Eliot Spitzer's Refusal To Play It Cool Threatening Our Must See TV

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Last month, the talk re: Eliot Spitzer making his triumphant return to the public eye seemed to pick up some serious steam. We personally declared ourselves to be fully on board. We were amped, in fact, and armed to the gills suggestions for a format. We figured it was only a matter of time, possibly days, before Ness was officially offered a gig, and we needed to get the best ideas (ours) out there fast (naturally, we wanted whatever the noted HF did to have room for his obvious sidekick. Unfortunately, it seems that the talk was a bit premature, and that it may grind to a halt entirely if Eliot can't pump the brakes on this one. Apparently the former Governor is getting slightly ahead of himself.

Eliot Spitzer has never been one to sell himself short — and that seems to be true in his nascent media career as well. He’s currently in negotiations with CNN over filling Campbell Brown’s 8 p.m. slot, according to people close to the negotiations on both sides, but talks are still fluid and there’s no guarantee that a deal is going to be reached. And Spitzer has been known to overplay his end. A few months ago, he requested a meeting with Laurie Cantillo, programming director of WABC Radio, which is home to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. “I agreed to meet with him as a courtesy to the former governor,” Cantillo told me. “We had one meeting. I think he had it in his mind he would host. That was not our interest.”

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Cantillo told me that in the meeting she made it clear that WABC only wanted him to guest-host a call-in show on Sunday afternoons from 4 to 6 p.m. The fee for the show would have been “peanuts,” one person familiar with the talks said, because weekend shows command far less than a weekday slot. Spitzer would be free to weigh in on the big issues in the news, but Cantillo in particular wanted Spitzer to spend the debut show talking about his final year in office and answer listeners’ questions about Ashley Dupré and the hooker scandal that brought him down. “What his desires were and what the reality was are different things,” Cantillo said.

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