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 through the midterms, 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.
The changes are not permanent, at least not yet. The network has had big holes to fill in its nightly and late night lineup, with the firing of Chris Cuomo late last year and Don Lemon’s pending departure for the morning hours.
Tapper, chief Washington correspondent and anchor of The Lead and State of the Union, will host CNN Newsroom from Washington. Camerota is anchor of CNN Newsroom and Coates, CNN legal analyst, has guest hosted CNN Tonight.
Chris Licht, chairman and CEO of CNN Worldwide, has been unveiling a series of changes to the CNN lineup in recent weeks. He dropped the Sunday morning show Reliable Sources, with host Brian Stelter exiting, and announced plans for an overhaul of the morning show.
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 announced that Lemon and Harlow will sign off from their shows on Oct. 7 to start work on the morning show, although they will continue to appear on other shows on the network until then.
CNN’s 9 PM ET hour has been a glaring gap in its schedule for some time, as fill in hosts have anchored the hour as CNN Tonight since Cuomo left. 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.
There has been some speculation that Tapper would be a natural candidate to fill the 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 NewsNation, with his new primetime series scheduled to premiere on Oct. 3.
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