Lou Dobbs out, John King in at CNN
November 12, 2009
NEW YORK (AP)
John King is replacing Lou Dobbs on CNN. Jon Klein, CNN president, said this morning that veteran reporter King will move into the 7 p.m. EST slot that's been vacated by Lou Dobbs. King will host a show about politics beginning early next year. That puts him in direct competition with MSNBC's Chris Matthews, whose "Hardball" is also about politics. Fox News Channel's Shepard Smith, who does a more general interest newscast, dominates the cable news ratings in that hour. Dobbs announced abruptly Wednesday evening that it would be his last show on CNN. He said he wanted to pursue more advocacy journalism, a route that was no longer available to him on CNN. King has been a top political reporter at CNN since 1997, when he joined from The Associated Press. He hosts the Sunday program, "State of the Union," which he will be giving up early next year. He said this morning that he wants his show to bring more depth to issues, to get beyond a phrase like "public option" to explain what it really means. There will be provocative discussions, and guests with many different opinions will be welcomed. "I'm going to do what I think needs to be done," he said. "I think over time that viewers, if they compare and contrast, will be getting more meat" from his show than his competitors. The Washington-based show doesn't have a name yet. He wouldn't comment on Dobbs' exit: "I don't see any value today in looking into the rearview mirror," he said. Dobbs had become a target of criticism from liberal and Latino advocacy organizations for his campaign against illegal immigration, and sparred with CNN management over the summer when he talked about questions over President Barack Obama's birth site after CNN reporters had found nothing to substantiate the issue.