CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker revealed on Thursday that it is bailing on its 9 p.m. talk show tradition because the network believes the format is no longer attractive to audiences.
“We believe that genre is no longer viable. There are just too many outlets with not enough big gets for a pure talk show to thrive any longer,”Zucker said at CNN’s first upfront presentation to advertisers. “And just because CNN has always done a talk show at 9, it doesn’t mean that’s what we should be doing there going forward.”
The shift in strategy follows the cancelation of “Piers Morgan Live,” which ended its 3-year run at the end of last month with the British host delivering one final plea for stricter gun control in America.
Instead, CNN Films specials like Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s “Weed” and Anderson Cooper’s “The Survivor Diaries” will share the hour with new shows starring Mike Rowe, John Walsh and Lisa Ling.
CNN also plans to introduce a new 10 p.m. nightly news show “CNN Tonight,” featuring a rotating roster of hosts, who viewers can expect to pop in during Morgan’s troubled time slot when breaking news strikes.
“We will always give priority to our original breaking news coverage,” Zucker said. “In an increasingly polarized world, it’s hard to know who to trust. CNN will be the only news channel that doesn’t take a side.”