Kaitlan Collins, fresh off moderating CNN’s polarizing town hall with Donald Trump Wednesday evening, is expected to take over the network’s 9 pm primetime spot, according to media reports.
Collins, who currently co-anchors “CNN This Morning” alongside solely co-anchor Poppy Harlow after Don Lemon was ousted from the network last month, is likely to move into the vacant time slot, which has not had a permanent host in over a year.
Puck first reported the news, and no official announcement has been made. A spokesperson for CNN declined to comment on “speculation.” Reports indicated that Collins was offered the spot before Wednesday’s town hall.
The news comes amidst pushback against the network after the live town hall event, as Trump used the platform to reiterate false claims about the 2020 election and the Jan. 6 riots, as well as smear E. Jean Carroll, following Tuesday’s verdict that found Trump Liable for sexually abusing and defaming the author and former Elle magazine columnist.
CNN defended Collins following the largely negative response, pointing to her “tough, fair and revealing questions” aimed at the 2024 Republican presidential candidate.
“Tonight, Kaitlan Collins exemplified what it means to be a world-class journalist,” the network said in a statement. “She asked tough, fair and revealing questions. And she followed up and fact-checked President Trump in real time to arm voters with crucial information about his positions as he enters the 2024 election as the Republican frontrunner. That is CNN’s role and responsibility: to get answers and hold the powerful to account.”
After leaving her post as the network’s chief White House correspondent, the primetime gig would mark another network shakeup after Collins began her “CNN This Morning” co-anchoring duties in November 2022.
Should Collins be confirmed for the primetime gig, it is unknown how “CNN This Morning” might shake out after Licht rebooted the morning show to replace “New Day,” which was originally launched in 2013 by former CEO Jeff Zucker and was co-anchored by trio Chris Cuomo, Michaela Pereira and Kate Bolduan.