CNN officially moves Kaitlan Collins to 9 p.m.
By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links
After previous reports indicating CNN was close to naming Kaitlan Collins as anchor of its 9 pm. hour, the appointment is now official.
Collins is currently co-anchor of “CNN This Morning” and has also served as the network’s White House correspondent.
She is slated to take over the 9 p.m. anchor spot in June 2023, according to an internal memo sent by CNN CEO Chris Licht.
“Every night, she’ll bring fresh reporting that adds new perspective to the biggest stories of the day. Kaitlan will expose uncovered angles and challenge conventional wisdom to make sure viewers are seeing a story from every side,” Licht wrote.
The show is expected to get a new name, according to a CNN source, but will continue to use the “Primetime” banner in the meantime. The network did not announce what name Collins’ show would use.
CNN currently brands its 9 p.m. hour as “CNN Primetime” and started featuring a rotating selection of single-topic shows in the timeslot, though recently it has morphed into a more traditional newscast.
The network has been drawing on a rotating cast of anchors for the time.
As Collins transitions off “CNN This Morning,” the network said that Poppy Harlow will remain at the anchor desk alongside a slate of guest anchors until a final decision is made on talent.
CNN recently fired Don Lemon, the other co-anchor of the network’s latest attempt to revamp its morning news.
In her new role, Collins is facing stiff competition from Fox’s “Hannity.” She will also go up against MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Mondays and Alex Wagner the other four days of the week.
The 9 p.m. slot was last occupied by “Cuomo Prime Time” but that was canceled in late 2021 when the network fired anchor Chris Cuomo. It has been without a permanent host since then.
Collins’ move means that “This Morning” will have lost two of its three anchors in less than a year on the air. The show, which is slated to move to a new studio at some point, has largely fallen flat in the ratings.
What CNN isn’t making well known is the fact that Collins was actually hired by Tucker Carlson to work at The Daily Caller. She’s also appeared on Fox, making negative comments about CNN and even mentioning George Soros conspiracy theories.
Who, this #kaitlancollins? The George Soros conspiracy theorist? The one tossing around the same claims as Elon Musk and MTG? What next, Jewish Space Lasers? pic.twitter.com/ieY3OVQRaI
— Sue Runs Far (@SueSandersHere) May 17, 2023
Despite that, it appears CNN is betting big on Collins — given that it’s opting to remove her from mornings and give her a key primetime hour.
That said, Collins is not nearly as big of a name in the world of cable news as some other options the network could have gone with, so it appears the network is continuing to rely on creating programming that largely bucks the trends set by its competitors.
Collins is fresh off moderating a widely-criticzed town hall the network produced with Donald Trump.
Many noted that Collins attempted, mostly in vein, to fact-check Trump’s repeated untrue statements and conspiracy theories but that his combative style largely made that difficult to do.
In many ways, it appears Collins is the “flavor of the day” at CNN and it’s likely the network will make at least somewhat of a fuss over her new show, given the stakes. However, it’s probably more likely than not she will be able to attract an audience that would top Fox or, perhaps, even MSNBC — considering CNN’s tried just about everything to do that and nothing has worked.
It’s hard not to compare what’s happening to how “OutFront” host Erin Burnett left CNBC for CNN with great fanfare in 2011. Burnett is still on the air on CNN, though her show typically doesn’t come out near the top of the ratings — though it does maintain a fairly steady audience, which may be part of the reason it’s been able to stay somewhat under the radar for all these years.
Full text of Licht’s memo announcing Collins’ new role is below:
To my CNN colleagues,
I’m very happy to let you know that Kaitlan Collins will be announced as the anchor of our 9pm hour during today’s Warner Bros. Discovery Upfront presentation.
Kaitlan will begin anchoring the 9pm regularly in June. In her new program, officially launching later this summer, Kaitlan will showcase why she’s one of the top reporters and interviewers in the game. She is a smart and gifted journalist who we’ve all seen hold lawmakers and newsmakers accountable. She pushes politicians off their talking points, gets real answers – and as everyone who’s worked with her knows – breaks a lot of news.
Every night, she’ll bring fresh reporting that adds new perspective to the biggest stories of the day. Kaitlan will expose uncovered angles and challenge conventional wisdom to make sure viewers are seeing a story from every side. When she doesn’t know the answer, she asks – and she won’t stop until she gets them.
I know there will be a lot of interest in working with Kaitlan and this new show. We will be reviewing internal candidates and opening up a nationwide search for an executive producer to work with our development team to build this program and help it take shape.
Kaitlan will transition off CNN This Morning, which will be led by Poppy Harlow alongside a rotation of CNN guest anchors. We will have more information and announcements to share in the months ahead but in the meantime CTM is in good hands with Poppy.
Please join me in congratulating Kaitlan on this exciting new role and challenge.
- TV Industry News
- Broadcast Engineering News
- Broadcast Design News
- TV Talk Shows
- TV Syndication
- TV Advertising
- TV News Jobs
- TV Industry Mergers and Acquisitions
- TV Anchors
- Cable News
- Late Night TV
- TV Syndication News
- Broadcast Industry News
- TV News Drone Journalism
- TV News Augmented Reality
- TV Weather Forecasting
- TV News Journalism
- TV News Ethics
- OTT News
- News About NBC
- News About CBS
- News About ABC
- News About CNN
- News About MSNBC
- News About Fox News