CNN’s Jake Tapper moves to prime time in new lineup


CNN’s Jake Tapper is headed to prime time, at least through the midterms.

Tapper — who was raised in Queen Village and Merion — will anchor the network’s 9 p.m. Eastern time slot, which has remained vacant since CNN fired Chris Cuomo in December. Tapper’s turn in the prime time chair will begin on Monday, Oct. 10, and last through Friday, Nov. 11.

“The world has come to rely on Jake’s no-nonsense approach to covering the news, especially during high-stakes election cycles,” Chris Licht, CNN’s new chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “This move will showcase his tough reporting, smart analysis and consequential interviews as our audiences navigate the myriad of issues at stake in the midterms.”

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While Tapper is hosting at 9 p.m., anchors John Berman and Brianna Keilar will fill in on The Lead from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

CNN is also moving anchor Alisyn Camerota and senior legal analyst Laura Coates into the 10 p.m. slot now held by Don Lemon, who will be moving to the morning to host a new show later this year with anchor Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins, CNN’s chief White House correspondent.

CNN stalwarts Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, and Erin Burnett will remain in their current timeslots, at least for now.

Here is CNN’s new evening lineup from Oct. 10 through Nov. 11 (all times are Eastern):

  • 4 p.m.: The Lead, anchored by John Berman and Brianna Keilar

  • 5 p.m.: The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer

  • 7 p.m.: Erin Burnett OutFront

  • 8 p.m.: Anderson Cooper 360

  • 9 p.m.: CNN Tonight, Jake Tapper

  • 10 p.m. CNN Tonight, Alisyn Camerota and Laura Coates

Tapper, who is also CNN’s chief Washington correspondent, joined the network in January 2013 after working as the senior White House correspondent for ABC News. Throughout that time, he’s been an outspoken defender of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania (often correcting guests when they refer to it as a state) and a loud supporter of the city’s sports teams.

“It’s tough asking a Philadelphia fan if they’re optimistic,” Tapper told The Inquirer last year. “Because it’s not in our nature to be optimistic. I actually went to the Super Bowl when the Eagles won, and I was terrified until it was over. I was convinced [Tom] Brady was going to score on that last drive.”

Recently, Tapper offered a rebuke to Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano for claiming Bryn Mawr’s Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy — which Tapper graduated from in 1987 — was a “privileged” and “exclusive” school. Mastriano’s opponent in the race, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, is also a graduate of the school.

“A lot of kids got financial aid, including a lot of kids who, with their parents, had escaped anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union and were trying to build better lives for themselves in the Philadelphia area,” Tapper said of his experience at the school when he attended in the 1980s. “I don’t think I have ever heard Mr. Mastriano describe any other Pennsylvania parochial schools in that way, elite, exclusive, privileged, full of disdain for fellow Americans. Philadelphia has a ton of fancy prep schools, but Akiba Hebrew Academy was not one of them.”

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