Jake Tapper Heads To Primetime As CNN Announces Midterm Election Programming

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Jake Tapper is heading to primetime as part of a sweeping series of program changes announced Thursday by CNN that will take effect during the midterm elections.

Tapper, the network’s lead anchor in Washington, will drop anchor at 9 p.m. Oct. 10 and continue through Nov. 11.

“The world has come to rely on Jake’s no-nonsense approach to the news, especially during high-stakes election cycles,” CNN CEO Chris Licht said in a statement.

Licht added that the move will showcase Tapper’s “tough reporting, smart analysis and consistent interviews as our audience navigates the myriad issues at stake in the meantime.”

The decision on who would put Licht in the all-important 9pm timeslot was long overdue. Light, who began making his mark on CNN’s television programming after becoming head of CNN in May, inherited a network with a gap in its primetime lineup after former host Chris Cuomo was fired by his predecessor in December.

The Tapper announcement was accompanied by a slew of other major program changes.

Alisyn Camerota, co-anchor of “CNN Newsroom” in the afternoon, and Laura Coates, senior legal analyst, will anchor from 10 p.m. to midnight during the midterm elections, CNN said.

That timeslot will soon be released by Don Lemon, who announced to CNN earlier this month that he would be joining the lineup earlier to anchor the network’s morning show. CNN said Lemon will sign off his primetime program on Oct. 7 to prepare for the new show.

Licht said he believed “by adding the insights, experience, and strong voices” of Camerota and Coates, CNN would expand Tapper’s hard-hitting coverage and create “something complementary and immersive in primetime.”

Meanwhile, John Berman and Brianna Keilar, who have hosted the morning show “New Day” that ends later this year, will each fill in for Tapper at 4 p.m.

Wolf Blitzer then picks up an extra hour, anchored from 5 to 7 p.m. Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper will continue to host their shows at their respective hours.

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