Jeff Zucker, for the most part, hasn’t touched primetime since he has taken over as CNN President Worldwide. The only thing to my knowledge he has done (other than run documentaries) is to have 11th Hour w/ Don Lemon and In Case You Missed it w/ Brooke Baldwin, and that was only on a temporary basis. But now, he has finally canceled Piers Morgan. I’ve already blogged about possible replacements, but how can CNN gently move into this?I think CNN needs to do it carefully and strategically. After this week ends, I think CNN needs to pull Piers Morgan Tonight off of the TV guide and replace it with CNN Newsroom until a new show can be added.
CNN needs to test potential replacements in that slot before jumping into one person and hoping it works well. Instead, I think CNN shouldn’t make any moves at late primetime hours until April. For the entire month of March, test CNN anchors at the 9pm and the 10pm hour, seeing who does well there and under what format.
If CNN decided to do a test-run on say, six anchors, and gave them each a day or two at the 9pm slot and the 10pm slot, they would eventually get a good evening lineup. CNN has plenty of good journalists; they just need to be given good times.
On my earlier post, I left out a potential “mover” – Brooke Baldwin. I don’t think CNN having the In Case You Missed It was just random. She was definitely doing a test run. Brooke is a fantastic anchor, and she could do well anchoring a show beginning at 10pm and running until 11. It would be nice if they did another live show starting at 11, but that won’t happen.