CNN+ Anchors Scramble to Avoid Unemployment Line as Streamer Shutters
Chris Wallace looks set for a primetime spot, but media stalwarts like Keith Olbermann and Brian Williams are lurking
The implosion of CNN’s streaming ambitions dealt another embarrassing black eye to the cable news giant, and triggered an internal competition for hosting jobs that could see Chris Wallace landing a coveted primetime slot — but he’s facing external competition from former MSNBC hosts Brian Williams and Keith Olbermann.
The coming days will ignite a potential reshuffle of the cable network’s lineup, with six CNN+ hosts vying for new assignments or expanded roles after the streamer abruptly shuttered just three weeks after launch. Wallace, the star newsman lured from rival Fox News last December, is the internal favorite to switch over to the broadcast channel and inherit the 9 p.m. bully pulpit left open since Chris Cuomo was fired late last year.
CNN’s newly named president Chris Licht is playing his cards close to the vest, with insiders saying he didn’t even give the streamer’s top hosts and producers advanced warning about his decision to pull the plug on the platform. There was also uneasiness among the staff still getting to know a new regime ushered in earlier this month by Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav.
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The 30-minute streaming programs were seen as an audition for CNN executives to test the hosts (and their staff’s) ability to energize a daily audience. Stelter, who hosts Sunday’s media-centric “Reliable Sources,” was once floated as a contender for Cuomo’s old primetime spot.