In an effort to win over CEO Chris Licht, CNN’s Jake Tapper has been accused of “kowtowing to the new overlords” and intentionally skewing his show to the right.
The network’s top Washington anchor, Tapper, was honoured on Thursday when Chris Cuomo’s successor was announced for the coveted 9 p.m. primetime slot.
The new position for Tapper starts on October 10 and will last for a month, although experts predict he’ll stay on as the host permanently.
Viewers and industry insiders saw that the 53-year-old had unmistakably shifted to the right, which they said was done to appeal to Licht, who has stated that he wants to make the network less left-leaning and opinionated.
According to a media source who spoke to The New York Post, “Tapper is struggling to survive.” He is kowtowing to his superiors.
Another person said, “He’s really ambitious,” calling him “quite hard-working” and having a “healthy ego.”
We now see why Jake was pandering to the new overlords. Quid pro quid,” one user tweeted.
Jake: “Getting promoted for fawning over the new right wing/Trumper rulers eh?
“, added another.
One lady expressed dissatisfaction with the anchors’ lack of “genuine emotion.”
The genuine “hard hitting” news hasn’t been there since the new owner moved in, she said.
“The actual feeling they once had is fading, and it’s attempting to play the middle ground to attract more viewers,” said the author. That is not how you draw in a crowd. That is how you reject them.
Another person said they had lost trust in Tapper as a result of his tweeting a pitch to Licht and his team by way of Jared Kushner’s new book.
“No thanks.” After Jake Tapper retweeted a message endorsing Jared Kushner’s book, I stopped following CNN.
Since Cuomo was fired in December, the hour’s ratings have declined as a result of the network’s inability to replace the time slot the host had occupied for so long.
In October, Cuomo, who was fired for giving his brother Andrew advice amid his sexual harassment controversy, will start a new position as an anchor for NewsNation.
Since then, a number of other presenters have filled his time slot, but they haven’t been able to match the ratings Cuomo, 52, was able to get.
Days before, CNN had revealed a “reimagined” morning programme with progressive host Don Lemon.
In a statement announcing the changes, Licht stated that “the world has grown to depend on Jake’s no-nonsense approach to reporting the news, particularly during high-stakes election cycles.”
“This move will highlight his hard-hitting reporting, astute analysis, and significant interviews as our readers understand the various topics at stake in the midterm elections,” said the statement.
In addition to the 9 p.m. adjustment, anchor Alisyn Camerota and legal expert Laura Coates will split the 10 p.m. to midnight time slot, which will be vacated by Lemon, said Licht, who took over for also-fired boss Jeff Zucker in February.
“We will progress and build on that coverage by adding the perspectives, experience, and powerful voices of Alisyn and Laura, creating something complementary and interesting in primetime,” Licht added.
Since taking over, Licht has shown a willingness to steer clear of opinionated reporting, which become notably popular during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and early years in office.
Since then, insiders have said that the veteran television executive – who oversaw Stephen Colbert’s Late Show for six years before it was revealed he would succeed Zucker – wants to bring the network back to its origins as a hard-hitting news source.
During Licht’s tenure, there has been a noticeable decline in the number of politicised panels that include loud hosts like former Trump advisor Alyssa Farah.
The recent firing of Lemon, who has publicly expressed his distaste for Trump, seems to run counter to this endeavour.
The switch was made last week, and CNN said that on October 7, Lemon would formally end his 10 p.m.–midnight show.
After that, the network will debut its new morning show, which Lemon will host together with Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins as co-anchors.