CNN is considering a prime time lineup shakeup as a “very fake news” scandal rocks the cable news platform, network insiders tell Breitbart News.
CNN insiders say that Jake Tapper, host of daytime talk show The Lead with Jake Tapper, wants the 9 p.m. ET block on the network. They also say that CNN president Jeff Zucker likes Don Lemon and Anderson Cooper, however. Cooper hosts Anderson Cooper 360, which airs at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET weeknights; and Lemon hosts CNN Tonight, which airs at 10 p.m. ET weeknights.
Multiple sources have confirmed these considerations, which are not yet set in stone. The clouds loom as the network’s ratings struggle. Insiders say that a shakeup could include moving Erin Burnett to another part of the day, as sources close to the process tell Breitbart News she and her show Erin Burnett OutFront are “vulnerable.” Burnett’s show airs at 7 p.m. ET on weeknights. There are other potential configurations, too, that are under discussion.
CNN is not only becoming known for very fake news, the network is also known for very low ratings. It typically lags far behind competitors like MSNBC and FOX News in total viewers and doesn’t have a show that cracks the top 10.
CNN corporate spokeswoman Emily Kuhn has not denied the rumored shakeup when asked by Breitbart News for comment on Monday. The discussions are currently only preliminary but could accelerate as the network faces intense criticism from all sides continuing into this week.
The rumors come as the “very fake news” scandal consuming CNN from the inside out is causing so much pain at the network that it is still refusing to comment.
Zucker, CNN’s president, is avoiding press interviews and will not appear in front of the media for an on-camera press briefing about the situation, despite calls and requests for him to do so. Kuhn has repeatedly refused to make Zucker available for an interview, and she continues to refuse to on-record answer questions about a retraction scandal that has spread within the network since late Friday night.
“If I know anything about CNN leadership, they hunker down and hope crises will pass,” one highly connected CNN source told Breitbart News about what’s going on in Zucker’s inner circle. “They’re in their bunker right now.”
CNN pulled a story late Friday night that the network ran online late Thursday night inaccurately alleging that President Donald Trump and his associates, Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone and SkyBridge Capital founder Anthony Scaramucci, were under both Senate Intelligence Committee and Treasury Department investigation for supposed ties to a Russian investment fund.
It turns out that not only is the Senate Intelligence Committee not investigating the matter, as CNN originally inaccurately reported, but the Treasury Department already looked into it earlier this year and determined the allegations to be entirely “without merit.” Apparently, the allegations stem from a conspiracy theory propelled by hardcore leftist “resistance” leader Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), as a Breitbart News investigation discovered.
The Breitbart News investigation, as CNN’s own Brian Stelter admitted on Sunday evening in his “Reliable Sources” newsletter, forced CNN to make the retraction and apologize to Scaramucci. It is worth noting that CNN has still not apologized to Schwarzman or Trump or any others maligned in the hit piece it has since retracted.
Since the shoddily-handled piece’s publication and retraction, the network has been under fire, and CNN president Jeff Zucker is personally leading, along with the head of CNN’s human relations, an internal investigation into the matter.
All of CNN’s Russia content is now compromised as well, CNN insiders say, since this giant mistake has forced the network to make internal editorial process changes. Some parts of those changes have leaked via internal emails and memos to BuzzFeed, as well as comments to many other outlets. CNN is struggling to maintain control, and sources inside the network tell Breitbart News that the public relations team is working on cracking down on leaks.
But Zucker’s refusal to appear in public or issue any type of statement—and the network’s public relations team’s continued official silence three days later—is not helping matters. CNN’s spokeswoman, Kuhn, is also deathly silent, refusing to answer any questions whatsoever on the matter. They not only are refusing to answer Breitbart News or BuzzFeed News questions. CNN is not even commenting to CNN—they refused to comment for Stelter when he asked what is going on inside the company.