CNN has canceled “In the Arena,” the 8PM show hosted by Eliot Spitzer, as part of a shake-up of its evening schedule.
In its place, the network will move Anderson Cooper’s flagship “AC 360” broadcast to the 8PM spot, where it will compete against Fox News’ “O’Reilly Factor” and MSNBC’s “Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.”
“In the Arena” had itself replaced “Parker Spitzer,” the show Spitzer launched with former co-host Kathleen Parker last year.
“We are in discussions with Eliot Spitzer about an alternative role,” a memo to CNN staff said Wednesday, according to Politico. “We thank him and the entire ‘In the Arena’ team for creating a program that moved many political and economic issues into the national spotlight.
“We engaged serious people in conversations about national and global issues in a way that was informative and challenging,” Spitzer said in a statement. “I believe that we provided diverse and valuable perspectives during the show’s tenure. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at CNN.”
CNN will also make room for new personality Erin Burnett, who will debut an eponymous show in the 7PM hour. That will bump “John King, USA” to the 6PM hour, bumping “The Situation Room” up an hour to 4PM. “Piers Morgan Tonight” will remain at 9PM.
“The new line-up showcases anchors who are experienced reporters in covering stories that span the globe,” Ken Jautz, executive vice president, CNN/U.S., said in an announcement. “We created a nightly schedule that brings together the best of CNN’s journalism on a wide range of topics from politics and the economy to global and world events, as well the best newsmaker and celebrity interviews. This line-up ensures viewers access to the best of what CNN has to offer whenever they tune in at night.”
Cooper, who will also debut a syndicated talk show in the fall, said he is excited for the new timeslot.
“I’m looking forward to the new time slot and am excited to share AC360 with a new audience at 8pm, while still connecting with my regular viewers at 10pm,” he added in the announcement.
The new evening lineup is as follows:
4pm: Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer
6pm: John King, USA
7pm: Erin Burnett
8pm: Anderson Cooper 360
9pm: Piers Morgan Tonight
10pm: AC 360 re-air
11pm: Erin Burnett re-air
12am: Piers Morgan Tonight re-air
By Danny Shea