CNN black staffers fume after Laura Coates loses anchor slot: report

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Scandal-scarred CNN faces more in-fighting — this time from black staffers who are reportedly furious over the network’s decision to deny African-American anchor Laura Coates a full-time gig as it mulls moving “It Girl” Kaitlan Collins to primetime.

Coates, who joined CNN as a legal analyst in 2016, was installed as solo anchor of the 11 pm hour on a temporary basis in January.

But in recent weeks, Coates was reportedly informed by her superiors that Alisyn Camerota, host of the 10 pm hour, would have her show extended until midnight and that the network didn’t have enough staff to accommodate Coates’ show.

Last week, CNN moved Collins to a solo, 9 p.m. anchoring slot in a possible tryout for a primetime position, which the network has had trouble filling since Chris Cuomo was fired last year.

 “The concern is that it’s all white people who don’t have experience anchoring — while surrounding them with [contributors who are] African American and people of color is a sleight of hand,” a CNN source told Insider.

Collins, who is white, was a CNN White House reporter during the Trump administration before being teamed with Don Lemon and Poppy Harlow on its revamped morning show.

“To have someone made [primetime] anchor after five to six months’ experience is insulting to journalists of color who have been there for a long time and have established themselves as credible journalists,” the insider was quoted as saying, referencing Collins.

According to Insider, black staffers at CNN have decided against taking the issue up to C-suite levels because they have largely resigned themselves to the fact that the network’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, is eager to appeal to conservative viewers “maybe at the expense of people of color,” the source said.

The Post has reached out to CNN for comment.


CNN has reportedly told Laura Coates that she will no longer be solo anchor of the network’s 11 p.m. hour.
Larry French

The ratings-challenged network installed Chris Licht as the new CNN boss last year — with the intention of moving away from the left-leaning coverage promoted by his fired predecessor Jeff Zucker.

Coates was “stunned” and “disappointed” that she was passed over to host the 11 pm hour, Insider reported, citing a person familiar with her thinking. She will remain at CNN as a legal analyst, according to Insider.

That leaves Abby Phillip and Fredricka Whitfield as the only black hosts on CNN. Phillip hosts “Inside Politics” on Sundays and Whitfield is a weekend anchor.


CNN's decision to pass over Coates has reportedly angered the network's African American staffers.
CNN’s decision to pass over Coates has reportedly angered the network’s African American staffers.
Getty Images

Coates had been anchoring a time slot once occupied by Lemon before he was reassigned to the morning show, which has been rocked by one Lemon-infused controversy after another.

Late last year, Collins was berated by Lemon in front of other staffers because her co-host was said to have been upset she was interrupting him on the air.

Lemon also sparked national outrage — and the fury of his co-anchors — after saying GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley “isn’t in her prime.”


Black staffers are reportedly upset that the network is trying out Kaitlan Collins for a primetime anchor gig.
Black staffers are reportedly upset that the network is trying out Kaitlan Collins for a primetime anchor gig.
AFP via Getty Images

CNN head honcho Chris Licht has shaken up the network's lineup in a bid to juice sagging ratings.
CNN head honcho Chris Licht has shaken up the network’s lineup in a bid to juice sagging ratings.
Getty Images for CNN

One source close to Collins denied that her primetime move was a “trial run” to permanently helm the 9 p.m. show, but another insider said “Anything is possible.”

“I think it’s fair to say Chris Licht and leadership have been impressed,” said a source close to network boss Licht.

Licht also has been reportedly looking to add big names to his network’s lineup in hopes of juicing ratings, with Gayle King and Charles Barkley being mulled for a potential primetime show.

The Post has sought comment from CNN.



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