May 27, 2024

Media Decoder: CNBC’s Burnett Is Said Ready to Jump to CNN

The CNBC anchor Erin Burnett is poised to sign a long-term contract with CNN, according to three people with knowledge of her plans.

The signing will represent a shift to general news anchoring for Ms. Burnett, who has shown interest in branching out beyond business news, CNBC’s specialty. It is unclear what time slot she will occupy at CNN.

Ms. Burnett, who was considered a rising star within CNBC and its parent, NBCUniversal Media, held talks with two broadcast networks, ABC and CBS, before deciding to join CNN, according to two of the people. They insisted on anonymity because the deal had not been made public.

A spokeswoman for CNN, a unit of Time Warner, declined comment on Wednesday night.

Ms. Burnett has been an anchor at CNBC since 2005. Before then, she worked at Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Bloomberg Television. Currently she is a co-anchor of “Squawk on the Street” on weekdays from 9 to 11 a.m. Eastern Time and the sole anchor of “Street Signs” from 2 to 4 p.m.

That means that CNBC, the country’s dominant business news channel, will have a lot of air time to fill without her.

There has been speculation inside CNBC for several weeks that Ms. Burnett was considering leaving. Amid that speculation, the channel hired the Fox Business anchor Brian Sullivan two weeks ago but did not announce a time slot for him. A CNBC spokesman declined to comment on Wednesday night.

Ms. Burnett could end up with an afternoon or evening time slot on CNN, which is trying to rejuvenate itself after several years of sagging ratings.

Her agent, John Ferriter of Octagon Entertainment, also shepherded
Piers Morgan to CNN. Mr. Morgan replaced
Larry King in the channel’s 9 p.m. time slot last winter.

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