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Back to the future

Going with tried-and-true rather than developing new talent, CNN turned to its former business news cornerstone Lou Dobbs to revive its sagging Moneyline franchise. Dobbs will return in May to anchor the Moneyline Newshour, two years after he left following numerous clashes with then-CNN President Rick Kaplan. Dobbs will replace anchor Willow Bay, who will be reassigned, the network said.

CNN obviously hopes Dobbs' return will be a shot in the arm for Moneyline, which has lost about a quarter of its audience since Dobbs' departure. Dobbs' return follows the removal of Kaplan in September and Bay's co-anchor Stuart Varney's resignation last month ostensibly in outrage over a Ted Turner anti-Catholic comment at a party, but at least in part because he wanted more control over Moneyline.

CNN was already under attack from CNBC when Dobbs left, but now the network is getting beaten in the Nielsens by Fox News Channel. Dobbs said he's not worried about CNN's rating rout. "You've got new executives, like [new Turner Broadcasting Chairman] Jamie Kellner, who really know television and will do things here," Dobbs said.

Dobbs' return to CNN also means his resignation from, the multimedia company he founded in 1999. He will remain on its board. He is not expected to resume his former role as CNNfn president.