The New York Times reported on Wednesday that CNN New Day anchor Chris Cuomo will be moved to primetime. Furthermore, Variety reported that John Berman, an anchor that CNN frequently relies on to substitute, will be moved to New Day as its new co-host.
Several years ago, CNN ditched regular live programming at the hour to instead have their Original Series broadcast, a decision CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker justified by the cost of the programs. At the time, Zucker said that the hour would be filled with a newscast as breaking news warranted and the 2016 election and a constant stream of news out of the Trump Administration led to newscasts in the timeslot every day. Most nights, Anderson Cooper 360 was extended for a second hour, but CNN periodically tried out other shows. Cuomo Primetime was tried in August of last year and January of this year and was billed as just a temporary show, albeit a temporary show with its own graphics package, name, and set design.
Michael Bass, the EVP of programming for CNN, told Variety about the decision to have a permanent newscast, “We need to be live. There’s so much goIng in every single day, and it made sense just to be on the news. That’s what CNN is all about.” Although that last sentence contradicts Zucker’s repeated attempts to define CNN with the broader term of storytelling because it encompasses both news and their documentaries and original series (like Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown).
Cuomo, who previously worked for Fox News and ABC News, was brought to CNN to co-host its new morning show in 2013. The original trio of Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira will all have moved on once Cuomo departs for primetime. Bolduan was moved to daytime (a decision that was made while she was out on the maternity leave) and Pereira moved to HLN and back to Los Angeles to host MichaeLA. Former Fox News anchor Alisyn Camerota replaced Bolduan and continues on the show today.
Cuomo is only the fourth individual to have a permanent broadcast in the 9 PM timeslot in CNN’s nearly 38 year history. He follows Sandi Freeman, Larry King, and Piers Morgan.