Jake Tapper to Leave 9 PM and Return to 4 PM After Midterms

By A.J. Katz 

The current occupant of CNN’s 9 p.m. timeslot, Jake Tapper, will leave the hour and return to his 4 p.m. show The Lead after the 2022 midterm elections conclude.

Semafor’s Max Tani first reported the news, and CNN later confirmed that reporting to TVNewser.

“As part of a special lineup, Jake agreed to anchor the 9p hour through the midterm elections,” a CNN spokesperson told TVNewser. “At the completion of that schedule, he’ll be returning to his award-winning program The Lead. We will announce post-election plans for that time slot in the coming days.”


CNN has left the weekday 9 p.m. hour without a permanent host since former host Chris Cuomo was fired 11 months ago. The network announced in late-September that Tapper would take over the pivotal timeslot through Friday, Nov. 11. Many industry watchers thought he might become the permanent 9 p.m. host depending, in part, on how the show performed in the ratings department. However, ratings for CNN Tonight with Jake Tapper have been mediocre so far, outside of a solid debut featuring an interview with President Joe Biden.

It also unclear what will happen to the 10 and 11 p.m. hours of CNN Tonight, which became vacant after Don Lemon transitioned to the network’s new morning show, CNN This Morning. CNN senior legal analyst Laura Coates and CNN Newsroom co-anchor Alisyn Camerota have co-hosted 10 and 11 p.m. on weekdays since late-September.

We asked CNN if Coates and Camerota, like Tapper, will return to their previous roles after the midterms. We have yet to receive a response as of publication time. We’ll update this post if we receive one.