CNN names Kaitlan Collins, 31, as new anchor of coveted 9pm slot a week after Trump town hall
- Collins joined CNN as White House reporter in 2017 and has had a sharp rise
- She hosted Trump’s town hall last week, which brought in 3.3million viewers
CNN has promoted Kaitlan Collins to anchoring its coveted 9pm slot, a week after her controversial town hall with Donald Trump.
In an announcement, Chairman Chris Licht said today: ‘She is a smart and gifted journalist who we’ve all seen hold lawmakers and newsmakers accountable.
‘She pushes politicians off their talking points, gets real answers — and as everyone who’s worked with her knows — breaks a lot of news.’
CNN has promoted Kaitlan Collins to anchoring its coveted 9pm slot, a week after her controversial town hall with Donald Trump
Collins hosted Trump’s town hall in New Hampshire last week
The Trump town hall sparked immediate controversy and criticism.
The former president’s supporters – who dominated the live audience – cheered and clapped as he spoke over Collins and labeled her a ‘nasty person’.
Many said she was ‘unprepared’ and given an ‘impossible task’ by CNN bosses.
Others were furious with CNN for giving him a platform.
However messy it was, the hour-long special shattered CNN’s ratings average.
Some 3.3million tuned in – five times the normal number.
Collins said nothing of the controversy, leaving Licht to silence internal detractors.
On the morning call last Thursday, he warned: ‘You do not have to like the former president’s answers, but you can’t say that we didn’t get them.
‘While we all may have been uncomfortable hearing people clapping, that was also an important part of the story because the people in that audience represent a large swath of America.
‘The mistake the media made in the past is ignoring that those people exist just like you cannot ignore that President Trump exists.
Collins was hired by Jeff Zucker in 2017 after working for the right-leaning Daily Caller, a website founded by Tucker Carlson
Sharp rise: She became Chief Whitehouse Correspondent following the 2020 election, and was named as co-host of the ill-fated CNN This Morning last year as part of Licht’s overhaul. She clashed with co-host Don Lemon
‘I absolutely unequivocally believe America was served very well by what we did last night.’
At 31, Collins is one of the youngest primetime anchors in US television history.
The new role rounds off her meteoric rise through CNN. She is CNN’s first permanent 9pm anchor since Chris Cuomo, who was fired in late 2021.
Collins was hired by Jeff Zucker in 2017 after working for the right-leaning Daily Caller, a website founded by Tucker Carlson.
Her on-camera spats with Trump during his presidency won her notoriety and fans.
She became Chief Whitehouse Correspondent following the 2020 election, and was named as co-host of the ill-fated CNN This Morning last year as part of Licht’s overhaul.
The show has been marred in problems.
Don Lemon, previously one of the network’s biggest stars, was fired over a series of sexist remarks, and after butting heads with Collins on-set.
Cuomo has now moved to NewsNation.
He was fired by CNN for colluding with his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, as he battled a sexual harassment scandal.
Collins said of her new role: ‘I’m grateful and excited to join CNN’s primetime lineup for a new show that will feature sharp interviews, fresh reporting and thoughtful conversations on the top stories that are driving the news cycle.
‘I’m so thankful for my friend and co-anchor Poppy and will be cheering on the CNN This Morning team every day.’
Collins is CNN’s first permanent 9pm anchor since Chris Cuomo, who was fired in late 2021
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