HLN announced on Thursday that it is making a slight adjustment to its weekday schedule, moving S.E. Cupp Unfiltered from 7 PM to 5 PM and Primetime Justice from 8 PM to 6 PM, both airing Monday through Thursday. The change will take effect Monday, December 4.
As a result of Primetime Justice no longer being in primetime, Ashleigh Banfield’s show will be renamed to Crime & Justice with Ashleigh Banfield. However, the new show will be extended to two hours, meaning that HLN is expanding its amount of live news. However, live news will end at 8 PM and the network will shift to airing CNN and HLN original series.
S.E. Cupp’s program has been struggling in the ratings since its inception, but having its lead-in be a news program, rather than the current original series, could help it gain viewers. As part of this transition, HLN will have news starting at 6 AM and go uninterrupted until 8 PM. This is part of HLN head Ken Jautz’s vision of HLN being “news-by-day and investigation by night,” per a staff memo.
HLN has had a bit of an identity crisis over the past few years. The oftentimes forgotten sister channel of CNN, it had a large focus on trial stories but then shifted away from that towards being a social media-driven cable news channel. However, that was largely unsuccessful so HLN has moved onto a new strategy of emphasizing news stories outside of the typical Acela corridor bubble while also keeping a focus on crime stories.
Read Jautz’s memo to staff:
Less than two years ago, we set out to re-brand HLN as news-by-day and investigation by night. A big part of that goal was to seamlessly go live from 6a – 8p ET. I’m pleased to share that beginning Monday, December 4, we are hitting that target. SE Cupp Unfiltered will now air Monday-Thursday from 5-6p, leading into a two-hour newly-titled, Crime & Justice with Ashleigh Banfield.
This new line-up creates a stronger flow into prime, which now hosts a robust library of highly-rated HLN and CNN Original programming, designed for us to win.
I want to thank you for your hard-work and flexibility over the past couple of years as we continue to position HLN for greater success.
Lastly, please hold-the-date of Thursday, December 7, for an ATL / LA Town Hall, and Wednesday, December 13 for NY. More details to come. I look forward to hearing from you on this and much more.
Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.