PR PLAY OF THE WEEK: CNN asks Dobbs to save its Money

NEW YORK: CNN Money, the new version of CNNfn, which will launch

later this year, got a major PR boost last week with the return of

Moneyline anchor Lou Dobbs.



Dobbs is being tapped to help the relaunch. He will serve as anchor and

managing editor of CNN's Moneyline News Hour, replacing co-anchors

Stuart Varney, who quit last month, and Willow Bay, who is being offered

other CNN projects.



Dobbs fronted Moneyline for 19 years but quit two years ago to launch

the Internet venture Space.com. Since then, Moneyline's ratings have

plunged 25%, while rival CNBC has gained significant ground in the

ratings war.



Luring Dobbs, a darling of the press, back to CNN is the first piece of

positive news the network has had in some time. The network has suffered

from a ratings decline and layoffs as it reorganized stations, earning

itself the nickname 'Cruel News Network.' Ted Turner, once in direct

control of the Atlanta-based firm, also made headlines earlier this year

by calling catholic staff 'Jesus freaks.' He later apologized.



Few thought Dobbs would turn his back on cable business news for long

and his next role has been the subject of intense media speculation.

Last Monday, The New York Times predicted that Dobbs would land at

either his old haunt, CNN, or perhaps CNBC.



On Tuesday, CNN announced Dobbs' return at a press conference in New

York. The news was immediately picked up by Reuters, among other wire

services.



His return has been welcomed in much the same manner as that of the

proverbial prodigal son, earning CNN, at long last, a PR Play of the

Week.



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