CNN continued its programming overhaul with a huge release Thursday revealing that, starting October 10 and going through the week of the midterm elections, Jake Tapper will move to primetime to takeover the 9:00 p.m. Eastern timeslot previously held by Chris Cuomo.
With Don Lemon accepting a demotion from 10:00 p.m. Eastern to lead the revamped morning show with Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow, Lemon’s primary fill-in host Laura Coates will slide in alongside Alisyn Camerota, who currently co-hosts the weekday afternoon installments of CNN Newsroom with Victor Blackwell.
In another big move, John Berman and Brianna Keilar have found a temporary landing spot after losing their morning show New Day by sliding into Tapper’s show The Lead.
CNN boss Chris Licht didn’t address that third move in a statement, but did heap praise on the others. Explaining the Tapper move, he said “[t]he world has come to rely on Jake’s no-nonsense approach to covering the news, especially during high-stakes election cycles” so a primetime gig “will showcase his tough reporting, smart analysis and consequential interviews.”
And regarding Camerota and Coates, Licht praised these two partisans for possessing “insight, experience[,] and strong voices” that will “creat[e] something complimentary and compelling in primetime.”
No other changes were announced with respect to the rest of the day’s programming, meaning Wolf Blitzer will keep The Situation Room, Erin Burnett will have OutFront, and AC360 will air at 8:00 p.m. Eastern as Tapper’s lead-in.
We’ll see if it helps CNN in the ratings department or if it will merely be a reshuffling of the deck chairs on the Titanic.