Following a year of turmoil in the executive suite and declining ratings, CNN is overhauling its program lineup.
The Warner Bros. Discovery-owned cable news channel announced Monday that it will shift several veteran names — including Chris Wallace, Christiane Amanpour and Kasie Hunt — into anchor roles.
Political correspondent Abby Phillip will anchor a nightly program out of New York at 10 p.m. Eastern. Phillip was host of the Sunday program “Inside Politics,” which will be taken over by Capitol Hill correspondent Manu Raju.
The changes are coming after a year when CNN saw significant audience declines under previous chief executive Chris Licht, whose priority was positioning the network to be more politically down-the-middle to attract more conservative viewers. At the same time, Licht had to cut costs at the network as parent company WBD is under pressure to reduce its debt.
Prime-time ratings were already slipping when Licht arrived in 2022 shortly after CNN announced the departure of its top-rated prime time host Chris Cuomo, who was terminated over how he advised his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on the handling of sexual harassment complaints brought against him.
Licht also moved host Don Lemon out of prime time to co-anchor “CNN This Morning,” further disrupting viewing habits. Lemon was fired in April.
Licht was ousted from CNN in June after a series of blunders. A team of veteran CNN executives are running the network with David Leavy, a close aide of WBD Chief Executive David Zaslav, serving as chief operating officer.
Phillips will be followed by legal analyst Laura Coates at 11 p.m. Eastern.
Hunt — who was hired away from NBC News to work on CNN+, the streaming channel that shut down several weeks after its launch — is the new anchor of the daily morning program “Early Start.” The programs previous anchors Laura Jarrett and Christine Romans recently left the network to join NBC News.
Wallace also joined to host a CNN+ program, which was eventually moved to the cable channel. He will get additional duty on Saturday, anchoring a 10 a.m. roundtable program featuring reporters and commentators. Wallace will continue to to do his weekly interview program, “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?”
Wallace will be followed by a new program with Amanpour, a fixture at the network known for her international coverage.
The network also named Congressional correspondent Phil Mattingly to join Poppy Harlow as co-anchor of “CNN This Morning,” filling the chair vacated by Kaitlan Collins, who remains as the 9 p.m. Eastern host.
Pamela Brown, chief investigative correspondent, is getting a daily program at 3 p.m. Eastern. Victor Blackwell, who co-anchors the weekend edition of “CNN This Morning,” is getting a Saturday program that will focus on issues affecting people of color.