Jake Tapper heads to prime time as CNN announces its slate of midterm election programming


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CNN

Jake Tapper is moving to prime time as part of a major set of programming changes CNN announced Thursday that will go into effect in the midterm elections.

Tapper, the network’s main Washington anchor, will anchor the 9:00 pm hour beginning October 10th and ending November 11th.

“The world relies on Jake’s no-nonsense approach to covering the news, especially during high-stakes election cycles,” CNN CEO Chris Licht said in a statement.

Licht added that the move will showcase Tapper’s “hard-hitting reporting, intelligent analysis and consequent dialogue” as our viewers navigate the various issues at stake in the midterms.

Licht’s decision on who will put in the prime time slot of 9 p.m. is highly anticipated. Licht, who began putting his stamp on CNN’s television programming after taking over as head of CNN in May, inherited a network with a hole in its primetime schedule after former anchor Chris Cuomo was fired by his predecessor in December.

The announcements about Tapper coincided with other major programming changes.

Alisyn Camerota, evening anchor for “CNN Newsroom,” and Laura Coates, senior legal analyst, will anchor the midterm election from 10 p.m. to midnight, CNN said.

That time slot will soon be vacated by Don Lemon, who CNN announced earlier this month that he would be moving earlier in the lineup to anchor the network’s flagship morning show. CNN said Lemon will end his primetime program on October 7th to prepare for his new show.

Licht said that by adding the insights, experience and strong voices of Camerota and Coates, CNN would expand Tapper’s hard-hitting coverage and “create something complementary and compelling in prime time.”

Meanwhile, John Berman and Brianna Keilar, hosts of this year’s ending morning show “New Day,” will each replace Tapper at 4 p.m.

Wolf Blitzer will then take over an additional hour, anchored from 17:00 to 19:00. Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper will continue to host their shows in their respective timeslots.