Bob Beckel departs CNN, rejoins Fox News

Former The Five co-host, Bob Beckel, who had been appearing on CNN as a paid contributor, has re-joined Fox News, apparently leaving CNN.

Rupert Murdoch said, “Bob was missed by many fans of The Five and we’re happy to welcome him back to the show,” according to a report from Mediaite.

Beckel added, “I’m thrilled for the opportunity to go home again and join my television family around the table of The Five. I have no doubt it will be a vigorous yet entertaining debate.”

At the time, Beckel appeared on New Day with his former Fox colleague Alisyn Camerota, where he discussed his somewhat acrimonious departure.

Poppy Harlow returns from maternity leave

CNN Newsroom anchor Poppy Harlow made her return from maternity leave on Sunday, appearing back on her weekend news broadcast. And, as anticipated, her maternity leave was a short one; she gave birth in early April to her daughter, Sienna Babcic.

Harlow also filled in for Alisyn Camerota on New Day this week.

CNN anchors to host Stanford rape case town hall

CNN Legal View anchor Ashleigh Banfield made headlines all over this week when she devoted a good chunk of her news program to reading the statement written by the victim in the Stanford rape case.

This Tuesday, June 14 at 9pm, CNN anchors Banfield and Alisyn Camerota will now host a town hall, The Letter and the Law: The Stanford Rape Case.

As the network notes, the decision by a California judge to sentence a former Stanford University swimmer to six-months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman has sparked national conversation and outrage. The anchors will lead a Town Hall discussion on the topic that has gripped the country – and sparked a dialogue about campus sexual assault, college culture, and fairness and justice. The Town Hall audience will include victims, experts, lawmakers, and the families of assault victims.

Michaela Pereira’s CNN sendoff to join HLN

CNN anchor Michaela Pereira received a warm sendoff this morning from her New Day crew; co-anchors Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota had plenty of nice things to say about her, as well as fellow CNN morning anchors John Berman and Christine Romans.

On HLN, Morning Express guest anchor Susan Hendricks played the video montage of Pereira’s New Day departure, adding, “She’s joining our family for a brand new show, we cannot wait, it is this summer!”

After piecing together clips of some of Pereira’s interviews, her co-anchors tossed to HLN morning anchor Robin Meade. Meade’s show will be airing before Pereira’s new show.

Meade explained, “I look at it this way, you’ve been having Thanksgiving dinner with those cousins over there [at CNN], all you’re doing is coming to your cousins at HLN to have Thanksgiving with us.”

New Day ended with the CNN behind-the-scenes crew waving affectionately goodbye, and on the video wall, via satellite, HLN’s Atlanta-based anchors Susan Hendricks, Bob Van Dillen, Jennifer Westhoven, and Melissa Knowles were seen waving from Studio 7.

She is expected to start at HLN in June.

Morning Joe beat out New Day in April

MSNBC’s morning political talkshow Morning Joe, hosted by former Congressman Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski beat New Day in the morning show race.

The networks were touting their ratings earlier this week, and surprisingly, New Day was nowhere to be found in the network’s press release. Even if the CNN morning show fell year-to-year, CNN’s publicists usually found a way to spin the ratings somehow to make it look good for CNN.

But not this time.

New Day was just nowhere to be found.

MSNBC, meanwhile, touted their win over the morning show hosted by Chris Cuomo, Alisyn Camerota, and Michaela Pereira:

Morning Joe outperformed CNN in the Adults 25-54 by 16% (157,000 vs. 135,000). In total viewers, Morning Joe notched another monthly win (596,000 vs. 438,000), pushing the program’s consecutive winning streak to 14 months over CNN.”

CNN, for its part, has a shakeup planned for New Day. Pereira is leaving CNN, effective this Friday, for a three-hour program on HLN.

CNN Quiz Show: The 80s Edition

Anderson Cooper’s CNN Quiz Show is back. This time, there will have to be a different winner, because frequent winner John Berman is sitting this one out.

To help promote CNN’s launch of The Eighties, the CNN Quiz Show will air April 17 at 7pm ET.

Primetime anchor Don Lemon is paired up with morning anchor Alisyn Camerota, comedian and the host of United Shades of America W. Kamau Bell is paired with HLN’s Robin Meade, and afternoon anchor Brooke Baldwin is paired up with senior political correspondent Brianna Keilar.

Chris Cuomo defends his choice to wear Castro’s shirt while anchoring in Cuba

CNN’s New Day anchor Chris Cuomo received criticism from the usual circles (Newsbusters and Rush Limbaugh, for example) a few days ago for his choice to wear a shirt that, as he explained on New Day, was a gift from dictator Fidel Castro to his father, the late governor of New York Mario Cuomo.

As he explained, after prompted to by co-anchors Michaela Pereira and Alisyn Camerota, “I wear this for a reason: this shirt belonged to my father. It was given to him by Fidel Castro as a gift that — you know, it didn’t mean something to him because it came from Fidel Castro necessarily, but because it marked conversations going on decades ago that were the same as those today. The concern was the freedom of the people.”

Then yesterday on Facebook, he decided to pushback against those who were critical of his decision to wear the shirt.

“A guayabera is not a Castro shirt. And I wore it because my father gave it to me as a reminder of his and many others long time struggle to change the oppression of the good Cuban people. Pop got the shirt from Castro 30 yrs ago after a discussion the two men had in NYC about why human rights and personal freedoms must be a starting point of any society. Castro had different ideas obviously. That’s what the shirt means to me. That’s why I wore it,” he wrote.

And then, he added, “Any other suggestion is [bull shit]. Period.”

Erica Hill to make CNN comeback?

Could the former CNN reporter Erica Hill be considering a comeback to CNN?

According to a recent report from FTVLive, NBC News is taking Hill of the Weekend Today show, which she currently serves as the co-anchor of.

And pointing to the fact that New Day‘s Michaela Pereira asked to return to Los Angeles and was subsequently handed a three-hour long HLN news program to debut in the second quarter, FTVLive conjectures that Hill may make a return to CNN — to find a spot on New Day, alongside anchors Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

And while the move to CNN is only speculation on FTVLive’s part, it would be a welcome homecoming for Hill, who left CNN and Anderson Cooper 360 in early 2010 to pursue a full-time gig at CBS News.