As HLN continues to shake up its lineup, a longtime staple of the network, Nancy Grace is leaving.
Grace told her staff this morning that she would be leaving sometime this fall. Staffers will be reassigned, and no jobs will be lost, an HLN spokesperson tells us.
Grace, a former prosecutor, was the face of the network during wall-to-wall trial coverage over the last 10 years. Ratings excelled when the nation was captivated by criminal trials like those of Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman. In fact, HLN had its biggest ratings ever in 2011 with the verdict in the Anthony trial, when the young Florida mother was acquitted of killing her toddler daughter.
Grace’s show is still a top performer for the network. In the just-completed second quarter Nancy Grace averaged 302,000 viewers each night, just ahead of Morning Express with Robin Meade with 273,000. That put Grace’s show as the 44th most-watched cable news program.
Grace joined HLN in 2005 while continuing to anchor a show on Court TV. She gave up the Court TV show in 2007 not long before the network was re-branded as truTV.
In 2011, Grace hosted the first season of the syndicated court show Swift Justice.
There are no changes at this point for HLN’s other regularly-produced prime time show, Dr. Drew, we’re told. HLN expects to have an announcement regarding the 8 p.m. hour in the coming months. Meanwhile, the network is relaunching its daytime schedule. Next week, a late morning show hosted by former CNN anchor Michaela Pereira will debut. And former weekend Today show co-anchor Erica Hill joins the network in the fall to anchor an afternoon block of news.
More: Here is Grace’s statement: “This fall, I’ll be leaving HLN, my longtime TV home, with a full heart and endless gratitude. The Network has been my extended family for nearly a dozen years, and I am proud of the amazing work we’ve produced together. We created an unparalleled platform that gave crime victims a voice and succeeded in helping to find missing people and spotlight unsolved homicides. I will continue my fight for justice across a variety of traditional and new media, where victims’ voices can reach an entirely engaged audience.”
More: The announcement from HLN chief Ken Jautz: Today, Nancy is announcing that she has decided to leave HLN this fall. Nancy has worked tirelessly on behalf of the missing and exploited for more than a decade on HLN. She gave a voice to the voiceless and we are extremely grateful for her contributions to the network. During her remarkable career at HLN, she led the coverage of two of this century’s most talked about and infamous trials, Casey Anthony and Jodi Arias. We will always be champions of Nancy’s mission and are excited to see what’s next for her. Please join me in extending a heartfelt thanks to Nancy.