CNN fired primetime anchor Chris Cuomo on Saturday following new particulars about his efforts to help his brother, Andrew Cuomo, the previous governor of New York, amid a collection of sexual harassment allegations. Cuomo anchored the community’s 9 pm hour, CNN’s top-rated time slot.
Here are 5 in-house substitute choices for Cuomo:
Staff inside CNN view Jake Tapper because the frontrunner to succeed Cuomo.
While much less charismatic than Cuomo, Tapper has a commanding presence that might translate nicely to primetime. Tapper is arguably the face of CNN, regardless of anchoring from 4 to six pm ET, so he’d be a straightforward promote to CNN viewers.
Tapper can be keen to go in opposition to mainstream media’s views. For instance, on Sunday, Tapper blasted the NBA, Wall Street, and Hollywood over their relationships with China — an goal criticism his colleagues would by no means make.
Tapper is a no brainer for CNN. But that is the tv business, the place widespread sense hardly ever prevails. Moreover, Tapper is a white male — a species CNN spends a lot time vilifying.
CNN may transfer Don Lemon up an hour, from 10 to 9 pm. Given Lemon’s relationship with Cuomo — particularly their notorious cringy handoffs at 9:59 — CNN’s 9 pm base is aware of Lemon.
The concern is that Lemon already struggles at 10. Don Lemon Tonight ranked fortieth in cable information in November with a median of 457,000 viewers. Lemon would face even more durable competitors an hour earlier, whether or not Rachel Maddow stays an MSNBC day by day host or not.
CNN administration is excessive on Laura Coates, 41, and have elevated her presence on the community over the previous yr. Like Cuomo, Coates hosts a day by day radio present on SiriusXM’s POTUS channel.
Because Coates routinely fills in for Don Lemon, she’s additionally an choice to succeed Lemon at 10 pm, ought to Lemon transfer to 9. In truth, that’s extra more likely to occur than for her to take over for Cuomo, as broader viewers are nonetheless unfamiliar with Coates’ work.
Wait, the offended girl from the morning present?
Dylan Byers reported over the weekend that Brianna Keilar is on Jeff Zucker’s shortlist of inside candidates for the 9 pm hour.
CNN appears to take pleasure in Keilar’s bombastic fashion. More to the purpose, Keilar suits CNN’s post-Trump philosophy that Tucker Carlson and Ron DeSantis are the boogeymen du jour. And after Brian Stelter, Oliver Darcy, and Jim Acosta, nobody at CNN hates Carlson greater than Keilar does.
Brianna Keilar’s hostile tone additionally hasn’t labored nicely in the mornings on New Day, so one thing has to alter there anyway.
When Cuomo was off-air this previous yr, usually for trip time, CNN turned to Michael Smerconish in his absence. Though networks don’t usually view a present’s backup host as a believable successor to the present host, Smerconish may have the chance to alter CNN’s thoughts. The community says Michael Smerconish will fill in at 9 pm this week, and it seemingly gained’t be his remaining bid.
Smerconish, a Republican-turned-centrist, is CNN’s most independent-minded opinionist. Though impartial pondering wouldn’t have labored nicely for CNN through the Trump administration, WarnerMedia’s upcoming merger with Discovery may change that. John Malone, Discovery’s strongest shareholder, mentioned on report that he hopes — in different phrases, he’ll push — CNN to shed its MSNBC impersonation and return again to a “facts first” community.
I’d take the below that CNN ever returns to its previous kind, however transferring Smerconish to primetime can be a stable begin.