CNN’s Jake Tapper will return to his daytime show after the midterms after filling the 9 PM ET primetime slot on the network.
A CNN spokesperson said, “As part of a special lineup, Jake agreed to anchor the 9P hour through the midterm elections. At the completion of that schedule, he’ll be returning to his award-winning program The Lead. We will announce post-election plans for that time slot in the coming days.”
CNN remained in third place in the timeslot, even as Tapper snagged some high profile interviews, starting with a sitdown with President Joe Biden. CNN had announced that Tapper would fill the slot through the midterms, but it was viewed as a bit of a test run for a permanent position. But Tapper also had previously expressed some misgivings about taking a primetime slot, given the schedule. Semafor first reported the news about Tapper’s plans.
The 9 PM ET slot, called CNN Tonight, has been without a permanent host since Chris Cuomo was fired last November. Hannity has led the time period among cable news network, drawing about 3 million viewers on Tuesday, compared to 1.26 million for Alex Wagner Tonight and 504,000 for CNN Tonight, according to Nielsen. Tapper’s show offered a newsier alternative to his cable news rivals, which lean heavier into drawing the left and the right with opinion-heavy segments.
CNN also debuted a new morning show this week, CNN This Morning, featuring Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins. The debut on Tuesday drew an average of 387,000 viewers, compared to 793,000 for MSNBC’s Morning Joe and 1.45 million for Fox News’ Fox & Friends, according to Nielsen. CNN This Morning replaced New Day, which last month averaged 404,000 in the timeslot.
(Excerpt) Read more in: Deadline