Thursday, November 12, 2009

John King Will Replace Lou Dobbs

Yesterday I reported that Lou Dobbs will be leaving CNN and most people agreed that it was good for CNN that Dobbs would no longer be on the network. While pressure had been mounting for Dobbs to be fired, the departure did catch some people off guard and left people spectulating about what was next for both Dobbs and CNN. While we still don't have confirmation on what Dobbs will be doing next, the LA Times is reporting that it didn't take long for CNN to find a replacement for him. The host of CNN's Sunday morning show, John King, will be hosting the evening show every weeknight.
“The program will reflect what CNN is all about: straight facts from our anchors and the widest range of opinions from across the political spectrum,” CNN/U.S. President Jon Klein said in a statement. “John has enthralled CNN viewers with his vast political knowledge, and he has spent the past year reporting from beyond the Beltway on pressing policy issues and the real people they impact. Every night, he’ll share his passion and his insights about what is really going on in Washington and across America.”

King said he planned to use his new platform “to discuss and explore the big issues of our time.”

“There is a lot of noise and conflict in our political discourse, which is fun to cover, but I’m convinced from my travels that people also thirst for more details as well as insight and context,” he said. “I’m looking forward to combining those conversations with top newsmakers, smart reporting and expert analysis.” The anchor came to CNN in 1997 from the Associated Press.
This decision shouldn't come as a surprise because it's been clear for quite some time now that CNN likes the work that King does and he's been gradually given more and more airtime on the network. Moving him to a time slot during the evening could do well for CNN's numbers, which had been slipping recently as people have been turning to networks such as MSNBC or Fox News for their evening news. Based upon the rhetoric used in the announcement, it looks like CNN will be marketing King's program as one that really is down the middle which will probably attract independents like the one that Lowell wrote about earlier today.

Of course, this still leaves some questions about CNN's lineup as there's now an opening on Sunday mornings. King will apparently be continuing to host State of the Union on Sundays until the end of the year. At this point in time, however, there's no indication of what will be happening to the show. I sincerely hope that they continue a show with a similar feel because I really liked many of the segments they did -- especially those in which King traveled to a different state every week and spoke with the residents of the local community about the issues they believe are important.

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