Struggling CNN has made another change to its lineup in the hopes of attracting more viewers
Kaitlin Collins, who was part of a three-host lineup for the network’s morning show, has been hosting a 9 p.m. show called “CNN Primetime for a couple of weeks. The network announced on Wednesday that she’ll be getting that slot permanently, with the show’s name changing to “The Source with Kaitlin Collins.”
The Wrap adds: “The new show will officially shift Collins off of ‘CNN This Morning’ to primetime, leaving Collins’ co-host Poppy Harlow to host the morning program with a rotation of CNN guest anchors without a permanent co-host. While former CEO Chris Licht, who was ousted from the network in early June, lined up the re-imagined morning program in fall 2022 with Collins, Harlow, and Don Lemon, the trio has since been broken up after Lemon exited the network in April.”
Her primetime slot was announced in May. At the time, the network said an announcement about a start date would come at some point in the near future.
“In her new program, officially launching later this summer, Kaitlan will showcase why she’s one of the top reporters and interviewers in the game,” then-CNN boss Licht said in a press release when he announced the show.
“She is a smart and gifted journalist who we’ve all seen hold lawmakers and newsmakers accountable. She pushes politicians off their talking points, gets real answers — and as everyone who’s worked with her knows — breaks a lot of news,” he added.
Collins did make a lot of news headlines in May when she hosted a town hall event on behalf of the network featuring former President Donald Trump, then and now the leading 2024 GOP candidate.
During the feisty back-and-forth between her and the former president, Trump appeared to get bolder with her as the evening progressed. And the reason was revealed a few days later.
According to Axios, during the first commercial break, Trump adviser Jason Miller showed the former president tweets backstage from Democrats who were ripping CNN for hosting Trump and claimed that he was winning.
“Why it matters: Trump, who had been getting miffed at Collins’ persistent questioning, went out all pumped up for the second block,” the outlet reported.
A Trump confidant told Axios: “He was the leader of the free world again.”
The outlet continued:
Trump craves approbation to the point that some aides used to carry around positive polls about him so they could whip them out to show him as a little treat if he started getting grumpy.
Among the tweets, Trump was shown was one by Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who posted 23 minutes into the town hall (before the first commercial break at about 8:40 p.m. ET).
“CNN should be ashamed of themselves. They have lost total control of this ‘town hall’ to again be manipulated into platforming election disinformation, defenses of Jan 6th, and a public attack on a sexual abuse victim,” she tweeted, adding: “The audience is cheering him on and laughing at the host.”
Axios said that Trump was also shown a tweet from 2020 Democratic presidential contender Andrew Yang, which said, “This #CNNTownhall is shaping up to be a clear win for Trump, certainly in the Republican field and probably overall.”