NEW YORK – CNN is emphasizing homegrown stars and reporting chops in a schedule reboot that gives weeknight shows to Abby Phillip and Laura Coates, along with bringing Christiane Amanpour back onto the domestic network regularly.
Virtually no part of the day or weekend goes unchanged in the plans announced on Monday, the first major move by the leadership quartet that replaced ousted network chief Chris Licht on June 1.
Phillip, a political reporter, and Coates, the network's chief legal correspondent, both began at CNN in part-time roles. Soon they'll have back-to-back hours on the network's schedule each weeknight starting at 10 p.m. Eastern.
They'll join Kaitlan Collins at 9 p.m. and Erin Burnett two hours earlier, with Anderson Cooper the only man in the important five-hour stretch that includes prime time. Since Chris Cuomo was fired in December 2021, CNN hasn't had a regular prime-time lineup, and its new leaders considered it a top priority to project consistence to viewers and employees.
CNN's leadership team of Amy Entelis, David Leavy, Virginia Moseley and Eric Sherling also wanted to install program hosts with experience as reporters.
“They are extraordinarily talented and share the same CNN sensibility: versatility, determination and an inquisitive and empathetic approach to reporting the news,” the leaders said in a statement.
CNN has struggled with ratings challenges worsened by the quickening pulse of people cutting the cord on cable television. In July, Fox News Channel and MSNBC — both dominated by opinion programming in the evening — averaged 1.57 million and 1.12 million viewers respectively in prime time. CNN averaged 534,000, according to the Nielsen company.
One of CNN's most recognizable veterans, Amanpour has hosted a program on the network's international network and been virtually invisible domestically the past decade. Now she'll host a regular news hour on Saturdays.
Since jumping from Fox News, Chris Wallace has hosted a wide-ranging interview show for HBO Max that was rebroadcast on CNN. Now he'll return to familiar turf, a live political panel show, on Saturday mornings, the network said.
Heading into the 2024 campaign, political correspondent Kasie Hunt will host “Early Start” at 5 a.m. on weekdays. Phil Mattingly will be a new co-host with Poppy Harlow on the three-hour “CNN This Morning” show.
“King Charles,” a limited-run series with Gayle King and Charles Barkley, will air on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. Eastern starting this fall, CNN announced.
The show was the centerpiece of Licht's prime-time strategy. He sought well-known personalities who could comment on the news and help CNN compete with more general-interest networks. But except for King and Barkley, the plans never came together and CNN is now abandoning that approach.
Capitol Hill correspondent Manu Raju will become the Sunday anchor of “Inside Politics,” under the new plans. Pamela Brown will anchor a weekday afternoon program, while Victor Blackwell has a new Saturday morning program. Alisyn Camerota will focus on long-form reporting.