CNN Expected To Tap Kaitlan Collins For 9 PM Primetime Slot

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After moderating CNN’s town hall with Donald Trump, Kaitlan Collins is expected to be tapped as the new host of the network’s 9 p.m. hour, which has lacked a permanent occupant for more than a year.

The deal was being finalized before Wednesday night’s event, after CNN Worldwide CEO Chris Licht had decided to launch a primetime show around her in recent weeks, sources said. Puck News first reported on the plans for Collins.

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Currently co-anchor of CNN This Morning, Collins generally received positive reviews for her attempts to fact check Trump and call out his mistruths at the event, while critics have blasted the format. After the event ended, the network was quick to praise her performance, saying she “exemplified what it means to be a world-class journalist.”

No announcement has been made, and a CNN spokesperson declined to comment on speculation about the timeslot.

Collins already has filled in during the 9 p.m. hour as one of the rotating hosts who have anchored under the title CNN Primetime. The network has tried to sweeten the hour with special events, like town halls and one-on-one big get interviews, but ratings have been spotty at best. CNN’s cable news rivals do far better in the hour with permanent hosts, Fox News with Hannity and MSNBC with Rachel Maddow on Mondays and Alex Wagner the rest of the week.

CNN recently announced plans to program a once-a-week show with Gayle King and Charles Barkley, King Charles, in the time slot, starting in the fall. That still leaves the rest of the week.

Collins move to primetime also leaves the question of what happens to CNN This Morning. Collins left her position as the network’s chief White House correspondent last fall to serve as co-anchor with Don Lemon and Poppy Harlow. Lemon was recently dropped from the network, with Collins and Harlow left as the sole co-anchors.

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