HLN inhabits Studio 7

HLN is beginning to make itself home in what used to be CNN’s Studio 7 (formerly the home of CNN Newsroom and Sanjay Gupta, MD). When the Atlanta talent (Brooke Baldwin and Carol Costello) relocated to New York, it was announced Studio 7 would go to HLN.

Today was the first time (that I’ve seen) that HLN aired a segment from CNN’s studio.

Watch below, via HLN:
http://www.hlntv.com/video/2014/10/18/hot-halloween-costumes

So… Weekend Express with Lynn Berry may be the first HLN show to have a piece taped in Studio 7. We’ll see what will come of this.

Mike Brooks laid off

Mike Brooks, HLN law enforcement analyst, has been laid off as part of the cuts hitting CNN/HLN. Mike could be found most frequently on HLN Now with Mike Galanos, HLN Now: On The Case, and HLN primetime programming.

Here’s the note he put on his Facebook page:

Hey Everybody,
I was told my position as the HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST has been eliminated as part of the cuts at Turner Broadcasting.

I just want to say THANKS to all of our loyal viewers who tuned in every day to get the REAL story about what was happening around the world on the Biggest cases you wanted to see every day.

I had the opportunity to work with some of THE finest journalists, producers, bookers, assignment editors, photo journalists, attorneys, Judges….YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. And some of you are also departing HLN/CNN.

And I can’t forget CNN Hair & Makeup…You made a guy who has a GREAT face for radio look good in front of the camera. (At least you didn’t have to do my hair).

THANK YOU, THANK YOU THANK YOU…I LOVE YOU ALL.
STAY SAFE..

Mike

(H/t HLNFans)

HLN’s Valerie Butler laid off

The executive producer of HLN’s Weekend Express with Lynn Berry has been laid off, I’ve just been informed. She was one of the few remaining African-American EPs remaining at CNN.

This occurred as the NABJ is “concerned” about diversity in CNN’s leadership.

UPDATE: An HLN spokesperson has confirmed to me that Weekend Express is safe, and that there are no current plans to hire a replacement EP.

Jane Velez-Mitchell has been canceled

HLN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell has just been canceled, effectively immediately. Forensic Files will air in its place tonight.

Jane will be leaving the network.

TVNewser has the details:

Breaking: Jane Velez Mitchell‘s nightly HLN show has been canceled, part of deep cuts at CNN today. Velez Mitchell will be leaving the network, as will the staff of the show. In all about 15 staffers, we’ve learned.

Velez Mitchell was a contributor to the network even before she got her own show which launched 6 years ago this week. Velez Mitchell was thrust onto the HLN schedule Oct. 17, 2006, when Glenn Beck abruptly departed for Fox News Channel.

As it turns out, Velez Mitchell’s final episode last night finished as the No. 1 HLN primetime show in the demo Monday, even beating Chris Matthews on MSNBC. “Forensic Files” will air at 7pmET tonight.

More layoffs coming to CNN

Yesterday, layoffs were reported about the CNN/HLN sales department. Now, a tipster has informed me that today is the day expected to deliver more of the layoffs.

They went on to say, “So far the other Turner nets have taken the biggest hit over the last two days. Everyone’s just waiting for it to happen to CNN/HLN… and all signs point to today being the day. If not – it’s going to be a long weekend for everyone here.”

Stay tuned.

Move Isha Sesay to New Day

While Kate Bolduan is enjoying her maternity leave, CNN is going to try out a variety of hosts and presumably see what sticks, a producer for the morning show told me. So far, they haven’t tried anyone new or exciting to the show (last week, Brianna Keilar and Brooke Baldwin filled in; today, Michaela Pereira anchored with Christine Romans as the news reader).

Why not mix it up completely and give Isha a shot?

It won’t be as if she’s some random hire. Isha has had a long career with the CNN family, and has had significant roles on all of their three major channels that air in the US: CNN Domestic, CNN International, and HLN. At one point in Isha’s busy career, she worked for all three simultaneously . Unfortunately, she only works for CNNI now, and anchors a thirty-minute weekday bulletin, called CNN NewsCenter (and tapes BackStory on Fridays to air on the weekends).

Give Isha a shot. She’s had numerous roles — she’s the current host of NewsCenter, she used to co-host HLN’s Evening Express, she was the AC360 Bulletin presenter. So she’s proved she can handle the fluff, the hard interviews, and change. Why not have that change occur again and move her to New York?

To be fair, there’s no guarantee she’ll mesh well with Chris Cuomo or Michaela Pereira. But you won’t know if she could be the permanent replacement for Kate Bolduan that New Day is desperately searching for if you don’t try her out during Kate’s maternity leave.

Sunday Column

… Michael Holmes had his last iDesk on Friday; Robyn Curnow is taking over beginning on Monday. Unfortunately, he didn’t even get to sign off, much less say good-bye — his program was carrying live the United Nations. (Read more.)

… CNN International is running a relatively subdued promo of Wolf Blitzer for his program Wolf, which will begin simulcasting on CNNI Monday. Watch it here (courtesy of xgrinch). (Read more.)

… HLN is running promos, promising a live special report every weekday at 4pm on the Jodi Arias trial. In the promos are HLN’s renowned commentator hosts, Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell.

… Zain Asher (business correspondent based in NYC) is the latest to take her turn anchoring the simulcast. She had been paired up with John Vause.