CNN isn’t the only place Jeff Zucker is looking to make changes, it seems. Sister network HLN could be getting at least one new show from the new regime, I’ve learned. Coming off a ratings and viewership surge from the Jodi Arias trial, the network is looking to hold on to some of those numbers with a possible replacement for its 5-7 PM show Evening Express. Last week, HLN shot a newsmagazine pilot in Atlanta going by the working title of EXP 2.0. Weekend Express’ Natasha Curry, Atlanta traffic reporter Elle Duncan, and Carlos Diaz, the sports anchor on the network’s Morning Express With Robin Meade, hosted. Frequent CNN and HLN contributor Jawn Murray as well as Atlanta talk-show host Kim Gravel also were tapped for on-air roles on the pilot. Other elements were shot earlier in the month, sources say. Angela Massie, current executive producer of Evening Express, produced the new show.
The idea is craft a more dynamic news show than the current Evening Express. Zucker made a point of praising HLM with other CNN properties last week for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing and the fertilizer factory explosion in Texas. Details are sketchy right now about whether EXP 2.0 would be one hour or two like Evening Express, and when it could be floated to launch as a replacement. Evening Express was launched last June based on the format of Morning Express. It has not, however, consistently replicated the steady ratings of the 6 AM-noon show.