J.C. Watts Joins CNN

Just a day after CNN Headline News announced it was adding conservative talker Glenn Beck to its lineup, CNN said former Oklahoma Republican Congressman J.C. Watts would join that news network as a regular contributor.

Watts, who runs his own consulting businesses, is also on the boards of SBC and Clear Channel.

“J.C. is one of the most respected and effective conservative communicators in the nation’s capital,” said CNN/U.S. President Jonathan Klein in a statement. “We are glad to welcome him to the CNN team and look forward to his insightful contributions to our network.”

CNN has historically used a mix of Democrats and Republicans to comment on the news of the day, and arguably it is down a conservative with the exit of Robert Novak at the end of last year.

The addition of Beck for his own show on co-owned Headline drew criticism Wednesday from liberal media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). "The strategy of out-Foxing Fox by signing up incendiary right-wing talk-show hosts is a dangerous one," said the group.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.