I’m personally rooting for him to get the 9pm slot (no slight to Don Lemon – I hope he also gets a weekday show; preferably the 10pm slot), though it seems unlikely, since two weeks ago, Piers Morgan Live EP Jonathan Wald tweeted “may the odds be ever in your favor,” and mentioned both Bill Weir and Don Lemon (and making no mention of Jake Tapper and Michael Smerconish).
The person who will be at 9pm the week after Smerconish hasn’t been officially confirmed, and there is no word when it will be. (Presumably not with much notice officially, since only today his Saturday producer tweeted it). Although, according to a user on CNNFan, The Lead with Jake Tapper gets the trial run next. That’s right – according to that user, The Lead. Why wouldn’t CNN use a different name for the show? Hopefully, Jake uses a different format. At a “pre-evening news format,” I think his show excels. But in primetime, I think he should adopt a new format – and ideally, a new show name. Using the same name and updating the stories from the 4pm (or even using new stories) seems to be silly to me; if you want a serious brand for yourself in primetime, differentiate it from The Lead.
He can have two hard news shows that week – but change the name of the 9pm one. Jake Tapper Tonight, CNN This Evening, Tapper Reporting… Anything, no matter how ridiculous. Just not The Lead.