As CNN continues to struggle to attract viewers, it continues to alter its programming and personnel. Because if you stink, you stink.
Insider reports that a longtime presenter was stunned to learn of her termination this week. According to reports, attorney Laura Coates has been dismissed from her 11 p.m. ET CNN program, CNN Tonight.
“The report by Insider’s Claire Atkinson is behind a paywall, but the writer tweeted that the move was intended to cut costs for the struggling network,” a Western Journal report stated.
In addition, she wrote that “insiders” were concerned about Coates’ on-air portrayal, which could refer to her gender, race, or both, given her black ethnicity.
NEW: CNN is axing Laura Coates' 11 p.m. anchor slot to save on costs, according to sources, and insiders are concerned about on-air representation https://t.co/3fUd1YzQXI via @businessinsider
— Claire Atkinson 🏴 (@claireatki) April 18, 2023
“Laura Coates was announced as CNN’s 11 p.m. anchor in January but has not hosted the hour solo since February, the blurb of the article that appeared in her tweet said. “She’s said to be ‘stunned.’”
There was also coverage of the story in TVNewser.
“A CNN senior legal analyst and Sirius XM host based out of Washington D.C., Coates was told that CNN could not staff a separate hour at this time, and that the network is focusing on Alisyn Camerota’s New York-based show, which starts at 10 p.m., for the time being,” according to the outlet.
According to a source close to the circumstance, the 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. block remains temporary, and Camerota currently accommodates both hours. CNN is currently focused on developing permanent plans for the 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. time slots, per the source. According to the source, Laura Coates remains in contention for other hosting opportunities.
Among the other points noted by TVNewser are:
The absence of Coates at 11 p.m. also reignites the discussion of the diversity of CNN’s programming, particularly in primetime.
Don Lemon, who used to anchor the 10 and 11 p.m. hours for CNN, was moved to mornings last fall, paving the way for Camerota and Coates to fill those two hours. With Coates now seemingly out of the running for 11 p.m., CNN’s 4 p.m. through primetime host lineup currently consists of no one of color.
Perhaps that will change. For example, CNN is trying to woo CBS Mornings co-anchor Gayle King and TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley to help fill a primetime void, but an official confirmation of those moves has yet to come from the network.
CEO Chris Licht is looking for ways to get people to watch all the various programs as the network continues to seek for ways to attract more viewers. It has resulted in significant adjustments, including the dismissal of some presenters and correspondents and the reassignment of others, such as Lemon, to new positions.
According to Radar Online, in February, Lemon “went ballistic” after the latest in a series of reports detailing his unprofessional behavior toward his morning show co-hosts was detailed in a CNN internal newsletter. In the report, a “well-placed insider” is cited as a source.
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
A disaster in the making had been unfolding for Lemon’s professional prospects as low ratings for “CNN This Morning” and reports of inappropriate conduct toward co-hosts Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow have made him a potentially destructive member of its staff. CONTINUE READING…