Fresh off a four-year campaign to unseat a sitting U.S. president, and perhaps buoyed by the “success” of being the direct beneficiary of many on the right turning away from Fox News, tanking the ratings of the long-dominant network, CNN is now reshuffling its lineup.
In a Wednesday press release, the Trump-hating network announced changes to its weekday morning and dayside lineup, with new assignments for Victor Blackwell, Ana Cabrera, Alisyn Camerota and Brianna Keilar.
CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker, who said recently he may be stepping down at the end of 2021, spoke with Mediaite about the coming changes.
“Yes, there’s a great deal of diversity, as you point out,” Zucker said, after being asked about the role diversity played in the changes. “Our goal here was to put the strongest lineup on the field and put together the strongest lineup. The fact that it is also diverse, I think just reflects both the strength of our entire team.”
“The fact that we are committed to making sure that we also look like America,” he added.
An interesting comment, given the sparsity of black anchors and reporters on CNN.
In pointing out that CNN “has seen a sharp rise in ratings in the last year, particularly following the 2020 election,” Mediate called it “something of a crowning achievement for Zucker.”
There was no mention of what took place at Fox News during this period.
In many ways, the changes equate to rearranging the deck chairs, as many of the familiar faces are move to different time slots.
The change to the morning line will be John Berman and Brianna Keilar anchoring New Day from 6-9 am, weekdays. Ana Cabrera will anchor CNN Newsroom weekdays from 1-2 pm, and Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell will anchor CNN’s afternoon Newsroom coverage from 2-4 pm.
Among the other changes, primadonna reporter Jim Acosta, who was recently named the network’s chief domestic correspondent, was rewarded for being former President Donald Trump’s chief antagonizer, getting a weekend anchor gig on CNN Newsroom on Saturdays and Sundays from 3-6pm.
Camerota has anchored CNN’s morning program, New Day, for the last six years, and the move to an afternoon time slot is generally seen as a demotion, but Mediaite would have us believe that Camerota was happy with this move.
The media-focused political news site said Camerota “sounded legitimately delighted and relieved with her move to an afternoon slot,” adding that she will not miss waking up at 3 a.m. every morning.
“So it’s been an intense news cycle,” Camerota said, in what appears to be a mocking reference to opposing the former Republican president for four years.
“It’s been it’s been a privilege and powerful and relevant and exciting to be on New Day,” she told Mediaite. “And it’s been exhausting and sometimes, you know, draining and everything. And so there were some days that it was really hard to get up at 3 and to go in and to, you know, steel my stuff for the fight of whatever incoming, what would be happening over, say, the last four years.”
Camerota, a former Fox & Friends host, apparently approached Zucker about a year ago about a change.
“I would sometimes say to Jeff, you know, it’s kind of hard to do this and get up at 3,” she said. “And he would basically say, get back in there, and that there was no time to take your foot off the gas. And he was right. So basically, I really wanted to see this through.”
Zucker’s side of the story was also shared.
“She came to me,” the network chief said. “I asked her to stay, you know, for more than a year, more than, maybe she had originally intended, and I was grateful to her for that, but also recognized that she had a desire to change it up as well.”
It would appear that groveling over the Biden administration will allow for some rest for the pit bulls released on the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.