Since August, Abby Phillip and Laura Coates have been helming CNN’s 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET hours with CNN Primetime and CNN Tonight, respectively. The addition of the two women to CNN’s primetime schedule comes as the network overhauled its weekday and weekend program lineup.
Starting tonight, Phillip and Coates will officially launch their shows with new names: CNN NewsNight with Abby Phillip out of New York and Laura Coates Live out of Washington, D.C.
Phillip was most recently the anchor of Inside Politics Sunday and was also the network’s senior political correspondent. Coates was CNN’s chief legal analyst and was a fill-in anchor on various CNN shows.
According to the network, CNN NewsNight will take “a smart and sharp approach to the day’s driving stories, drawing on her reporting background to present and contextualize the news across a wide range of subject matters.”
Laura Coates Live, according to CNN, will showcase “legal, social, political and cultural stories, leveraging her significant experience as a prosecutor and relentless pursuit of the facts to anchor lively conversations with newsmakers, thought leaders and personalities across the spectrum.”
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Coates said, “I’m so excited that Abby and I get a chance to pass the baton from one to the other.”
She added, “Having two Black women at the helm of prime-time coverage speaks volumes about CNN’s commitment to representation. We are not mouthpieces. We are women who take seriously this enormous and generous platform we’ve been given, and we will do it with a unique perspective that is unlike anywhere else on TV.”
“It’s a bold statement, however you want to look at it,” added Phillip.
CNN has been slowly rolling out its revamped weekday schedule. Early Start with Kasie Hunt was the first show to debut in September and is now joined by Philip’s and Coates’ show.
Still to make its debut on the weekday front is The Bulletin with Pamela Brown, while on the weekend, First of All with Victor Blackwell, The Chris Wallace Show, and Amanpour have yet to debut.