The course correction comes as the network considers other changes to its evening lineup to reverse steep audience declines. According to people familiar with the situation, CNN is looking closely at its 7 p.m. hour, which features a political program hosted by John King. The network also continues to express interest in “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric, whose deal with CBS Corp. expires near the start of June.
Could “John King, USA” be the next casualty in CNN’s effort to shakeup its lineup?
Back in 2010, shortly after the program launched, a source inside CNN told this TVNewser editor that the future of the program would hinge on how it performed leading up the 2010 midterm elections. It is a political program after all, and as interest in politics rose, the network expected viewership to rise as well.
Unfortunately, the show did not see the massive election-related ratings bump many inside the channel were expecting.
With the next major election not until November 2012, interest in politics among the general public is likely to remain stagnant for at least a year or so, until the Presidential campaign kicks into high gear.
In other words, now would be the perfect time to try out something new–and perhaps non-political–at 7 PM.
What would happen to King in such a move is unclear, but given his political acumen, the network likely would want to hold onto him for 2012 if it can.
As for the Couric comment, well, we will have to wait and see.