“The current cable news landscape is dominated by politics. Our live news shows have not benefited from this trend given our story mix,” CNN EVP/HLN overlord Ken Jautz told staff today in a memo, announcing HLN network’s latest Better Idea.
“In today’s news environment, every network has to focus on its strengths. To ensure HLN’s growth, we will shift some of our resources from live to longform programming and produce our live shows in as streamlined a manner as possible,” Jautz continued.
“The best way to do this is to centralize production of live news programming in Atlanta.”
Surviving the latest purge, Robin Meade’s Morning Express expands to gobble up 6 AM-noon ET.
Also taking on another hour is On the Story, which has followed Meade’s program and had been anchored by Erica Hill. It will now be anchored by a stable of hosts taking turns.
Ashleigh Banfield, Carol Costello and Michaela Pereira, who were moved to HLN from CNN in an earlier Better Idea, are leaving, and their programs – Across America With Carol Costello, Michaela and Crime & Justice With Ashleigh Banfield – will telecast their so-longs October 26, then become the latest flotsam and jetsam of HLN Better-Idea-ing.
The latest scheme, announced today, appears to have been in the works for a while, what with network’s S.E. Cupp having been moved over to big-sister network CNN in August, and the recent increased presence of Hill on CNN.
Hill re-joined HLN in June 2016 to anchor a New York-based daily daytime news program as the network returns to its “news roots”; she had been part of the HLN lineup when it transitioned from Headline News to HLN in 2005 during that year’s Better Idea.
In November 2015, CNN Worldwide chief Jeff Zucker announced the latest new plan to goose HLN’s ratings by “driving [the network’s] programming during the daytime and overnight hours closer to CNN’s.” HLN chief Albie Hecht departed; he’d been hired in fall 2013’s Better Idea. In early 2014, Hecht said he was turning HLN into “the first TV network for the social media generation,” vowing to “redefine TV news and information, driven by what’s trending, being shared and going viral across all screens.”