News channel CNN is struggling to garner top ratings for their 7 p.m. time slot currently occupied by “John King USA.” With audience numbers dropping, CNN is scrambling to find a new host for the slot. And according to reports, They want an African American to host the slot and they’re eyeing Chris Rock, Aisha Tyler and Soledad O’Brien to fill the role.
According to Page Six at nypost.com, insiders at CNN have mentioned comedians Rock and Tyler, who was the former host of E!’s “Talk Soup,” as possibilities for the hosting gig.
Last month, reports came out that Soledad O’Brien, who’s been producing diversity themed specials like Black In America for the network, had already shot a pilot for the 7 p.m. slot but CNN worldwide president Jim Walton deemed the pilot unwatchable.
Despite the pilot flopping, sources say that CNN executives are still hopeful that they can create a show with the Afro-Cuban journalist.
“They are desperately trying to put together a show with Soledad at 7 p.m.,” an insider told Page Six yesterday. “So she is getting another chance and will be shooting another pilot today.”
According to sources, acquiring an African American host would kill two birds with one stone for the network, helping them re-establish a connection with minority audiences and helping to win back viewers from rival network MSNBC, who’s wooed away the majority of CNN’s black audience, becoming the No. 1 cable news network with African American and Hispanic viewers.
A CNN representative said, “We shoot pilots regularly and beyond that we don’t comment on speculation.”
But an insider said, “It has been clearly articulated that they need to consider a host with an ethnic background for a prime-time slot.”
What do you think of CNN’s quest for an African American host? Do you think Rock, Tyler or O’Brien could be a good fit for the job? –nicholas robinson