CNN’s Jake Tapper to leave prime time following midterms

Jake Tapper’s stint in CNN’s prime-time television slot is coming to a close.

The network confirmed on Wednesday the anchor will return to his duties hosting “The Lead” at 4 p.m. after the midterm elections.

Tapper was chosen in September by new President Chris Licht to host a show at 9 p.m., a slot that’s been occupied by a rotating cast of pundits in recent months since Chris Cuomo was fired by the network late last year.

At the time, the network said the switch in Tapper’s time slot, and several others CNN made to its lineup for the midterm elections, were expected to run through the week of the Nov. 8.

However, Tapper was widely speculated to be among the top talent at CNN in the running for a permanent gig hosting a show in prime time.

A network spokesperson told The Hill on Wednesday CNN plans to “announce post-election plans for that time slot in the coming days.”

Several observers of the media business noted Tapper’s sluggish ratings during the weeks he was hosting “CNN Tonight,” as Licht and other network leaders work to retool the outlet’s editorial strategy and boost ratings since he took over in May.

Licht has made a number of changes at CNN in recent months that have turned heads both within the company and externally, and said his vision for CNN is one where journalism takes a front seat to punditry prevalent across much of cable news.

Most notably, Licht hired longtime host Don Lemon, another prime-time staple at CNN and frequent critic of former President Trump and Republicans, to host its revamped morning show, which debuted this week.

Tapper notched a number of notable guests during his short stint in prime time, including an interview with President Biden that aired in October.

Tags Cable News network Chris Licht CNN Don Lemon Jake Tapper Jake Tapper prime time
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