Reports indicate CNN anchor Jake Tapper is out of primetime slot after elections, will return to old daytime program

CNN anchor Jake Tapper will be demoted from his short-lived primetime program and return to his old daytime slot after the midterm elections, Breitbart reported.

While this move could just be another part of the network’s reshuffling under new management and ownership, it could also be due in part to Tapper’s less-than-stellar ratings in a primetime slot.

Returning to his prior daytime slot

Semafor was the first to report that CNN’s “experiment” in having Tapper host a primetime program would soon end and he would resume his old program in the 4 pm ET daytime slot.

“As part of a special lineup, Jake agreed to anchor the 9p hour through the midterm elections. At the completion of that schedule, he’ll be returning to his award-winning program The Lead. We will announce post-election plans for that time slot in the coming days,” a CNN spokesperson told the outlet.

Tapper had only been elevated to the 9 pm ET slot, which was previously occupied by disgraced ex-host Chris Cuomo until he was fired last year, a couple of months ago, and Semafor cited an unnamed source as claiming that Tapper had only agreed to anchor the primetime slot for a limited time through the midterm elections.

There had, however, been some rumors that he had been considered for a permanent slot in the evening hours.

“Sluggish” ratings for Tapper in primetime

Whether any of the above is actually true or is just a positive public relations spin is unknown, but what is known is that viewers simply weren’t tuning in to watch CNN’s Tapper in the primetime slot.

The Daily Beast reported that Tapper’s 9 pm program consistently rated third in terms of viewership behind his time slot competitors, Fox News’ “Hannity” and MSNBC’s “Alex Wagner Tonight,” though Tapper did compete with Wagner for second and third place among the key demographic of viewers age 25 to 54.

Thus, Tapper’s “sluggish ratings” during his brief tenure as host of “CNN Tonight” may have been a factor in the move, according to The Hill.

Yet, this could also just be another of the myriad changes made by the network’s new CEO Chris Licht, who has already fired or released a few prominent on-air personalities and numerous staffers behind the scenes since taking over earlier in the year.

Ditching partisan punditry for straight news

That is all part of Licht’s efforts to transform CNN back into the unopinionated straight news outlet it once was, rather than the highly partisan headquarters for Democrat-aligned punditry that it has become over the years.

All we can really say to that is “Good luck” and “Good riddance,” as there is still a ways to go in that regard.