Page Six is reporting that CNN may be looking to shuffle its evening line-up by giving Erin Burnett John King’s 7pm slot.
Burnett announced she was leaving CNBC for CNN last month.
At the time of the announcement CNN said Burnett would be anchoring a “weekday” show in addition to being the network’s chief business and economics correspondent, but failed to disclose what hour.
We’ve heard Burnett was fielding offers from a number of networks — including NBC, who failed to make an enticing enough one — but opted to go with CNN because they were offering Burnett both the opportunity to report as well as her own show.
Burnett has traveled abroad for reporting assignments on numerous occasions for CNBC, most recently reporting from Egypt in January during the uprisings there.
In keeping with that experience, some have suggested to us that CNN may be looking to develop a role for Burnett that is similar to the one Christiane Amanpour played at the network — namely, international reporting coupled with a daily presence, and eventually perhaps as the face of the network. Or one of them.
Meanwhile, John King USA’s 7pm ratings have struggled since the show launched in March 2010 — with intermittent ratings bumps that can be tied to this year’s big breaking news stories, which benefited the entire network — so perhaps it’s not surprising they might be considering replacing him.
And Burnett certainly provides a good alternate — she’s young, she’s a woman, and she enjoyed a fairly devoted following at CNBC. She also provides business acumen during a time when business has become a national storyline. Eliot Spitzer watch your back? (Literally, in this case, as a 7pm slot would make her his lead-in.)
*Update: CNN denies they have any intention of removing King from his 7pm slot:
John King, USA is performing very well and we are extremely proud of the work he and his team do each and every day. We have no plans to make changes to John King, USA—the audience is up 68 per cent for the month of May vs. a year ago and we look forward to its continued progress as the program takes on an important role in our 2012 campaign coverage.
We do not have a time slot selected for Erin Burnett’s program and the show will begin development in a few weeks. We look forward to having a lineup that includes both John King and Erin Burnett as well as our many other talented CNN anchors come the fall.
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