Dobbs is no stranger to the Web; he was recently put in charge of organizing Time Warner's financial news Internet properties into a "vertical hub" (Time Warner owns both CNN and Time Daily). But with CNBC, which has long since overtaken pioneer CNNfn on the tube, finally taking the Internet plunge this summer, Dobbs may have felt it was time to change orbits. CNN will miss him. His show got solid ratings, big-name guests and was CNN's most lucrative show in terms of advertising dollars. He leaves a management vacuum in several spots. But it poses a big question: Leave all this to start a web site? About space? Either this is a secret plan to build up Space.com and sell it back to CNN, or Dobbs should have bought a red convertible like everybody else.
In space -- and on the Internet -- no one can preempt your programming. Lou Dobbs, anchor of CNN's financial news program Moneyline and the brains behind its CNNfn channel, is quitting the TV game to head up Space.com, a web site about all things zero-gravity. "This is purely me wanting to do what is the most interesting thing out there, and space is the most compelling thing out there," Dobbs told the Wall Street Journal Tuesday night. It also means less squabbling with superiors over Moneyline preemptings ("CNN president Rich Kaplan wants us to return to Littleton," Dobbs hissed on air recently as the network cut to a Clinton speech).