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CNN’s new boss Jeff Zucker recently took over the ratings challenged news network and is reportedly looking to make some major changes to increase viewership. According to the New York Post, one of Zucker’s first changes has been to replace morning anchor Soledad O’Brien with Erin Burnett.
Sources tell the Post that O’Brien is reportedly ready to leave the network since CNN did not make good on its promise of granting her a prime-time slot. Zucker apparently feels that O’Brien’s brand of long form journalism doesn’t fit his vision for the network.
One source with knowledge of the rearrangement said, “The deal to move Erin to the morning alongside Chris Cuomo is basically done. Soledad had been told she’d get a prime-time slot, but that hasn’t yet happened, and now she is telling friends she is likely to leave.”
The unnamed source added: “Soledad is talented at producing in-depth, serious pieces of journalism, and is a tough interviewer. That doesn’t seem to fit the direction the network is going.”
A second source said, “Soledad is a big star, and would only stay for the right show. There’s word there will be a flurry of announcements at CNN very soon, including Erin’s move to the morning.”
O’Brien has been with CNN since 2003, when she began anchoring American Morning, but up until recently, she had devoted most of her time at CNN to specials like Black in America. She’s anchored the current morning show, “Starting Point,” since January of last year.