CNN is making major changes to its struggling pundit show Parker Spitzer.
For starters, columnist and co-host Kathleen Parker is exiting the program.
Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer will remain with the show, which will be reconfigured into an ensemble series with other guests titled In the Arena. E.D. Hill and Will Cain will join the program, which will launch on Monday.
“We have been pleased with how the 8 p.m. hour has become a centerpiece of substantive, policy-oriented conversation, and we are looking forward to building on that with this new format,” says CNN Executive VP Ken Jautz. “Simply put, the new program will look beyond the headlines to analyze and discuss the most important stories of the day. The program will provide context and analysis through balanced and thoughtful discussions and interviews with a wide range of guests and newsmakers who cumulatively represent various points of view.”
Parker will continue to occasionally appear on the news network. “I have decided to return to a schedule that will allow me to focus more on my syndicated newspaper column and other writings,” she said in a statement.” While I am extremely proud of the show we created, and the subject matter and level of discourse Parker Spitzer promoted every night, it was a difficult decision to scale back my column a few months ago and, with the show going in a new direction, it is a good time to move on.”
Spitzer added: “I wish Kathleen all the best in continuing on with her spectacular career. It has been a joy working with her as a teammate, and I continue to be a huge fan of the wisdom that jumps from her written work and the wit, charm, and insight she brings to all that she does.”
Parker Spitzer has averaged 638,000 viewers this month. Though modest, that’s still up 24% from last year.