About one month after taking over as GM and exec vp at HLN, former Spike TV-founder Albie Hecht made some scheduling moves. Kyra Phillips-anchored Raising America and Ryan Smith-anchored Evening Express are gone, as of November 18. Raising America is being replaced by a repeat of previous day’s Showbiz Tonight; Evening Express by What Would You Do? — the ABC News show to which HLN bought cable TV rerun rights about a year ago. Also, a four-hour block called News Now, from 1-5 PM ET, will be hosted by Mike Galanos, Susan Hendricks, Christi Paul and Lynn Berry, on a rotating basis.
During the third quarter, Raising America averaged about 290,000 viewers — up 48% compared to third quarter of ’12; demo-wise, Raising America jumped 50%. Evening Express averaged 289,000 in the quarter — a spike of 94% compared to third quarter of ’12. In the demo the program was up 85%.
“We have a real opportunity to grow the HLN brand; let’s get started,” Hecht said in a memo to staffers.