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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)

heidi collins will be missed. very professional. why take her off and replace her with a man. i will not watch any more, and i think he is good on the weekend show about finances. i hope heidi gets picked up by an other network. and rick sanchez is on for more time? cnn is off the track for these changes. millie s

Rick "THIS IS IMPORTANT" Sanchez is getting 2 hours to host his own twitter page. How is this news? I don't want opinions, I want news. I like Ali Velshi, but I am sorry they had to ditch Heidi Collins to get him on the air air. Shades of Daryn Kagan (whose place Heidi took; so this iskarma I guess). I don't care that The Situation Room is going to two hours; the third hour was a repeat of the first one, so what was the point?

Heidi Collins leaving CNN? How can you allow that to happen? She is the most articulate, professional, pretty,
intelligent, compassionate gal - she delivers!

Bring back Soledad and Miles, two more very intelligent
professionals who make every presentation cogent and interesting. If Sanjay, Anderson or Rob Marciano should
leave, CNN might as well close their doors and disappear.
We have been devoted fans since CNN was born but somehow
all the outstanding stars go away. I like Jack C. too,
no matter how curmugeonly he is.

I'm not going to be watching CNN if Heidi Collins isn't there. I'll watch the food channel instead, while I do the treadmill at the Y. As for Sanchez - I never could watch the guy. I'm sure not going to now.

Big mistake. If ratings go down, will they bring her back? I'll miss her and watching CNN on my mornings off.

It was sad to watch Heidi Collins report the news of Friday. It appeared as though she was told to do her 2 hours then turn in your badge etc., and leave for good. It seems that Dr. Gupta & Rob Marsiano caught her superiors by suprise when they bid her good-bye & good luck in the future. They could take Rick Sanchez, Ali Velshi, John King etc., put them on the bus to oblivion and nobody would miss them. Watching them is akin to scraping your finger nails on the blackboard. We watched CNN from 6 to 8am because of Heidi Collins now we'll save electricity by leaving the TV off. We'll not watch CNN! They treated Mrs. Collins like she was a piece of "meat" on her last day, you could see it in the way she did her last 2 hours. It was reported in the LA Times 2 weeks ago they had dumped her and promoted Sanchez, Velshi etc, (who did those "bozo's" payoff to get more TV time?). Her supervisors should be ashamed of themselves.

I’ve watched Heidi since living in Colorado in 1995. She has always been professional and a pleasure to watch, unlike the Barbies on at other times and on other stations. Maybe her boobs weren’t big enough and she didn’t flirt with the business audience like a 16 year old school girl as others do. But as for brains, looks, professionalism and a serious approach to informing people, she did a great job. CNN lowers the bar once again.

Heidi Collins was the only reason that I could watch CNN for news. She possessed sincerity and integrity and made intelligent comments on the news.
I can watch Robin Meade for about 5 min, by the time the second outburst of boozy laughter and flirting occurs, I have to switch the channel before I start gagging thinking she just got the job from sucking up to the CNN execs because she does not act like a professional. I want news not a joke fest.
Wake up from the middle ages, CNN!
Good luck to Heidi!

Hey!! I liked Heidi Collins and found her to be interesting, professional, and with a sly sense of humor. GEEZ. They keep Sanchez, Cafferty and Blitzer and don't renew Heidi Collins?? I will watch her whatever network she goes to and I hope she knows this educated woman from the Midwest thought she was great.

Susan in WI

CNN isn't going to be a station I will be watching anymore.

Lou Dobbs leaving, Heidi Collins leaving!! Nobody left that I'd waste electricity on the television!

Kyra is very "dull" and has little if any personality. She's probably an adequate employee but she's no Heidi! Shame, shame! Is CNN going the way of NBC????? I hope not!

Really sorry to see the talented women of CNN leaving. First Erica Hill, now Heidi Collins, both people I enjoyed watching very much. Rick and Ali...not my favouites. John Roberts would have been a good pick for more airtime rather than John King. Don't miss Lou Dobbs at all, love the situaton room and Anderson Cooper.

Why Heidi - she's clear, concise and funny while reporting and sharing the morning with us. There are several others who should have been cut = Kyra Phillips, Soledad O'Brian, Larry King, Rick Sanchez. Keep Jack Cafferty and cut Wolf's time slot a lot.

This is really terrible. I hadn't heard the news until today. I kept thinking Heidi was on vacation or something. I cannot stand to watch Kyra Phillips, she's the worst choice for a dayside anchor that I can think of. And Ali Velshi? I guess I'll just have to stick with MSNBC for now.

big, Big, BIG mistake releasing Heidi Collins. Velshi is like the car salesman that follows you around, continually distracting by his nonsensical jabbering.
You just gave me my final reason to go over to CNBC after 20 some yrs.
CNN, if someone to do the thinking for the viewer is your goal, your on the right track.

Good ole boy network is at it again! Really sad to see Heidi Collins leave. She was the reason I watched CNN in the morning. Kyra is sooooo boring! Over to MSNBC! It's as though CNN is following the blunders NBC has made in the last several weeks. Good luck to them. Hope Heidi gets a national news position so I can again enjoy watching the national news in the morning.

Im a big, huge, gigantic fan of CNN and I truthfully cannot believe they would let Heidi Collins go. Heidi is a wonderful news anchor who knew her stuff, I like Kyra but I loved Heidi Collins she was as professional as you can get. Im not feeling the Ali Velshi thang at all and why does he have to make a grand enterance when his show starts Kyra, Tony, and none of the rest make a grand enterance into the studio this is hysterical CNN. I was mad when Heidi Collins & Tony Harris stopped anchoring together and now for CNN to get rid of Heidi to make room for Ali is crazy probably not the best idea CNN, bring back Heidi definitly and let Kyra Phillips go I can't stand Kyra never could!

We miss Heidi. It's not the people who report the news that lower your ratings, it's the junk news that you report. We are watching less and less of your show and all other news shows.

Well, at last, I know what happened to Heidi. What a catastrophic mistake! CNN has now joined the ranks of news for the common, vanilla, secondary school audience for late morning reporting - Guess I will keep my TV tuned to MSNBC from now on.

You guys and gals are messing up the whole day, Velshi has his own show hahaha. One show im not watching. Rick should be doing his show from Mexico. Wolf is boring. Wife got me watching this but now i think watching the flint stones will be as rewarding.

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