CNN Cancels Eliot Spitzer's 'In the Arena,' Reshapes Lineup
Perhaps Anthony Weiner shouldn't start plotting a second career on cable just yet. CNN today said its fall lineup won't include Eliot Spitzer's "In the Arena."
The year-old news program was itself a replacement for Mr. Spitzer's original entry, "Parker/Spitzer," whose co-host Kathleen Parker left in February. Now "In the Arena" is being removed entirely as part of broader changes to the lineup that will include a new show for former CNBC anchor Erin Burnett.
Viewers can also expect a lot more Anderson Cooper. Beginning Aug. 8, "Anderson Cooper 360" will move from the 10 p.m. slot to 8 p.m. and then re-air at 10 p.m. Elsewhere, "The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer" will be on from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., "John King USA" will air at 6 p.m. and "Larry King Live" replacement "Piers Morgan Tonight" will remain at 9 p.m.
But the former New York governor's time with the network may not be over. "We are in discussions with Eliot Spitzer about an alternative role," Ken Jautz, exec VP of CNN, said in a statement.
"We engaged serious people in conversations about national and global issues in a way that was informative and challenging," Mr. Spitzer said in the statement. "I believe that we provided diverse and valuable perspectives during the show's tenure."
"In the Arena" proved a weak lead-in to an otherwise decent prime-time lineup for CNN in the second quarter of this year. From March 28 to June 26, the news network increased its prime-time ratings by 15% in total viewers and by 26% among adults 18 to 49, trailing MSNBC by just a few hundred thousand ratings points (but still a million or so off from Fox News).
Expect the new fall lineup to get a big marketing push from CNN's global CMO, Janet Rolle, who joined the network in March from BET Networks. As she told Ad Age in May, CNN's biggest opportunities lie in social media and other news-sharing platforms. "We want to make sure the CNN brand is one people believe in enough to share with their communities," she said.