Following her role as moderator in the recent and controversial Donald Trump town hall, CNN has named Kaitlan Collins as the host of the network’s new as-yet-untitled weeknight show, occupying the high-profile (and formerly highest rated) 9 pm time slot. CNN chairman Chris Licht announced the promotion Wednesday, ahead of parent company Warner Bros. Discovery’s upfronts presentation.
“She is a smart and gifted journalist who we’ve all seen hold lawmakers and newsmakers accountable,” Licht wrote in a newsroom memo acquired by The New York Times. “Kaitlan will expose uncovered angles and challenge conventional wisdom to make sure viewers are seeing a story from every side.”
Collins’ show is set to begin in June in the highly sought after time slot that has virtually remained vacant since the firing of Chris Cuomo in December 2021.
Collins joined CNN in 2017, cutting teeth as a reporter covering the Trump White House, which eventually led to her moderator position for Trump’s May 10 town hall. The former president spent much of his time on screen dodging questions and peddling conspiracies. He repeated the “rigged” 2020 election lie, said the Jan. 6 insurrection crowd was comprised of people “with love in their hearts” and called Collins “a nasty person” when she pressed him to answer a question about the many classified documents he retained.
Despite the former president’s unruly behavior toward Collins and his vilification of writer E. Jean Carroll, whom he recently was found liable of sexually abusing and defaming, Licht defended the network’s polarizing coverage.
“You do not have to like the former president’s answers, but you can’t say that we didn’t get them,” the CNN boss said during an editorial call, according to tweets from media insider/Reliable Sources vet Brian Stelter. “Kaitlan pressed him again and again and made news. Made a lot of news… That is our job.”
Licht also addressed staff concerns about the night’s outcome and directly responded to the “uncomfortable” audience response. He said “hearing people clapping, that was also an important part of the story” because those people represent “a large swath of America” that has formerly been ignored in election coverage.
“America was served very well by what we did last night,” he concluded.
And Licht wasn’t the only one from the cable news network to defend the town hall. Anderson Cooper also weighed in with a defense on AC360 the following night. “You have every right to be outraged today, and angry, and never watch this network again,” he said. “But do you think staying in your silo and only listening to people you agree with is going to make that person” — referring to Trump — “go away?”
He continued: “Now, maybe you haven’t been paying attention to [Trump] since he left office. Maybe you’ve been enjoying not hearing from him, thinking it cannot happen again, [that] some investigation is going to stop him. Well, it hasn’t so far. So if last night showed anything, it showed it can happen again. It is happening again. He hasn’t changed, and he is running hard.”
Will you be watching Collins’ upcoming show? Let us know in the comments.
Most probably not. I really liked Don Lemon! I also feel that others are more deserving, such as Abby Phillips.
Why does CNN want to court more controversy?
Chris Cuomo, Don Lemon, and now Kaitlan Collins.
CNN could give some of their correspondents more respect.
Laura Coates is a good example.
I will not be watching! I personally feel there are others who are more deserving of this spot than Kaitlin. I am a white person who is actually very disappointed that most of CNN’s hosts are white. Anyone of color, they have either fired or, in Laura Coates case, decided not to move forward with her 11 o’clock show. I’m tuning in less and less now.
Yes I will watch. I felt she had a hard time trying to catch that slippery eel, and Cooper was correct, we need to hear what opposition is out there. Some people are so ‘Trumpified’ if he farts, they’ll want to smell it! Good job nevertheless, it was a necessary evil.
Sorry, David, but if you don’t know Trump by now, you’re not in reality. She didn’t push back or ask a single hard question. No one needs to hear from the twice impeached and once-indicted (and counting) former guy.
Mediocre white woman failing upwards. CNN and golden boy Anderson seem fine with her past anti-lgbtq rhetoric too. They all deserve one another. I used to watch Jake Tapper’s show but have quit the network entirely.
Why bring race into this, really, why? There are plenty of reasons why not to watch Ms. Collins host or report for that matter. I don’t know why, but I had an instant dislike for her the first time I saw her which has not changed over time. I know I won’t watch her show but it’s because of Collins skills and/or personality, not gender or race. Race never factors into why or why not I watch someone’s news program.
Look at CNN, trying to be Fox-lite. Falling behind Newsmax even. Promoting a Tucker Carlson flunkie.
KC was fine as a White House correspondent, I guess, but I’m just not understanding her meteoric rise at CNN. There are others way more deserving, and yet she’s moving on up in the ranks there, and fast. She comes across so wooden as an anchor. Not much of a personality, and I just don’t get all the hype around her.
That’s a pretty accurate assessment in my opinion.
Great in the field, as an anchor, little to no personality and flat delivery on everything. Seems bored. Would be nice to see a minority in the 9 pm hour like Laura Coates or Victor Blackwell even. I don’t think this will help the ratings or drive viewers to the network.
In total agreement about her flat delivery. It’s not a good look that Victor Blackwell was sent back to weekend mornings after he was promoted to weekday afternoons. I don’t know if that was something he wanted (maybe he missed Atlanta?) or that was the only opening they had for him once they got the whole CNN NewsCentral thing in their plans. And yet Alisyn Camerota (his weekday Newsroom coanchor) got weekday evenings? Like I said, not exactly a good look for CNN. And now KC getting 9pm instead of Laura Coates? UGH!
I absolutely love Laura Coates! She’s so refreshing as a news anchor! I kept hoping she’d get the 9pm slot. She’s smart, sassy and doesn’t take any crap! Kaitlin, on the other hand…..appears to try too hard to impress her boss, Chris Licht, after all she is his ‘golden child’!
Needs a show title?
“Kaitlin Kan’t Kut It Tonight”
And you’re welcome.
Can we get berman back in the morning now with Poppy?
Yes, I will
I edit transcripts for CNN. Ms. Collins started at CNN in 2017. She went to daily press briefings (whenever the Trump White House felt like giving them) and took fire from WH personnel, starting with the president. She didn’t budge and continued to ask the hard questions, even when she was barred from the Rose Garden for them. She has paid her dues and deserves this show.
As for non-white anchors and hosts, they are abundant at CNN. Here are a few of their names:
Christiane Amanpour, “Amanpour”
Zain Asher, “One World with Zain Asher”
W. Kamau Bell, “United Shades of America”
Victor Blackwell, “CNN This Morning Weekends”
Kim Brunhuber, “CNN Newsroom”
Audie Cornish, “The Assignment”
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, “Chasing Life”
Laila Harrak, “CNN Newsroom”
Abby Phillip, “CNN Politics Sunday”
Isa Soares, “Isa Soares Tonight”
Fareed Zakaria, “Fareed Zakaria GPS”
Rahel Solomon, “Quest Means Business”
Sara Sidner, “CNN News Central”
Amara Walker, “CNN This Morning Weekends”
Fredricka Whitfield, “CNN Newsroom”
Coy Wire, “Bleacher Report”
There are plenty of other non-white correspondents that get face time at CNN and are as celebrated as hosts/anchors.
Laura Coates, Chief Legal Analyst
Nima Elbagir, Chief International Investigative Correspondent
Joe Johns, Senior Washington Correspondent
MJ Lee, Senior White House Correspondent
Manu Raju, Chief Congressional Correspondent
If you only watch CNN weeknights at 7, you’ll miss a lot of these folks.