CNN CEO Chris Licht wants to change up the network’s primetime lineup, and the new strategy could involve adding a sports television legend to the team: Charles Barkley.
Puck reported earlier this month that Barkley is in talks with CNN on a new show. The NBA star turned Emmy-award winning studio analyst confirmed the reporting, going on the record with The New York Post. “They are trying to pair Gayle King and me. We don’t have anything set in stone,” Barkley told Post’s Andrew Marchand. I’m only considering it because of my respect for Gayle.”
Barkley, always candid, added, “I just want to help the company because obviously it is a s–t show right now. Anything I can do to help.”
It remains to be seen what a show featuring Barkley and King might look like, but it certainly won’t be a daily program. Barkley, the longtime co-host of TNT’s Inside the NBA, recently signed a 10-year extension with Warner Bros. Discovery (Turner Sports’ parent), and will be involved with that program for as long as the company has broadcast rights to the NBA (at least through the 2024-2025 season). King, whose history with Licht goes back to his days running CBS’ weekday morning program, recently signed an extension with CBS News and will continue to co-host CBS Mornings for the foreseeable future.
Barkley’s friendship with King was apparently developed through Oprah Winfrey after Barkley appeared on Winfrey’s show.
“It would be an honor and a privilege to work with Gayle,” Barkley told the Post.