CNN’s John King, long thought to be on the outs with the network after “John King USA” went belly up and personal issues marred internal relations, has had his contract renewed. In the game of CNN Survivor, under the new regime of President Jeff Zucker, King is safe.
Others may not be as fortunate.
There are murmurings that Candy Crowley may be contemplating a change. She was originally scheduled for Inauguration coverage and then HLN’s Robin Meade was brought in from Atlanta along with Brooke Baldwin. Suddenly things weren’t so sweet for Candy and she was noticeably absent for much of the coverage. Sources tell us Crowley has been entertaining the idea of picking up her blocks and making a change, even before Zucker arrived. It was, however, announced in the Washington town hall held by Zucker that political programming would diminish but that overall programming would increase from the Washington bureau come one year from now.
Executives are buzzing that Kate Bolduan was “born to anchor.” So expect to see more of her. Also in the “like” category is Brianna Keilar, who is perceived as a fresh, younger face.
In the process of making changes, however, come certain tensions. For example, network insiders tell us Amy Entelis, senior VP for talent and content development, has Zucker meeting with talent from other networks who are under contract, in turn, “pissing off” lawyers at competing networks. In a mad dash, they are shooting a lot of pilots. Talent from other networks may break contracts only if the company lets them out of it. It’s difficult to do and seen as shameful. Some may recall David Shuster, whose relationship soured with MSNBC after they learned he’d shot a pilot for CNN. They parted ways.
Just to recap, since Zucker has arrived, the network has acquired Jake Tapper from ABC and Erin McPike from RealClearPolitics. Dana Bash has risen to Chief Congressional Correspondent. Wolf Blitzer will lose an hour of his three-hour afternoon program, but he was the lead interviewer of Zucker at the Washington town hall and is presumed safe. Meanwhile, they’ve dumped power couple James Carville and Mary Matalin and RedState‘s Erick Erickson has fled to the mother ship, Fox News.