As CNN struggles to attract viewers, it continues to change its programming and talent. Because when you suck, you suck.
Apparently, one long-time host was shocked to learn of her termination this week, reports Insider. It was reported that lawyer Laura Coates has been fired from her show, CNN Tonight, which airs at 11 p.m. ET on CNN.
“The report by Insider’s Claire Atkinson is behind a paywall, but the writer tweeted that the move was intended to cut costs for the struggling network,” a Western Journal report stated.
In addition, she wrote that “insiders” were concerned about Coates’ on-air representation, which might refer to her gender or racial background, or both, considering her black ethnicity.
— Claire Atkinson 🏴 (@claireatki) April 18, 2023
“Laura Coates was announced as CNN’s 11 p.m. anchor in January but has not hosted the hour solo since February, the blurb of the article that appeared in her tweet said. “She’s said to be ‘stunned.’”
There was also coverage of the story in TVNewser.
“A CNN senior legal analyst and Sirius XM host based out of Washington D.C., Coates was told that CNN could not staff a separate hour at this time, and that the network is focusing on Alisyn Camerota’s New York-based show, which starts at 10 p.m., for the time being,” according to the outlet.
A source close to the situation tells TVNewser the 10 p.m.-12 a.m. block remains temporary, and Camerota hosts both hours at present. According to the source, CNN is presently focusing on creating permanent plans for the 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. timeslots. Nevertheless, Laura Coates is still in the running for other hosting opportunities, according to the source.
Among the other points noted by TVNewser are:
The absence of Coates at 11 p.m. also reignites the discussion of the diversity of CNN’s programming, particularly in primetime.
Don Lemon, who used to anchor the 10 and 11 p.m. hours for CNN, was moved to mornings last fall, paving the way for Camerota and Coates to fill those two hours. With Coates now seemingly out of the running for 11 p.m., CNN’s 4 p.m. through primetime host lineup currently consists of no one of color.
Perhaps that will change. For example, CNN is trying to woo CBS Mornings co-anchor Gayle King and TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley to help fill a primetime void, but an official confirmation of those moves has yet to come from the network.
As the network continues to search for ways to engage more viewers, CEO Chris Licht is looking for ways to get people to watch all the different shows. It has meant major changes, including the firing of some hosts and correspondents and the moving of others to new roles, such as Lemon’s.
In February, according to Radar Online, Lemon “went ballistic” after the latest in a string of reports concerning his unprofessional behavior toward his morning show co-hosts was detailed in an in-house CNN newsletter. A “well-placed insider” is quoted as a source in the report.
A disaster in the making had been unfolding for Lemon’s professional prospects as low ratings for “CNN This Morning” and reports of inappropriate conduct toward co-hosts Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow have made him a potentially destructive member of its staff.
“Tensions on the set of “CNN This Morning” have recently boiled over, with Don Lemon allegedly “screaming” at co-host Kaitlan Collins off-camera during an ugly December incident that has left the cast and crew rattled ever since…” according to the New York Post at the time.
Licht appears to be planning another move now, and this one will likely hurt one of the network’s biggest hosts.
“Ratings-challenged CNN is reportedly considering replacing longtime ‘Inside Politics’ anchor John King with his ex-wife, network veteran and anchor Dana Bash,” according to a New York Post report.
The CNN corporation will likely be “looking to shake up its daily ‘Inside Politics’ show by likely replacing anchor John King with CNN’s chief political correspondent Dana Bash,” according to a weekly newsletter released last week by the Daily Beast.
It was highlighted in the report that any change in their relationship “would be doubly notable” since the couple had previously been married. Bash, 51, and King, 59, were previously married but separated in 2012 after spending four years together. They are parents to one child.
“King, who is CNN’s chief national correspondent, has been hosting the weekday edition of “Inside Politics” since 2014. The show is broadcasted on weekdays at noon,” according to Conservative Brief.
— New York Post (@nypost) April 11, 2023
Meanwhile, Bash serves as the co-anchor of CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper, which airs on Sunday mornings. In addition to her anchoring responsibilities, Bash also serves as the network’s chief political correspondent, The Post noted further.
Last week during his show, King was talking about the dearth of American voters who say they want another term for 80-year-old President Joe Biden which, if he wins another term and serves it in full, he would be 86 when he left office.
“The numbers are beyond sobering for President Biden,” King said to guest David Chalian.