CNN’s Jake Tapper has been accused of bowing to the new bosses and deliberately skewing his program to the right to win over CEO Chris Licht.
Tapper, the network’s leading Washington presenter, was rewarded Thursday by being named as a replacement for Chris Cuomo in the coveted 9 p.m. primetime slot.
Tapper’s new job starts on October 10 and will last a month – but insiders believe he will likely become the permanent host.
Viewers and insiders noted that the 53-year-old has become decidedly more right-wing, which they think should appeal to Licht – who said he wants to make the network less left-leaning and headstrong.
“Tapper is trying to survive,” a media source told the New York Post. “He bows to his bosses.”
Another added, “He’s very ambitious,” describing him as “very hardworking” with a “healthy ego.”
Jake Tapper, CNN’s leading Washington anchor, will take over the 9 p.m. slot from Chris Cuomo, who was forced off the network in December
Since taking the helm, Chris Licht (pictured), who ran Stephen Colbert’s Late Show for six years, has shown a desire to break away from the wayward reporting that was particularly prevalent during Donald Trump’s election campaign and subsequent presidency was
“Now we know why Jake was currying favor with the new bosses. Quid pro quo,” tweeted one.
“Getting promoted for kissing the new right wing/Trumper overlords, eh Jake?” said another.
One woman complained about the lack of “real emotion” from the presenters.
“Since the new owner came in, the real ‘hard hit’ messages haven’t been there,” she said.
“The real emotion they used to have is disappearing and trying to play the middle ground to win over Fox viewers. That’s not how you get an audience. That’s how you turn them away.”
Another said they lost faith in Tapper after he tweeted a promotion for Jared Kushner’s new book – a move seen by many as a pitch to Licht and his team.
‘No thank you. I dropped CNN & Jake Tapper after his retweet promoted Jared Kushner’s book.
Tapper is described by insiders as ambitious and hardworking
Ratings for the hour have suffered since Cuomo fell in December as the network failed to fill the long-linked slot with the host.
Cuomo, who was ousted for counseling his brother Andrew during his sexual harassment scandal, is set to start a new job as an anchor for NewsNation in October.
Its timeslot has since been filled by a number of rotating hosts but has failed to match the numbers it had under the 52-year-old Cuomo.
The shuffle comes days after CNN announced a “reimagined” morning show starring progressive host Don Lemon.
“The world relies on Jake’s no-nonsense approach to reporting the news, especially during high-stakes election cycles,” Licht said in a statement announcing the reshuffle.
‘This move will showcase his tough reporting, shrewd analysis and consistent interviewing as our audience navigates the myriad of issues the Midterms are about.’
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 time slot — a post abandoned by Lemon becomes.
“By adding the insights, experiences and powerful voices of Alisyn and Laura, we will advance and expand this coverage and create something complementary and compelling in prime time,” said Licht.
The shuffle comes days after CNN announced a “redesigned” morning show starring famed progressive host Don Lemon — despite the new CEO’s repeated pledges to move the network away from left-leaning commentary
Though temporary, Tapper’s new job – held by fired Chris Cuomo (pictured) until a sex scandal cut it for helping brother Andrew – could become permanent if Tapper draws viewers
Since taking the helm, Licht has shown a desire to break away from the wayward reporting that was particularly prevalent during Donald Trump’s campaign and subsequent presidency.
Insiders have since said that the longtime TV exec – who ran Stephen Colbert’s Late Show for six years until it was announced he was replacing Zucker – wants to return to the station’s roots as a heavy-hitting news source.
So far, Licht’s tenure has seen a marked decline in partisan bodies with outspoken moderators like former Trump aide Alyssa Farah.
However, the recent shake-up with Lemon – who has made no secret of his dislike of Trump – seems to contradict those efforts.
CNN announced the change last week, revealing that Lemon will officially deregister its 10pm to midnight block on October 7th.
At that point, the network will launch its new morning program, which will be hosted by Lemon and co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.