CNN Turns To Charles Barkley And Gayle King To Stop Viewer Exodus

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Charles Barkley and Gayle King will broadcast a weekly primetime show on CNN beginning this fall, the network announced.

King Charles is its name.

The announcement stated the show will run on Wednesday night and it’s only a 20-week deal to start.

The current primetime lineup consists of Anderson Cooper from 8 to 9 and Alisyn Camerota, whom the network is expanding an hour. Camerota will broadcast from 10 to midnight ET, in lieu an 11 pm program with Laura Coates.

There the 9 pm hour sits vacant, as it has since the network fired Chris Cuomo in December 2021. 

Management has discussed deploying a different host each night during the flagship hour. That’s where Barkley and King may come in.

Although, CNN is also trying out Kaitlan Collins to be the permanent host of the hour.

And should Collins win the tryout, CNN could air Barkley and King on Sundays or as part of a unique Friday schedule.

Already, CNN differentiates Friday nights from Monday-Thursday with simulcasts of Bill Maher and Chris Wallace’s HBO programs.

“King Charles” graphic on TNT

A “news” network turning to a former NBA player and Oprah’s gal-pal tells us what CEO Chris Licht thinks of his in-house options.

Licht assumed the role about a year ago and has rotated a lengthy list of anchors in primetime since, each to no avail.

CNN is void of a Tucker Carlson or Rachel Maddow. In fact, the network is void of even a Chris Cuomo, a consistent draw in the ratings.

And while Barkley and King give the channel the star power it lacks, their names may not resonate with the audience. 

Who is the CNN audience, you might ask?

Well, therein lies the question. 

The CNN audience is the smallest it has been. Recently, the channel recorded its lowest-rated primetime audience since Nielsen began tracking ratings data in September of 1991.

Under new management, CNN is not openly Left enough to compete with MSNBC. And it’s too Left to attract any sizable percentage of conservative and moderate viewers. 

CNN no longer delivers its signature lies with much flare. 

Imagine an MSNBC Lite without the charisma of Rachel Maddow and the arrogance of Joe Scarborough. That’s CNN today.

Ultimately, the network lacks a purpose and thus a market demand.

A tall task it’ll be for Barkley and King to reverse that course, as talented as the former is.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics..

Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.


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  1. CNN is screwed. Chuck Barkley is a basketball commentator. Gayle King just lives off Oprah`s name. Neither has any news / political credibility. They`ll just be a couple of babbling liberals that are out of place in this arena. As the dumpster fire continues to burn…….

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