CNN wants Gayle King to host weekly primetime show: report

CNN boss Chris Licht has reportedly tapped former CBS anchor Paul Gayle King to help his struggling network’s prime-time ratings.

Licht is slated to anchor “CBS Mornings” to host or co-host a weekly nighttime show on CNN under a deal that will allow her to keep her day job at CBS. . Pick News reports.

The move will reunite the former Tiffany Networks executive with King, who is popular on CBS News for his riveting interviews with R&B singer R. Kelly, President Biden, actor Will Smith and the family of slain Memphis man Tyr Nichols. have done

“Chris has spoken to dozens and dozens of people at CNN to gauge interest in potential projects,” a CNN representative told The Post on Tuesday.

King and CBS News did not respond to requests for comment.

“CBS Mornings” co-host Gayle King may be reuniting with her old boss, Chris Licht.
CBS via Getty Images

During his time at CBS, Licht helped relaunch “CBS This Morning” (recently rebranded “CBS Mornings”) in 2012, adding co-hosts Charlie Rose, Norah O’Donnell and King.

While a CNN deal would translate into longer hours for King, it’s not unheard of for an anchor to moonlight for rival networks. Anderson Cooper hosts a nightly show on CNN and also serves as a correspondent for CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

Since decamping for CNN last year, Licht has struggled to rebuild the ratings-challenged network, and is looking for big talent to help boost viewership.

Chris Leicht
CNN boss Chris Licht is scrambling to rebuild the ratings-challenged network.
Getty Images for CNN

Licht told the Los Angeles Times this week that he is in talks with “people from the worlds of entertainment, sports and comedy who can bring a fresh and unique perspective to the news” to bring the network’s 9 p.m. Required slots can be filled.

But part of CNN’s dilemma is the budget under parent company Warner Bros. Discovery, which needs to cut at least $3.5 billion by the end of 2023. CNN staff have already seen the impact of this mandate.

In less than a year on the job, Licht has cut hundreds of jobs and reshuffled the network’s lineup in an effort to shift CNN away from commentary and bias in favor of straight news.

Newsroom at CNN World Headquarters.
CNN is looking for top talent to help grow viewership.
Light Rocket via Getty Images

The exec’s biggest programming move to date is launching “CNN This Morning,” a new morning show co-hosted by Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins. Although the show has had some wins, its ratings have generally been low.

According to Nielsen data, the show had its lowest-rated week earlier this month since its debut last November, averaging just 331,000 viewers — one of Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.” Less than a third and less than half of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” — and just 65,000 in the 25- to 54-year-old demo.

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