CNN’s Jake Tapper has been accused of “kowtowing to new bosses” and deliberately steering his program to the right, in a bid to win over CEO Chris Licht.
Tapper, the network’s main anchor in Washington, was rewarded Thursday by being named Chris Cuomo’s replacement at the coveted 9 p.m. prime time slot.
Tapper’s new job begins October 10 and will last for a month – but insiders think he’ll likely become the permanent host.
Viewers and insiders noted that the 53-year-old had become decidedly more right-wing, which they said was designed to appeal to Licht – who said he wanted to make the network less left-wing and less opinionated. .
“Tapper is trying to survive,” a media source said, speaking to the New York Post. “He bows down to his bosses.”
Another added: ‘He is very ambitious’, describing him as ‘very hardworking’ with a ‘healthy ego’.
Jake Tapper, CNN’s main anchor in Washington, will take over the 9 p.m. slot from Chris Cuomo, who was forced out of the network in December
Since taking the helm, Chris Licht (pictured), who ran Stephen Colbert’s Late Show for six years, has demonstrated his desire to move away from the opinion reporting that has become particularly prevalent during the election campaign of Donald Trump and the presidency that followed.
“Now we know why Jake yearned for new bosses. Quid pro quo,” one tweeted.
“Getting a promotion for embracing the new right wing/Trumper overlords, huh Jake?” said another.
One woman complained about the lack of “genuine emotion” from the anchors.
“Since the new owner arrived, the ‘hard hitting’ news hasn’t been there,” she said.
“The real emotion that they used to have is going away and he’s trying to play the middle ground to bring in the fox viewers. That’s not how you get an audience. That’s how we push them away.
Another said he lost faith in Tapper after he tweeted a promotion for Jared Kushner’s new book – a move seen by many as a pitch for Licht and his team.
‘No thanks. I ditched CNN and Jake Tapper after his retweet promoting Jared Kushner’s book.
Tapper is described by insiders as ambitious and hardworking
Hourly ratings have suffered since Cuomo’s ousting in December as the network failed to fill the slot long associated with the host.
Cuomo, kicked out for advising his brother Andrew during his sexual harassment scandal, is set to start a new anchor position for NewsNation in October.
His timeslot has since been occupied by a series of rotating hosts, but has failed to garner the numbers he achieved under Cuomo, 52.
The shakeup comes days after CNN announced a “reimagined” morning show featuring progressive anchor Don Lemon.
“The world has come to rely on Jake’s pragmatic approach to breaking news, especially during high-stakes election cycles,” Licht said in a statement announcing the shakeup.
“This decision will showcase his tough reporting, clever analysis and grounded interviews as our audience navigates the myriad issues at play mid-stream.”
Licht, who also replaced ousted boss Jeff Zucker last February, added that in addition to the 9 p.m. change, presenter Alisyn Camerota and legal analyst Laura Coates will share the 10 p.m. to midnight timeslot – a post which will be abandoned by Lemon.
“Adding the insights, experience and strong voices of Alisyn and Laura, we will advance and expand this coverage, creating something complementary and compelling in prime time,” Licht said.
The shakeup comes days after CNN announced a “reimagined” morning show featuring famed progressive anchor Don Lemon – despite the new CEO’s repeated promises to steer the network away from leftist commentary.
Although temporary, Tapper’s new job – busy with the dismissal of Chris Cuomo (pictured) until he was fired for helping his brother Andrew through a sex scandal – could become permanent if Tapper attracts viewers
Since taking office, Licht has shown a desire to move away opinionated reporting that became particularly prevalent during donald trumpthe election campaign and the presidency that followed.
Insiders have since said the longtime TV executive – he helmed Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show for six years until it was announced he was replacing Zucker – wants to get back to the station’s roots by as a powerful source of information.
So far, Licht’s tenure has seen a marked decrease in partisan panels featuring outspoken presenters such as former Trump aide Alyssa Farah.
However, the recent reshuffle with Lemon — who has made no secret of his distaste for Trump — appears to contradict that effort.
CNN announced the change last week, revealing that Lemon will officially sign off on his block from 10 p.m. to midnight on October 7.
At that time, the network will debut its new morning schedule, which will be led by Lemon, along with co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.