NEW YORK — CNN is sending Chris Cuomo into battle against the two current giants of cable television news, Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow.
The network said Wednesday that they are shifting the morning show co-host into a prime-time slot at 9 p.m. EDT, to debut later this spring at a date not yet specified. The change will shave Anderson Cooper’s current two-hour show into one.
CNN has struggled in prime-time as viewers retreated into partisan corners. Cuomo, the brother of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has found a niche with sharp questioning of Trump administration officials and maintains an active social media presence.
“Cuomo Prime Time,” which was tested on the network in January, will include interviews with newsmakers, news analyses and breaking stories.
“We will test power,” Cuomo tweeted on Wednesday. “Every. Damn. Day. Just like always. Have to talk TO people more and ABOUT them less. Debate with decency. The need is clear. Hopefully we help fill it.”
He faces a stiff challenge. Fox News Channel’s pugnacious firebrand Hannity is television’s most vocal defender of President Donald Trump. He and the brainy Maddow, who nightly weaves stories about investigations into Trump’s behavior with breaking stories, are the two most popular figures in cable news.
Cuomo’s spot on “New Day” will be filled by CNN’s John Berman, who joins current co-host Alisyn Camerota.