Rolling Out

Charles Barkley and Gayle King may join CNN to shake up network

CNN reportedly wants to leverage Barkley’s immense fame to infuse new energy into the news network
(Photo credit: A.R. Shaw for rolling out
Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley (Photo by A.R. Shaw for rolling out)

Charles Barkley may be more famous and more in demand now than he ever was when he compiled a legendary Hall of Fame career in the NBA.

The bombastic and flavorful Barkley, who just commanded a $100 million contract as the highest profile analyst for TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” was reportedly in talks with CNN to join the cable news goliath in order to resuscitate its moribund ratings.

CNN is willing to try to coax the two-time Emmy Award-winning Barkley to host a news-oriented show in the near future, a risky move but one that involves the charismatic and likable NBA legend.

Meanwhile, word on the streets is that CNN is currently courting the polarizing but prominent news anchor Gayle King to host another show, according to Puck.

According to the publication, the prevailing sentiment is that Barkley would attract more eyes to CNN than conventional journalists delivering the news.

Puck magazine crystallizes what is widely known on the inside and outside the news industry. CNN is flailing in the basement among major news networks and these are risky but necessary moves to inject new life into the network following a succession of scandals and debacles. This includes the nasty divorce between CNN and Chris Cuomo and the current kerfuffle involving Don Lemon who uttered a flagrantly sexist statement on air and then doubled down on the fact that women past 40 are no longer in their prime.

To drive the point home, CNN is suffering record low ratings since Chris Licht took over as CEO of CNN. Furthermore, the network came in last place behind Fox News and MSNBC and the big three networks on its coverage of President Biden’s State of the Union Address.

Clearly, Licht and CNN feel compelled to make radical moves to try to reverse their current fortunes.

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