August 18, 2022

Media Decoder: CNN Cancels Eliot Spitzer’s Show

1:42 p.m. | Updated CNN on Wednesday cancelled Eliot Spitzer’s 8 p.m. political talk show, “In The Arena,” after only nine months, and said it would shift Anderson Cooper’s 10 p.m. nightly newscast into the time slot.

CNN on Wednesday cancelled Eliot Spitzer’s 8 p.m. political talk show.Art Streiber/CNNCNN on Wednesday cancelled Eliot Spitzer’s 8 p.m. political talk show.

The cable news channel also said that Erin Burnett, a new hire from CNBC, would take over the 7 p.m. time slot on weekdays, replacing John King, who will move to 6 p.m. “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” which currently runs from 5 to 7 p.m., will move to 4 to 6 p.m.

The shake-up is intended to stabilize CNN’s television ratings and create better transitions between shows. The only prime time show that is unaffected is “Piers Morgan Tonight,” the 9 p.m. interview show that was introduced six months ago.

Once Mr. Cooper’s newscast shifts to 8 p.m., it will be rebroadcast at 10 p.m., deepening the channel’s dependence on him.

For Mr. Spitzer, who has tried to rehabilitate his public image since resigning the New York governorship in disgrace three years ago, the cancellation of “In The Arena” is a setback. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday, but in a statement provided by CNN, he expressed pride in his show.

“We engaged serious people in conversations about national and global issues in a way that was informative and challenging,” he said in the statement. “I believe that we provided diverse and valuable perspectives during the show’s tenure.”

The executive in charge of CNN/U.S., Ken Jautz, said in an internal memorandum that the channel is currently “in discussions with Eliot Spitzer about an alternative role.” But Mr. Spitzer’s own statement cast doubt on that possibility; it concluded by saying, “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at CNN.”

Mr. Spitzer was hired last summer by Mr. Jautz’s predecessor Jonathan Klein, who was dismissed weeks before the resulting show, “Parker Spitzer,” had its premiere. The show was plagued by poor ratings, prompting the exit of his co-host, Kathleen Parker, in February.

The changes at CNN will begin to take effect on Aug. 8, when Mr. Cooper’s show moves to 8. Then, on Sept. 19, Mr. Blitzer’s newscast will move to 4 and Mr. King’s will move to 6. Sometime in late September, Ms. Burnett’s still-untitled news show will be introduced at 7 p.m., with a rebroadcast at 11 p.m.

Mr. Jautz said in the internal memorandum that the new schedule “further differentiates and distinguishes CNN.”

“This line-up emphasizes our focus on quality journalism and on hosts who are proven reporters, as well as on shows that successfully combine original reporting with news analysis, civil debate and a wide range of inclusive and differing opinions,” he said.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=f28173b62b3b09a1052c3d93e6c24c75

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