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CNN sets prime-time lineup through midterm elections

CNN announced a major programming shake-up on Thursday, reshuffling talent and continuing to retool its lineup ahead of the midterm elections.

Jake Tapper, currently host of the 4 p.m. newscast “The Lead,” will move to prime time and host a show at 9 p.m., the slot hosted by a rotating cast of pundits in recent months since Chris Cuomo was fired by the network late last year.

Tapper’s 4 p.m. show will be hosted by current morning anchors John Berman and Brianna Keilar.

“The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” will add an hour to its programming, running from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. nightly, while hosts Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper will remain untouched in their 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. time slots, respectively.

Alisyn Camerota and Laura Coates will co-anchor an evening program at 10 p.m., immediately following Tapper’s hour.

All of the changes go into effect on Oct. 10 and continue through the week of the Nov. 8 elections, the network said.

The shake-up is just the latest in a slew of changes implemented by the network’s new president, Chris Licht, who took over in May and has said he wants to reshape CNN’s public image and brand with its audience and advertisers.

It also comes as Licht and CNN’s new corporate ownership work to rectify the news outlet’s recently sluggish ratings and move on from a scandal that led to the ouster of Cuomo and the network’s former president, Jeff Zucker.

“The world has come to rely on Jake’s no-nonsense approach to covering the news, especially during high-stakes election cycles,” Licht said in a statement on Thursday. “This move will showcase his tough reporting, smart analysis and consequential interviews as our audiences navigate the myriad of issues at stake in the midterms. By adding the insights, experience and strong voices of Alisyn and Laura, we will advance and expand on that coverage, creating something complimentary and compelling in primetime.”

Last week, Licht tapped Don Lemon, one of CNN’s most recognizable faces, to host its reimagined morning show, scrapping “New Day,” which is hosted by Berman and Keilar. Lemon will be joined on CNN’s new morning program, which has yet to be named, by anchor Poppy Harlow and White House reporter Kaitlin Collins.

Lemon and Harlow will sign off their respective programs on Oct. 7, CNN said, noting both will continue to appear across the network until then. The outlet said fill-in hosts for other programs will be announced in the coming days. 

Tags Brianna Keilar Chris Cuomo Jake Tapper Jeff Zucker John Berman
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