CNN announced it no longer has well-known Hollywood attorney and fixer Mark Geragos on its payroll as a legal commentator amid widespread reporting that he was the unnamed co-conspirator in Michael Avenatti’s extortion charge against Nike. Avenatti rose to stardom defending Stormy Daniels.
“Mark Geragos is no longer a CNN contributor,” a spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter on Monday.
“Mr. Avenatti and Mr. Geragos, the alleged co-conspirator, met with lawyers for Nike in New York on March 19 and threatened to release damaging information unless the company agreed to pay the two lawyers millions of dollars and another $1.5 million to the client Avenatti claimed to represent,” the Wall Street Journal reports of the complaint filed against Avenatti.
CNN noted Geragos was not charged with a crime.
Geragos didn’t return CNN’s request for comment.
HLN is once again tinkering with its lineup — this time, axing Michaela Pereira’s program Michaela, Across America with Carol Costello, and Ashleigh Banfield’s Crime & Justice. They will host their last shows Friday, October 26, and depart the network thereafter.
Morning Express with Robin Meade will continue; it will now air live from 6:00am-10:00am, and from 10:00am-12:00pm, it will re-air the previous hours of the show. After, On the Story will air from 12:00pm-3:00pm with a rotation of HLN hosts. Lynn Smith’s Weekend Express will continue as usual on Saturdays and Sundays.
In an internal memo we obtained, HLN chief Ken Jautz said of the cuts: “The current cable news landscape is dominated by politics. Our live news shows have not benefitted from this trend given our story mix. However, HLN’s longform programs have been performing very well.”
After 3pm, HLN will begin airing CNN’s original series.
He addded of Costello, Pereira and Banfield, “I know that you will join me in thanking these incredibly talented journalists and their teams for their dedication and hard work. We built a top-notch line-up of some of the best anchors and show teams in the industry, and we are proud of what we’ve accomplished together these past few years.”
ABC News correspondent Nick Watt is joining CNN, reports TVNewser, after more than 20 years at ABC.
He served ABC in the London bureau before moving to Los Angeles as an entertainment correspondent for the network.
Watt will report for CNN as a Los Angeles-based news correspondent.
According to a report from Bay Area media blogger Rich Lieberman, KTVU executives offered “the world” to CNN senior correspondent Sara Sidner to try to get her to return to KTVU, but she ultimately passed them up and is remaining at CNN.
Sidner is based out of CNN’s Los Angeles bureau and occasionally fills in on the Los Angeles edition of CNN Newsroom that airs on CNN International and is occasionally simulcast on CNN Domestic.
In addition to the recent departures of Patricia Janiot and morning show anchor Carlos Montero, CNN en Español is canceling its Los Angeles-based entertainment program, Showbiz, reports MediaMoves.
Furthermore, the morning show Cafe CNN is being downsized from a three hour program to just two hours, according to the report.
10 to 15 jobs are expected to be lost as a result of the cancelation of Showbiz.
MediaMoves says staffers were told to expect more changes in a meeting.
A CNN spokesperson didn’t comment on the layoffs, but said this of the changes: “CNN en Español is strengthening its content-generation capabilities to further position itself as the premiere Spanish-language cross platform news content business in the Americas. This includes investment and reallocation of resources to maximize the digital and TV newsgathering functions, increase content generation and optimize production resources. As responsibilities in the network shift, overall network headcount will increase.”
CNN is shuffling around and promoting some of its bureau correspondents, according to TVNewser’s report. Jessica Schneider has been relocated from CNN’s New York bureau to CNN’s Washington bureau and promoted to Justice correspondent. Also in the Washington bureau, Boris Sanchez has landed the weekend White House reporting gig.
Miguel Marquez will leave the New York bureau and head to CNN’s Los Angeles bureau. In the same bureau, Kyung Lah has been promoted from national correspondent to senior national correspondent, based in LA.
Former CNN Newsource correspondent Polo Sandoval, previously based out of the CNN Center, will relocate to New York City and serve as a general assignment correspondent.
And lastly, Rosa Flores will depart Chicago for the Miami bureau.
CNN’s Los Angeles bureau set is undergoing some changes, according to sources. The renovations will temporarily displace CNN Newsroom Live from Los Angeles until they are complete.
The studio, which was initially designed in part for HLN’s Dr. Drew, which has since been canceled by the network, featured a live studio audience. That is part of what is expected to be removed in the renovations.
The changes are in part considered preparation for HLN’s newest anchor, Carol Costello. Debuting in late April, Across America will also originate from CNN’s LA studio.
There was a stabbing and police-involved shooting outside the CNN Building in Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard today at 2pm local time, the Los Angeles police department confirmed.
At least 3 are injured as a result of the stabbing, and the police shot and killed the man on the scene. He has yet to be identified, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.
CNN’s LA-based political reporter Maeve Reston witnessed some of it, and took to Twitter to do a bit of reporting on the incident: