CNN Overhauls Programming Lineup, Aiming to Lift Ratings

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CNN, which has battled sagging ratings this year, on Monday unveiled a substantial remaking of its morning and evening programming.

The sweeping overhaul is part of an attempt by CNN’s new leaders to stabilize the network, which has been buffeted by turmoil — including the departure of its chairman, Chris Licht — and a series of programming changes that included an ill-fated morning show that Don Lemon co-anchored before he was ousted in April.

Abby Phillip, a senior political correspondent and anchor of “Inside Politics Sunday,” will be the new host of the network’s 10 p.m. hour on weekdays. Laura Coates, an anchor and chief legal analyst at CNN, will host the network’s 11 p.m. hour.

CNN’s prime-time programming has been in flux since Chris Cuomo, its star anchor, was fired in late 2021 amid an inquiry into whether he aided his brother, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York. Earlier this year, CNN named Kaitlan Collins, its former White House correspondent, as host of its 9 p.m. hour, replacing Mr. Cuomo.

CNN’s morning show, which was anchored by Poppy Harlow, is getting a new permanent co-anchor: Phil Mattingly, CNN’s chief White House correspondent. “Early Start,” which airs at 5 a.m., will be anchored by Kasie Hunt, CNN’s chief national affairs analyst. Ms. Hunt was previously anchor of “Way Too Early,” a morning show on MSNBC.

Much of CNN’s afternoon programming will remain the same. Pam Brown, the network’s chief investigative correspondent, will anchor the network’s 3 p.m. hour.

The changes come as CNN is trying to improve the diversity of its on-air talent. The network is adding two Black journalists — Ms. Phillip and Ms. Coates — to its evening lineup, but the absence of Mr. Lemon means that the network’s flagship morning program will be without a journalist of color. But the network is improving on-air diversity elsewhere, making Victor Blackwell the anchor of its 8 a.m. hour on Saturday and promoting Manu Raju to anchor of “Inside Politics.”

CNN has struggled to turn around its ratings this year as it has dealt with the rocky tenure and subsequent departure of Mr. Licht. The network is running behind longtime ratings leader Fox News and MSNBC, its chief cable news rivals, in total viewership.

CNN’s weekend lineup is also being reorganized. Chris Wallace, the former host of “Fox News Sunday” who joined CNN to start a show on the network’s now defunct CNN+ streaming service, will anchor the network’s 10 a.m. hour on Saturday. Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent, will anchor the 11 a.m. hour. They will be preceded by Mr. Blackwell at 8 a.m. and Michael Smerconish at 9 a.m.

Elsewhere, much of CNN’s prominent talent have remained in place. Anderson Cooper, a CNN stalwart, will continue to anchor “Anderson Cooper 360” at 8 p.m. Jake Tapper, CNN’s anchor and chief Washington correspondent, will continue to host “The Lead” at 4 p.m. and co-host “State of the Union,” a Sunday public affairs show, with the network’s chief political correspondent, Dana Bash.



POST AUTHOR: Benjamin Mullin

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