics-wonder-why/