A press release sent out Thursday by CNN touts a brand new weekly show coming to the channel on Fridays starting in June, hosted by Canadian host George Stroumboulopoulos. (Yes, that’s a real name.) It reads:
The new talk show will explore the worlds of art, pop culture, politics, tech news and sports, through the eyes and the words of their most interesting figures. …
[It] will begin its 10 week run and will bring viewers compelling interviews with Keanu Reeves, Martin Short, Betty White, Bill Maher, Sharon Stone, as well as author Eckhardt Tolle, and filmmaker Werner Herzog among others slated to appear on the show.
That’s a near-carbon copy description of the format for two other daily CNN shows: Piers Morgan Live and The Lead with Jake Tapper. Both programs cover all of these things and regularly feature celebrity guests. In fact, The Lead is broken into segments with clever titles like “The Pop Lead,” “The Politics Lead” and “The Sports Lead.”
Why would CNN need another show just like these two? Maybe its getting rid of one.
When Jeff Zucker came in as CNN’s new president in late 2012, he said he’d make big changes and he has. One of those changes was poaching Jake Tapper from ABC News. In March, Zucker referred to Tapper as “the face of the new CNN.” That, coupled with a rise in his show’s ratings, means it’s fairly safe to assume Tapper will remain with CNN for a good while longer.
Morgan’s ratings, however, are almost consistently in the dumps, even after his show went from being taped to a live broadcast. (As Mediaite noted Wednesday, Morgan’s ratings did do well compared to counter programming at MSNBC on Tuesday.)
Despite the ratings problem, the New York Post reported in December that Zucker wants to keep Morgan, even if it means moving him out of prime time. Then again…
Morgan’s contract is set to expire at some point this year, according to the Post. And he just signed a deal with a publisher to write a book about his time at CNN. Morgan said in a press release that the book will be a “warts and all” behind-the-scenes account.
Who writes a tell-all if they plan on sticking around? Maybe Morgan does. Maybe not.