Despite several news organizations speculating that Dr. Drew Pinsky’s HLN show was canceled because of his recent comments about Hillary Clinton’s health, TheWrap has learned that the decision to end “Dr. Drew” was made several weeks ago and is unrelated to his controversial comments.
An HLN insider with direct knowledge of the situation said that the network decided to cancel Pinsky’s show weeks before he said he was “gravely concerned” about Clinton’s health after evaluating her medical records with friend Dr. Robert Huizenga.
Numerous media organizations, including the Washington Post, were quick to tie Pinsky’s comments to the cancellation of his show. The HLN insider mentioned that shows are not hastily canceled and pointed out that people lost their jobs because of the tough decision.
Also Read: 'Dr Drew' to End After 5 Years on HLN
“If we were providing the care that she was receiving, we’d be ashamed to show up in a doctors’ lounge,” Pinsky said of Clinton last week on KABC’s “McIntyre in the Morning.”
In Dr. Drew’s words, Clinton’s treatment for hypothyroidism is “very unconventional” and more like that right out of the ’60s.
“Dr. Drew and his team have delivered more than five years of creative shows and I want to thank them for their hard work and distinctive programming,” CNN executive vice president Ken Jautz said in a statement.
The final episode of the series will air on Sept. 22. Pinsky, an addiction specialist and internist, has hosted the series since 2011. He previously hosted the talk series “Loveline” and “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.”
Also Read: Dr. Drew 'Gravely Concerned' About Hillary Clinton's Health After Viewing Records (Audio)
“It has been a privilege working at HLN,” Pinsky said in a statement. “My executive producer Burt Dubrow and our outstanding staff and contributors were consistently exceptional. I am very excited to stay within the CNN Worldwide family as a contributor.”
This is the latest move in a major revamp of HLN. Longtime network stalwart Nancy Grace announced she would be leaving the network in October and CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield recently announced she will begin hosting her own HLN primetime series after Grace’s departure.