CNN’s experiment moving Jake Tapper to the network’s primetime lineup is coming to an end after he struggled to keep up with competitors in ratings during the time slot.
“As part of a special lineup, Jake agreed to anchor the 9p hour through the midterm elections,” a CNN spokesperson said. “At the completion of that schedule, he’ll be returning to his award-winning program The Lead. We will announce post-election plans for that time slot in the coming days.”
Semafor reported that although Tapper had reportedly only agreed to do the show through November 11, “there had been some speculation that the network’s lead Washington anchor could take over the slot permanently.”
The Daily Beast also reported that Tapper was potentially being viewed as a replacement for the time slot, which was vacated by Chris Cuomo, who was fired by the network during the course of an investigation into the help that he provided to his brother, then-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), in navigating a sexual misconduct scandal.
The report said that one of the problems that Tapper ran into was he “was not able to trump his time-slot competitors in ratings, often falling far behind competitors Alex Wagner Tonight and Hannity (on MSNBC and Fox News, respectively) in total viewers and alternating with the MSNBC host for second and third place in the key demographic of viewers ages 25 to 54.”
Tapper will now move back to his original 4 p.m. EST time slot after the brief stint at the 9 p.m. EST time slot.
Chris Cuomo was fired when, during the course of the network’s investigation, women came forward and accused him of sexual misconduct, including a “young temporary ABC employee hoping for a full-time job,” The New York Times reported, and former ABC News executive producer Shelley Ross.
Ross, who later became an executive producer at CBS News, said that at a going-away party in 2005, Cuomo approached her “and greeted me with a strong bear hug while lowering one hand to firmly grab and squeeze the cheek of my buttock.”
“‘I can do this now that you’re no longer my boss,’ he said to me with a kind of cocky arrogance,” Ross wrote in a New York Times op-ed. “‘No you can’t,’ I said, pushing him off me at the chest while stepping back, revealing my husband, who had seen the entire episode at close range. We quickly left.”