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Chewed Up, Spitzered Out at CNN

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The bad news: Eliot Spitzer has lost another job. The good news: there’s no legal investigation involved this time! In a big shakeup of CNN’s trouble primetime lineup, the former New York governor’s In the Arena has been cancelled, to be replaced, beginning Aug. 8, with Anderson Cooper’s AC 360, now at 10 p.m. ET. In the fall, CNN will launch a 7 p.m. news show with Erin Burnett; 10 p.m. will now be an AC 360 rerun. (A rerun replacing an original show. In primetime. Not a typical sign of a lineup bursting with health.)

Earlier this year, after bad ratings and reports of disharmony backstage, CNN jettisoned Spitzer’s co-host Kathleen Parker from the erstwhile Parker-Spitzer. Evidently that solved half the problem. I’ve had my issues with Spitzer’s show—his prostitution scandal aside, I find him a better guest analyst than a host—but I’m not sure my issues are the same as the cable news audience’s, and 8 p.m. has been a problem for CNN for a while.

Meanwhile, Dave Wiegel has already pointed out that, should Spitzer be at loose ends, Anthony Weiner’s congressional seat is open. Meanwhile, the recently-resigned, media gadfly rep might want to keep an eye on that 10 p.m. slot, which can’t stay in reruns forever. It’s not a scandal: it’s a career move!

The CNN statement:

CNN has unveiled a new evening lineup with anchors Erin Burnett, Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan to launch this fall, it was announced today by Ken Jautz, executive vice president, CNN/U.S.

Beginning Aug. 8, CNN will broadcast its flagship nightly news program AC360, anchored by Anderson Cooper, live at 8pm and re-air it in its current timeslot of 10pm.

In the fall, CNN will premiere a new general news program with Erin Burnett, which will air at 7pm ET and re-air at 11pm ET. Piers Morgan Tonight will continue to air at 9pm and 12am ET.

John King USA will kick off the evening at 6pm. The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer will continue as a two-hour daily program, airing in a new timeslot of 4-6pm. CNN Newsroom will now air from 9am-4pm. The full programming schedule is provided below.

“The new line-up showcases anchors who are experienced reporters in covering stories that span the globe,” said Jautz. “We created a nightly schedule that brings together the best of CNN’s journalism on a wide range of topics from politics and the economy to global and world events, as well the best newsmaker and celebrity interviews. This line-up ensures viewers access to the best of what CNN has to offer whenever they tune in at night.”

“I’m looking forward to the new time slot and am excited to share AC360 with a new audience at 8pm, while still connecting with my regular viewers at 10pm,” said Cooper.

CNN Fall Schedule (All times Eastern):

6a-9am: American Morning

9a-4pm:CNN Newsroom

4pm: Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer

6pm: John King, USA

7pm: Erin Burnett

8pm: Anderson Cooper 360°

9pm: Piers Morgan Tonight

10pm: AC 360 re-air

11pm: Erin Burnett re-air

12am: Piers Morgan Tonight re-air

Update: Just got emailed the following statement from Spitzer—”We engaged serious people in conversations about national and global issues in a way that was informative and challenging. I believe that we provided diverse and valuable perspectives during the show’s tenure. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at CNN.”