Joe Concha of Mediaite wrote a column on his predictions for 2015. Only two of the fifteen predictions pertained to CNN: one, I agree with (SE Cupp returns from maternity leave and basically goes back to CNN obscurity), but the second one, I don’t agree with.
Jake Tapper escapes relative obscurity at 4:00 p.m. as The Lead is moved to primetime (10:00 p.m.)
For two reasons, I disagree…
One: Jake Tapper won’t be taking Don Lemon’s timeslot any time soon. Don has had many headline making moments (and not for good reasons), yet CNN hasn’t diminished his airtime any. His bosses like the attention and controversy he brings, so I don’t see Jake getting his slot.
Plus, Don is really bringing in the ratings. Not that Jake couldn’t do the same…but if CNN Tonight is doing well (and it is), why rock the boat?
Politico’s Dylan Byers has long written that Jake is “being groomed for primetime” — and while that may be, I haven’t seen anything to indicate that a permanent move is imminent.
The Lead performs very well at 4pm, and is a real competitor with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto.
Two: I still see Jake as a real contender to be the anchor of State of the Union. Unless CNN hires out-of-house, he is the only CNN personality who can really rock the CNN Sunday program. And, I think it’s a real possibility he may keep The Lead, and maybe only anchor it four days a week, with perhaps the Monday edition taken over by Brianna Keilar or Dana Bash.
Before someone points out Jake could do SOTU and then CNN primetime four days a week… I just don’t see that happening.