Former Bush Official Michael Smerconish to Take Chris Cuomo’s CNN Primetime Slot Next Week

Smerconish currently hosts a Saturday morning show on the network

Michael Smerconish

Michael Smerconish will fill in for CNN’s Chris Cuomo in the 9 p.m. ET time slot all next week, the network says. Smerconish, who served in the Department of Housing and Urban Development under former president George H. W. Bush before launching a media career, hosts his own show on the channel Saturdays at 9 a.m.

In November, “Smerconish” averaged 682,000 total viewers, of whom 83,000 were in the advertiser-coveted age demographic of 25 to 54.

The former Republican has urged moderation in the party and endorsed Democrat Barack Obama in the 2008 election before leaving the GOP entirely in 2010.

Cuomo was suspended indefinitely after new documents from the New York Attorney General’s office, released Monday, revealed correspondence between the newsman and then-governor Andrew Cuomo’s team in which he asked to help them craft a response to sexual harassment accusations against his politician brother. Cuomo went as far as to say he was using his journalistic connections to get at least one “lead” on an accuser, as well as determine if further accusations or stories were coming down the pipeline. Previously, Cuomo’s involvement in his brother’s strategizing was known and he faced no repercussions from CNN, but the extent of that involvement was unknown.

Anderson Cooper extended his primetime program from one hour to two this week to fill the 9 p.m. slot.