Chris Wallace, the former Fox News anchor who left the network for the short-lived failed project of CNN+, is being reassigned at CNN. He will now be hosting his show on the network’s 10 am time slot on Saturdays according to the Daily Caller. This follows a general shakeup at the company following declining ratings over this past year. CNN is finally filling in their former anchors’, Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon, Monday slots that were left vacant.
Abby Phillip will be filling the 10 pm slot and Laura Coates will be filling for the 11 pm slot. Cuomo was fired from CNN in December 2021 and Lemon’s spot had been empty since his departure in November 2022. The network also named Phil Mattingly, their chief White House correspondent, and Poppy Harlow would co-host the show “CNN This Morning.” That duo was initially slated to be a trio of co-hosts as Kaitlan Collins was tapped to be the third co-host. Collins, however, got her own show.
These changes were not being made amid a time of fortune and success for the corporate news network. CNN’s profitability has fallen to below $1 billion. CNN has also scored its worst-rated year among the key 25-45 demographic. Back in June, the network engineered the firing of its new CEO, Chris Licht, who wanted to bring the network to a less partisan lean. To that end, his company helped to host Trump’s town hall in New Hampshire. That move did produce a massive 3.3 million viewers for the network, which was needed, but proved to be too controversial within the network.
Licht defended the move despite the backlash by saying “America was served by what we did last night” and “[i]t is our job to get those answers and hold him [Trump] accountable” even while saying that covering Trump was “messy and tricky.” That town hall also reached more than 780,000 viewers within the vital 25-45 demographic. Licht faced a revolt within his own company toward the successful performance of Mr. Trump, a man whom many within CNN despise.
Anderson Cooper apologized for the coverage of Trump and said of the event that he would understand if his audience would not trust or watch CNN again. “Many of you have expressed deep anger and disappointment, many of you are upset that someone who attempted to destroy our democracy was invited to sit on a stage in front of a crowd of Republican voters to answer questions, and predictably continued to spew lie, after lie, after lie,” said Cooper.
Kaitlan Collins was Trump’s interlocutor during that CNN sponsored and she tried (and failed) constantly to undermine his claims in front of the Republican audience. Many believe Trump’s successful performance during that town hall was a major reason for the fallout within CNN.