Measuring CNN’s Day In “Blitzers:” Klein Explains The Creation Of “CNN Newsroom”

By Brian 

Next month, CNN Live Today and Live From… will be folded into one brand, CNN Newsroom, from 10am to noon and 1pm to 4pm, the network announced today. CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein said the changes are being made for a couple simple reasons.

“Fewer names is better,” Klein told TVNewser today. “I myself couldn’t keep straight all the names of the shows. If I can’t, I have to figure most of the audience can’t either.”

Since becoming president in Nov. 2004, Klein has streamlined the morning (Daybreak and American Morning became just American Morning) and the late afternoons (Inside Politics, Crossfire, and Wolf Blitzer Reports became The Situation Room). Now it is daytime’s turn.

Along with the name change, Klein is bring back the two-anchor model he ditched in 2005. “When I first came in, I frankly had other uses for the other anchors,” he says. Miles O’Brien, for example, moved from Live From… to American Morning.

“What I discovered is that three hours is a long session to do by yourself when you’re doing a lot of breaking news. We refer to that unit of time now as one Blitzer of coverage. Wolf makes it look easy, but it’s not easy,” he said.

Klein said the revamping isn’t related to Daryn Kagan‘s departure. (Her last day is Sept. 1.) He said he wants to simplify the programming day for viewers.

“It also reflects what we’re all about, which is the news,” he said.

Under the direction of Mike Toppo, who became the senior EP for daytime programming a few months ago, “we’ve rolled out a much more fast-breaking format,” Klein says. He hopes the changes will “pump new energy into the coverage.”