CNN is filling in some of the gaps in its nightly schedule, at least through the midterms, with Jake Tapper hosting CNN Tonight at 9 PM ET, and Alisyn Camerota and Laura Coates sharing anchor duties in the 10 PM-midnight block.
The lineup is scheduled to run Oct. 10 to Nov. 8.
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The changes are not permanent, at least not yet. The network’s chairman and CEO Chris Licht has significant holes to fill in CNN’s nightly schedule. A series of substitute hosts have anchored the 9 PM ET slot since Chris Cuomo was fired ate last year. There also is a pending vacancy later in the evening, as Don Lemon is taking a new role as one of three new morning hosts.
The moves suggest a desire to bring some stability to the schedule in the lead up to the midterms, when viewership is expected to tick up across the news networks.
Tapper, chief Washington correspondent and anchor of The Lead and State of the Union, will host CNN Newsroom from D.C. Camerota is anchor of CNN Newsroom, and Coates, CNN legal analyst, already has guest hosted CNN Tonight.
During this period, John Berman and Brianna Keilar will fill in for Tapper on The Lead, which will slim down to one hour at 4 PM ET. Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer will expand to two hours, starting at 5 PM ET. Berman and Keilar have anchored CNN’s morning show New Day, but that show is being overhauled, with Lemon, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins as the new anchors of the retitled program.
The network also announced that Lemon and Harlow will sign off from their shows on Oct. 7 to start work on the New York-based morning show, although they will continue to appear on other shows on the network until then.
Licht has been unveiling a series of changes to the CNN lineup in recent weeks. In addition to an overhaul of the weekday AM show, he dropped the Sunday morning show Reliable Sources, with host Brian Stelter exiting.
There has been some speculation that Tapper would be a natural candidate to fill the primetime slot, given his presence across the network. In a statement, Licht cited Tapper’s “no nonsense approach to covering the news, especially during high-stakes election cycles.” Tapper’s special report American Coup: The January 6th Investigation debuted on Sunday.
Cuomo, meanwhile, is joining Nexstar’s NewsNation, with his new primetime series scheduled to premiere on Oct. 3.
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