CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins will take over the prime time slot vacated by recently-ousted anchor Chris Cuomo, the network announced on Wednesday.
Network CEO Chris Licht announced that Collins, 31, would host the 9 p.m. ET slot on weeknights beginning sometime in June — the highest-rated hour on CNN prior to Cuomo’s departure in late 2021 — but the title of her show has not yet been announced.
“Kaitlan will showcase why she’s one of the top reporters and interviewers in the game. 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. Kaitlan will expose uncovered angles and challenge conventional wisdom to make sure viewers are seeing a story from every side,” Licht told CNN staffers in an internal memo.
The move comes just a week after Collins served as the solo host for an often contentious CNN town hall event with former President Donald Trump, drawing both criticism and praise for her handling of the situation.
Peacock host Mehdi Hasan (“The Mehdi Hasan Show”) wrote an op-ed claiming that CNN had “set Collins up to fail” when she was named to host the town hall, saying, “The network put its star anchor and interviewer Kaitlan Collins in a room full of Trump supporters, who laughed at their cult leader’s crass jokes and applauded his cheap insults — including jabs at Collins herself.”
But a panel of commentators at CNN disagreed, referring to Collins as a “matador against a bull” and praising her for holding her ground against the former president.
‘Like a Matador Against a Bull!’ Kaitlan Collins Guests Heap Praise on Her Night After Trump Town Hall Fracas https://t.co/mGHOkT1nO2
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) May 12, 2023
Collins previously served as a reporter for The Daily Caller and as CNN’s White House correspondent — and has since worked alongside anchor Poppy Harlow and Don Lemon before his recent and abrupt exit on “CNN This Morning.”
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Harlow will continue to host “This Morning,” and for the time being, she will be joined by a rotating series of co-anchors.