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Just six weeks after taking over as general manager of HLN, Albie Hecht is instituting sweeping programming changes in daytime and primetime that will lead to layoffs at the network.
“Raising America,” the 12pmET show anchored by Kyra Phillips, and “Evening Express,” the 5pmET program anchored by Ryan Smith, will both be cancelled. A spokesperson from HLN said announcements about new roles for Phillips and Smith are forthcoming.
Beginning November 18, the shows will be replaced by a four-hour block of “News Now” from 1pm to 5pmET, anchored by a rotation of Mike Galanos, Susan Hendricks, Christi Paul and Lynn Berry.
A spokesperson for the network declined to comment on the number of people that will be affected by the layoffs, noting employees will be able to apply for open jobs internally and externally.
“While change is necessary to evolve HLN, it is also difficult. A handful of our family members will be impacted by today’s news,” Hecht wrote in a memo to HLN staffers this afternoon. “I know that I speak for all of us when I offer a heartfelt thank you and my sincere appreciation for their commitment.”
The memo from Hecht, which includes the network’s new programming lineup, is after the jump.
Today, I’m announcing programming changes to HLN’s dayside line-up. Effective November 18, these changes serve as a principal step as we continue to re-position the brand.
HLN’s new 6 a.m.-12 midnight schedule is as follows:
6 a.m.-12 noon ET: Morning Express with Robin Meade
12 noon-1 p.m. ET: Showbiz Tonight (repeat from previous day)
1-5 p.m. ET: News Now
5-6 p.m. ET: What Would You Do?
6-7 p.m. ET: Showbiz Tonight (LIVE, 5th floor NY newsroom)
7-8 p.m. ET: Jane Velez-Mitchell
8-9 p.m. ET: Nancy Grace
9-10 p.m. ET: Dr. Drew On Call (M-Th, Mystery Detectives Fri)
10-11 p.m. ET: HLN After Dark (M-Th, Mystery Detectives Fri)
11 p.m.-12 midnight: Showbiz Tonight (6 p.m. replay)
The programming shift also includes new assignments for some of our talent. News Now will be anchored by a rotation of Mike Galanos, Susan Hendricks, Christi Paul and Lynn Berry. In the coming weeks, we’ll have additional announcements about other talent impacted by these changes.
While change is necessary to evolve HLN, it is also difficult. A handful of our family members will be impacted by today’s news. I know that I speak for all of us when I offer a heartfelt thank you and my sincere appreciation for their commitment.
In the six weeks since I’ve joined HLN, I’ve been continually impressed with your professionalism and passion. We have a real opportunity to grow the HLN brand; let’s get started.