Gayle King Courted by CNN With Major Offer

Gayle King may be appearing in a new primetime role. As CNN suffers its worst ratings in a decade, with profits down more than 25 percent from the Zucker-Trump heyday, the company's chairman and C.E.O., Chris Licht, is planning to beef up the network's vacant primetime schedule. Puck News reports that Licht recently approached King, a CBS Mornings star, about hosting or co-hosting a weekly CNN show. Licht brought King to CBS' morning show a decade ago, when he was executive producer, and the two remain close, sources familiar with the discussions told the outlet. Under the current proposal, King would anchor CBS Mornings while hosting CNN's new weekly program.

The King deal may also never be realized due to Warner Bros., Puck News suggests. The cable news network will decide it does not want to invest millions of dollars in hiring a new weekly host when it is aggressively cutting costs, or King will decide her bright star has no upside in a changing cable news network. Licht would have to rethink his plans in either case. Regarding the outreach to King, CNN spokesman Matt Dornic told the outlet, "Chris has talked to dozens and dozens of people to gauge interest in potential projects at CNN."Licht will likely look to solve his primetime problems with his existing lineup in the near future. The network is planning on enlisting top anchors to host primetime specials with Licht, sources say. A report from The Daily Beast's Lachlan Cartwright reported that these will take the form of town halls geared toward "big news and political events." 

Meanwhile, King marked her 11th anniversary at CBS Mornings on Monday, Jan. 9. King appeared confident that she would stay at CBS Mornings, though she couldn't say how long. "Here's to another 11 I hope, I hope," she said, then after a momentary pause, she added: "Do I hope another 11? I hope for another 11, I wanna be here. I thank you. Thank you, thank you." 

In the beginning, King co-anchored CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose, which was the brand new successor to CBS's The Early Show. Over the last decade, the show has evolved, primarily influenced by King and her chemistry with her various co-anchors. Compared to competing morning news shows on other networks, it has carved out a unique position. After moving to a new studio outside Manhattan in 2021, Nate Burleson joined King as co-anchor, and the show was renamed CBS Mornings. The renaming was meant to imply some continuity with CBS Sunday Morning, the show's weekend counterpart.