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Desperate CNN Gives Primetime Slots to Daytime Anchors Who Have Been Repeatedly Trounced by Fox News

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CNN announced Thursday that hosts Jake Tapper, left, and Alisyn Camerota, right, will be moving to primetime. (Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images; Kevin Mazur / Getty Images)

As CNN continues to change its programming and shuffle its hosts, Jake Tapper and Alisyn Camerota have been promoted to primetime spots despite their current viewership falling behind other major networks.

Tapper, who works as CNN’s main Washington anchor, will move to the 9 p.m. slot throughout the election season, CNN announced Thursday.

That slot hasn’t had a set host since the network fired Chris Cuomo in December 2021, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

“The world has come to rely on Jake’s no-nonsense approach to covering the news, especially during high-stakes election cycles,” CNN’s new CEO and chairman, Chris Licht, said in a statement.

Tapper has been with CNN since 2013, hosting shows such as “State of the Union” and “The Lead.” Before that, he was ABC News’ senior White House correspondent, the Inquirer reported.

CNN said he will start his stint in the 9 p.m. slot on Oct. 10 and remain there until Nov. 11.

John Berman and Brianna Keilar will move from the morning to take over Tapper’s 4 p.m. slot.

Meanwhile, Camerota will be moving from her co-anchor spot on the afternoon “CNN Newsroom” to the 10 p.m. spot that was previously held by Don Lemon, CNN announced. She will share anchor duties with senior legal analyst Laura Coates.

“This move will showcase [Tapper’s] tough reporting, smart analysis and consequential interviews as our audiences navigate the myriad of issues at stake in the midterms,” Licht said. “By adding the insights, experience and strong voices of Alisyn and Laura, we will advance and expand on that coverage, creating something complimentary and compelling in primetime.”

However, neither Tapper nor Camerota has fared very well with viewers in their current time slots on the network, Mediaite reported.

Looking back at some of last week’s numbers, Fox News thrashed the CNN hosts.

Tapper had a mere 742,000 viewers for “The Lead” at 4 p.m. Friday, just over half the number — 1.37 million — that Fox News drew for “Your World with Neil Cavuto” in that period, Mediaite reported. MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace was first in the time slot with 1.51 million viewers.

“CNN Newsroom,” which Camerota co-hosts from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., was similarly pummeled by Fox News on Friday, with about half the viewership, according to Mediaite.

In their primetime slots, Tapper and Camerota will be up against Fox News heavyweights Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Greg Gutfeld, who routinely dominate from 9 to 11 p.m.

Licht continues to shuffle a lot of CNN anchors and shows since he started as CEO in April.

The announcement of Tapper and Camerota’s moves comes on the heels of the news that Don Lemon was losing his 10 p.m. spot and moving to a morning show, Wolf Blitzer was getting more time on air as he anchors 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter was fired.

Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper are two of the only anchors who will remain on their regular shows during their regular hours (7 and 8 p.m., respectively), CNN said.

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