CNN reveals major anchor overhaul in sweeping bid to lift sagging ratings

CNN — which continues to get pummeled in the ratings –revealed sweeping changes to its weekly lineup that will see new faces in key slots and launch new weekend shows for veteran anchors Chris Wallace and Christiane Amanpour.

Under new management, CNN has named Abby Phillip, a senior correspondent and anchor of “Inside Politics Sunday,” to the network’s 10 p.m. time slot on weekdays. Laura Coates, an anchor and chief legal analyst at CNN, will grab the network’s 11 p.m. hour.

Phillip and Coates join Kaitlan Collins, who will continue to anchor the 9 p.m. time slot. Collins had moved from “CNN This Morning,” which she had co-anchored with Poppy Harlow and Don Lemon.

The network’s lineup has been in flux following the exit of CNN boss Chris Licht, whose bumpy tenure failed to bring stability after Jeff Zucker was ousted in 2022 over his failure to disclose his relationship with a colleague.

A series of missteps from Lemon, which included the anchor dressing down Collins off-camera, ended in his firing from the network.

“It’s like musical chairs,” a media veteran said, noting that the network won’t dig itself out of third place by reassigning people. 

Another source noted that the network needs new blood to jolt the ratings.

“No one [at the network] is electric,” the source added.

“Saw the line up. Ehhh,” a third insider told The Post. “Totally dull. Will make zero difference.”

Christiane Amanpour will be getting a new weekend show as part of CNN's programming shakeup, the network said.
Christiane Amanpour will be getting a new weekend show as part of CNN’s programming shakeup, the network said.
REUTERS

On the weekends, Victor Blackwell, Amanpour, Manu Raju and Wallace will all host new shows, with Blackwell based in Atlanta, and Raju taking over Sunday’s “Inside Politics,” while continuing to cover Capitol Hill.

Wallace will host a panel show — in addition to his weekly interview program — while Amanpour will bring her global coverage to CNN’s weekend lineup.

In the mornings, chief White House correspondent Phil Mattingly joins Harlow as the co-anchor of “CNN This Morning,” while Kasie Hunt will anchor “Early Start.”

Chief investigative correspondent Pamela Brown will anchor a new dayside show out of the nation’s capital.


CNN announced it will move forward with
CNN announced it will move forward with “King Charles,” a show starring Gayle King and Charles Barkley that was developed by ousted boss Chris Licht.
Getty Images

As part of the shakeup, Alisyn Camerota will shift to a new role doing long-form reporting, mostly for the Sunday series “The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper.”

CNN said it will go forward with the Gayle King-Charles Barkley program “King Charles,” which was the brainchild of Licht. That show will launch as a limited series in the 9 p.m. slot later this fall.

According to Nielsen, in July CNN’s total viewers amounted to 470,000 on average. In the important advertiser-coveted demographic of viewers between 25 and 54, CNN”s viewership cratered to 86,000–marking its lowest tally in 23 years.

Veteran anchor Chris Wallace will add a weekday show to his plate.
Veteran anchor Chris Wallace will add a weekday show to his plate.

By contrast, Fox News’s total viewers averaged 1.2 million and 135,000 in the demo, while at MSNBC, total viewers amounted to 812,000 with demo viewers equaling 84,000.

In primetime, CNN averaged just 534,000 viewers for the month with demo viewers amounting to 104,000, marking CNN’s lowest tally since March 2023.

Rival Fox News averaged 1.6 million viewers and 148,000 demo viewers, while MSNBC reeled in 1.1 million total viewers and 108,000 viewers in the demo. 

“By expanding the range and depth of our programming lineup across multiple dayparts, we are strengthening our reporting excellence throughout the schedule,” said CNN worldwide’s leadership team of Amy Entelis, David Leavy, Virginia Moseley and Eric Sherling in a joint statement. 

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