Today we have two entirely conflicting accounts of the immediate fate of CNN’s John King, who began hosting John King’s USA at 7 p.m. ET in March, replacing Lou Dobbs.
The NYP’s Page Six quotes an “insider” (or someone who is very good at reading ratings charts) who says: “Since King replaced Lou Dobbs, he’s lost more than half his audience. If it were a fight, it would be stopped on a TKO because of the bleeding.”
The Post predicts that Wolf Blitzer will expand his newscast into the 7 p.m. hour, leading into a new show with disgraced former New York governor Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker at 8 p.m. None of that sounds like a good idea to me, but no one has asked me to program their news network lately. Blitzer did make his name on the Gulf War and that ended in 1991. I’m just saying.
Mediaite, however, cites a June 30 the Web site did with CNN head Jon Klein, who said he planned to practice patience with King’s new show.
Mediaite also makes the salient point that it would make sense to see how King’s show does come the mid-term elections (really, that is here already? I just finally got over my fatigue from the presidential campaign and it’s about to all start up again. Yesterday, I heard a story on NPR about Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney raising money for their PACs and I got a little nauseous). King is primarily a political reporter and if he can’t bring in viewers to hear him report on politics, then his time in primetime should be up.
Still, patience probably isn’t in long supply over at struggling CNN, where the ratings are at all-time lows.