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CNN promotes Ali Velshi to anchor; Heidi Collins is leaving the network

Seeking to bolster its daytime lineup, CNN is making another anchor switch to kick off the new year. The network is giving chief business correspondent Ali Velshi his own two-hour daily show from 10 a.m. to noon PST, a time slot currently anchored by Kyra Phillips, who will take over the 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. PST hours.

Heidi Collins, who had been anchoring “CNN Newsroom” during that time, is leaving the network.

"After seven years of dedicated service to CNN, Heidi Collins will be leaving the network on January 15," a network spokeswoman said. "We thank Heidi for her contributions to the network and wish her the best."

Velshi, a veteran financial reporter, already hosts “Your $$$$$,” a weekend business round-table that airs on the network, as well as “The Ali Velshi Show” on CNN Radio. 

His new show, debuting Jan. 18, will be more broadly focused and not solely about the day’s business headlines. But Velshi said he plans to apply the same approach he’s taken to financial news: breaking down complicated issues so the audience can better grasp their real-life implications.

“It sometimes means avoiding just the politics about how something is getting done and really just tackling it,” said Velshi, who is moving to CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta. He will continue to serve as chief business correspondent.

A native of Kenya who was raised in Toronto, Velshi got his start in broadcasting in Canada, then joined CNN in 2001 as an anchor on CNNfn, the now-defunct financial channel.

Velshi’s new show will launch the same day that anchor Rick Sanchez gets his own expanded two-hour show in the afternoon. “Rick’s List,” which will be built in part around the feeds Sanchez gets on his Twitter account, will bump “The Situation Room” down from three hours to two. The truncated “Situation Room” will lead into a new 4 p.m. PST show anchored by veteran political reporter John King, who takes Lou Dobbs’ former time slot some time in the coming weeks.

-- Matea Gold

Comments () | Archives (74)

They should have fired Kyra Phillips. I find her unwatchable.

who cares, 95% of cnn is commercials, the other 5% is endless obama. they need to change the name to onn, obama news network

Why not go to work and do a much higher end morning show? Whats wrong with getting rid of the format and trying something to upend the MSNBC duo? Get a really smart woman like Gail King who knows "wassup", and maybe get Chelsea Clinton to do some interviews, and how about that little Megan McCain who is very sharp! Who needs a man? I would never look at MSNBC again and neither would a lot of folks.

Two steps forward, one step back cha-cha-cha.
King should be booted as incompetent. But maybe he is to "balance" progressive media attention to serve the dull right...

Rick and Vel worth the try... Rick more ponderous but well intentioned - needs more bite and less apologetic. Insightful but timid. Should enroll in a month of writing thesis sentences, or a course in precis writing.

Vel quick-witted, fast on feet, global intelligence. Needs more humor. Not insular, acceptable to the dull. GPS guy should be given morning show for local and international news mix. OK that was a trip in the dance, but what the heck...

Heidi Collins is the only good thing to watch in the time slot. One more reason to stop watching cable news all together.

This is really a shame...Rick Sanchez is absolutely terrible. I can't believe they are expanding his show and cutting back Wolf Blitzer. Give Jack Cafferty his own show instead!!!

I agree with Rivers, cnn should give Jack Cafferty his own show, with the one requirment that he must be allowed to continue saying whatever was on his mind and not just what was in the teleprompter. Because opinionated shows are important, even if it's from the left, right, center, corner or even sideways, as long as it's based around facts from people living in reality.

Most people can appreciate a good show that questions their own ideas and gives them a different prospective. Common sense tells you that the whole story cannot be contained within just two opposing parties (Repubs and Dems), but instead in a variery of different viewpoints that is out there.

Clearly by their promotion of Velshi and Sanchez, CNN is more concerned with hype than with news. Sanchez sounds like a circus barker trying to draw the crowd in to see the fat bearded lady, and Velshi sounds as if he is hyper-ventilating constantly, with news about the collapse of the universe. Heidi Collins was with John King as far as professionalism is concerned. CNN is no longer a serious news network, but is all about gross entertainment. Looks as if they are trying to make up for the excess they lost when they got rid of Lou Dobbs.

Even the 'new' lineup sounds incredibly stale. Blitzer and King have no feel for current affairs and Velshi comes across as an over caffeinated Wall Street cheerleader again with no instinct for the finer points of politics or current affairs.

Heidi is fine as a newsreader. CNN needs to ax the pompous, insufferable Rick Sanchez. This dude acts as though he's directing the entire world from his command post. Gimme me a break!

I paid more to get MSNBC because I couln't stomach to watch CNN aka Faux Lite anymore. Good move bumping up Ali and Rick. Those were the only 2 people that actually reported anything interesting. Get rid of Wolf and Brown, plus all those so called experts...Bill Bennett, and the rest of the slime group make people with a 50 I.Q. even look brilliant.

That really sucks!!!!!!!!!! ali velshi is annoying.......... Now MSNBC will be my preference during that time slot.........

this is such a bummer, I watch Heidi every morning.

That's some lousy reward Ms. Collins gets for presenting the news in a straightforward manner without being smarmy, cute or overbearing

Erica Hill should have been out a long time ago. Rick Sanchez and his bosses clearly misunderstood the terms of his 30 day audition, which is so over.

CNN doesn't know what to do with the talent they have, but are developing a much keener eye for pushing mediocrity to the front.

I won't watch CNN during the day as long as CNN keeps Wolf Blitzer on for three hours a day! He's just so boring and I find it hard to understand why he is able to stay on when CNN is struggling in the ratings.

you got to be kidding. Heidi was the only reason for me to watch the news at YMCA. Now I have to go dark as Fox is the only channel left and I refuse to watch brainless news readers who think they are the news, BAD MOVE.

It's tough to be a woman at CNN. I like Heidi. And bring back Soladad O'Brien!

Letting Heidi go is a BIG mistake. She's a bright spot in an otherwise dreary/scary world. She's been the "little bit of sugar to help the [bad] medicine go down!" I consider myself a well educated and well informed person who doesn't need a TV personality to "explain" what's going on (as Velchi intends) and why; and I certainly don't need a slant on the subject (as Sanchez can't help but do through his not so sly inuendos). I suspect that your viewers are much like me and don't need anyone to "break down comlicated issues...to better grasp their real-life implications". I'm going to miss Heidi--she was like a good and kind friend who showed up each morning to give me a "heads up" on what happened while I slept!

Finally Ali Velshi is recognized. He makes complex problems easy to understands. Hope CNN gives him a chance.
Fred Bulkowsji

Kyraq Phillips what a joke .I switch channels when she is on. Cafferty should get the hour. Sanchez is getting on my nerves.

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