Days after CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield announced on air she’s moving to HLN in the fall, HLN quietly confirmed Dr. Drew Pinsky’s program will end next month, though he will remain a contributor for CNN Worldwide.
“Dr. Drew and his team have delivered more than five years of creative shows, and I want to thank them for their hard work and distinctive programming,” CNN EVP Ken Jautz said in a statement confirming Pinsky’s last telecast will be September 22.
In its latest reboot, HLN is going for more straight news fare, add shows hosted by CNN’s Erica Hill, Michaela Pereira and Banfield. Drew’s departure is a no-brainer, given the show’s ratings; far bigger was HLN star Nancy Grace’s announcement in June that she was calling it a wrap when her contract expires in October.
Last week, Banfield ended a broadcast of CNN’s Legal View telling viewers she is ending her run as host of the noon ET program, and would host a primetime show on HLN that will be a “unique brand of social and legal issues.”
“It is really tough to tell you I am going to be leaving,” said Banfield, who has been with CNN since 2011. But she cast the move as “joining my friends” who have been shifted over to HLN as that network undergoes yet another re-branding.
Dr. Drew had survived the previous re-branding, little more than two years ago, when HLN announced it would become “the first TV network for the social media generation,” and “redefine TV news and information, driven by what’s trending, being shared and going viral across all screens.”
Pinsky made headlines last week when he announced on his radio show he is “gravely concerned” about Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s health and the health care she is receiving. It played nicely into Donald Trump’s position that Clinton is not healthy enough to serve as POTUS.
HLN came to TCA last month, with the three dayside stars of its latest branding scheme: Robin Meade, 6-10 AM; former CNN New Day host Pereira, who last month debuted her eponymous 10 AM-1 PM show; and Hill, who will rejoin the network she’d previously joined during one of its earlier re-brands, hosting 1-3 PM in the fall.