CNN has finally figured out those “Black In America” specials aren’t hittin’ for sh*t… Apparently the networks viewers have all fled to MSNBC and their 7pm timeslot has become an EPIC FAIL so the channel is trying to get their isht together.
CNN brass are scrambling to find a new host for their troubled 7 p.m. timeslot, and trying to win back the African-American and Hispanic viewers sources say they’ve lost since the 2008 presidential campaign.
Hoping to accomplish both things at once, insiders said the network is interested in wooing African-American entertainers for the slot, currently held by “John King USA,” and has mentioned comedian Chris Rock and former “Talk Soup” host Aisha Tyler as possibilities.
CNN shot a pilot featuring Soledad O’Brien for the 7 p.m. slot, as we reported last month — but sources tell us it was deemed unwatchable by CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton. However, some CNN suits haven’t given up on the idea. “They are desperately trying to put together a show with Soledad at 7 p.m.,” an insider told Page Six yesterday. “So she is getting another chance and will be shooting another pilot today.”
O’Brien, who is part Afro-Cuban, has been shooting diversity-themed specials for the network like “Black in America.” We hear she isn’t sold on taking over King’s slot as it remains unclear if the format will be personality-based or straight news.
CNN honchos don’t want to be too swift in pulling the plug on King, who’s regarded as one of the network’s top political correspondents and will be a significant part of their 2012 election coverage, sources say.
But since he replaced Lou Dobbs at 7 p.m. in 2009, King’s ratings have been anemic, despite an uptick last month when CNN drew more viewers overall than usual for its breaking-news coverage of the tsunami in Japan and Mideast upheavals.
A CNN rep said, “We shoot pilots regularly and beyond that we don’t comment on speculation.” But an insider said, “It has been clearly articulated that they need to consider a host with an ethnic background for a prime-time slot.”
Sources said CNN black and Hispanic viewers have fled to MSNBC. An MSNBC rep said it’s “No. 1 in cable news with African-American and Hispanic viewers. This is a new phenomenon over the last few years.”
SMH… CNN is already doing THE MOST with all their entertainment coverage. Now they’re looking for comedians to come in and save the day?
We can’t lie though, we loved Aisha on “Talk Soup” and a Chris Rock show of any kind would definitely end up on our DVR.