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CNN is shaking up its programming lineup, albeit only on a temporary basis ahead of November’s midterm elections.
The biggest changes are happening in primetime, where CNN CEO Chris Licht is giving anchor Jake Tapper the 9 p.m. hour, with anchor Alisyn Camerota and legal analyst Laura Coates sharing the 10 p.m.-12 a.m. hours.
9 p.m. has been vacant since CNN fired Chris Cuomo last year, with a variety of anchors filling in during that time. Tapper will give the hour some stability, at least through the midterms.
Lemon, meanwhile, has held the fort at 10 p.m. but will be shifting to the mornings later this year alongside Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins. Lemon and Harlow will host their last shows in their current time slots Oct. 7 so they can prepare for the new morning show.
“The world has come to rely on Jake’s no-nonsense approach to covering the news, especially during high-stakes election cycles,” said Licht, adding that “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,” he said of Camerota and Coates.
Meanwhile, the moves will also force changes to CNN’s dayside schedule, where both Tapper and Camerota led news hours.
New Day anchors John Berman and Brianna Keilar, who will soon depart the morning hours to make room for the new morning program, will each fill in during Tapper’s The Lead from 4-5 p.m., while Wolf Blitzer will add an hour to The Situation Room at 5 p.m.
Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett will remain at their current hours for now. CNN says other fill-in hosts will be named in the coming weeks.
The changes, while temporary, are some of the most significant that Licht has made since joining CNN in May. Thus far the only weekday hours to see a permanent shake-up is in the mornings, with a format still TBD. On the weekends, Chris Wallace will host his interview show (a holdover from CNN+), and CNN is also set to launch a cooking show led by Alison Roman later this fall.
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