We applaud an out of-the-box news program whose daily format is dictated by the needs of the stories being covered rather than by a formulaic template. But above all we applaud the resurgence of Dan Rather, who continues to do Mark Cuban and company proud. Cuban’s wisdom in granting Rather complete editorial and creative control is paying off in a burgeoning team of reporters and cinematographers who just keep raising the bar on investigative journalism that’s just a little more probing, a little grittier, a little further out on a limb than most of the competition. For his part, Rather clearly thrives in the role of chief pot-stirrer. And he makes it his business to cover not only the larger headlines but the smaller stories that otherwise might elude the public’s radar screen altogether. The show’s excellent campaign coverage and a recent attention-grabber about how the Pentagon is prepping to fight additional wars against counterinsurgency are balanced by a shocking revelation about exploding consumer gas cans.

Fast Fact

  • DRR cinematographer Sean Fairburn took home a News & Documentary Emmy in September for outstanding achievement in cinematography for combat photography.

Honorable Mentions:
BBC World News America, BBC America: For the same reason we like to mix The Economist into our weekly reading, we crave the delightfully non-xenophobic, international perspective of world news delivered BBC style and anchored with distinct flair by Matt Frei.

Squawk Box Live (Warren Buffett episode), CNBC: The informative daily financial wake-up call got a hefty infusion of business smarts in August when Buffett made a live appearance as he blogged from Omaha, covering everything from the country’s "exploding" inflationary state to the presidential race.

Return to 2008 CableFAX Program Awards table of contents.

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Zaslav Gives TBS, TNT a Big Thumbs Up

Discovery CEO David Zaslav spoke highly of TBS and TNT , two assets that he’ll run after Discovery’s merger with WarnerMedia , during an investor conference appearance Tuesday. They haven’t received as

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