CNN to End 'John King, USA'
King to stay on as correspondent, 'Situation Room' expands to three hours
By Tim Baysinger & Andrea Morabito -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/13/2012 12:39:02 PM
Starting July 2, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer will expand an hour to run from 4-7 p.m., taking over King's timeslot.
"This is John's seventh presidential campaign, fourth with CNN, and making him available across our programming lineup allows us to better tap his skills and experience, especially on the ground reporting in major battleground states and among critical voting blocks," wrote CNN executive VP Ken Jautz in an internal memo provided to B&C.
John King, USA launched in March 2010 in the 7 p.m. hour, shifting back to 6 p.m. last September to accommodate Erin Burnett's new show. The show generally failed to drive strong ratings, and a CNN spokeswoman said Wednesday that having King in the field "is where we think John will have the greatest impact."
CNN has been under pressure to make changes to its lineup in the face of declining ratings, which recently hit a 20-year low in primetime. Speaking at an industry conference last month, Phil Kent, CEO of CNN parent company Turner Broadcasting, said he was "very unhappy" with CNN's primetime ratings" and that "we haven't put the best shows on the air."
In his remarks, Kent offered support for CNN primetime hosts Anderson Cooper, Piers Morgan and Burnett, adding, "we have some other shows that probably need to be replaced."
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