Radio and TV Talk

Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.

Chris Cuomo of CNN stays on prime time permanently

Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

CNN's morning anchor Chris Cuomo gets to stay in prime time permanently at 9 p.m.

He had been tested in that slot in January. He will officially take over in the spring.

His show called "Cuomo Prime Time" will focus on more one-on-one interviews. During his one-month stint, he sparred with both White House advisor Kellyannne Conway and former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. His style is often described as brash and colorful.

The brother of New York governor Andrew Cuomo will go up against the formidable Fox News' Sean Hannity and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.

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"I think Chris has a powerful and eloquent point of view that isn't a hard ideological point of view," said Frank Sesno, a former CNN correspondent who is director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University and author of "Ask More."

He cites Cuomo's legal background and ability to listen as two of his stronger attributes. "In the Trump era," Sesno said, "politicians are coming to interviews with a hard point of view and often a rehearsed set of talking points. The most effective questioning now is a precise and lawyerly approach to force the interviewee to define themselves, defend themselves or explain themselves."

Anderson Cooper's show, which rungs from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., will go back to an hour, from 8 to 9 p.m.

CNN's ratings lag behind those of the more partisan Fox News and MSNBC in prime time. Cooper averages about 1 million viewers a night, one third the audience of Hannity and Maddow.

John Berman will take over Cuomo's spot on "New Day" with Alisyn Camerota.

About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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