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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)

I really liked Heide Collins. She presented the news in a credible, serious manner. She was also attractive and I believe appealed to a larger group than Ali Velshi will. I don't understand why this change was made.

I really don't care for Campbell Brown. It seems like the network is giving her more and more time on the network. Gayle King should stay Oprah's best friend and not worry about getting into a high profile news show.

Heidi, I wish you the very best and hope to see you soon, on one of the other news networks. Ali Velshi is a joke, as is Rich Sanchez, CNN can set back and watch their ratings fall to the floor, hadn't been much since Bill Hemmer and Miles O'Brian left.

Heidi Collins is a HUGE LOSS to CNN! I am so disappointed and frustrated that there are so many opinionators and so few news professionals who report the news as "JUST THE FACTS"!

There are very few who have not caught the "Sarah Palin incitement style" of reporting the news with sarcastic inuendo and opinion.

Please CNN -- be who you say you are! Clean up your act!

I completely miss Heidi Collins. Great to watch. BOO to Kyra Phillips, and more of Velshi?? not so great.

Oh man, John King makes me sick he is such a little Republican. I'm sorry but Heidi was hot, especially for her age! Velshi seems like a good guy who reports the news like he should. Tony Harris, what is wrong with this dude, how is he a news anchor? Rick Sanchez, possibly a future Glenn Beck he gests really dramatic and its pretty funny, I really like the taser vieo. Wolf Blitzer seems like a good guy, straight shooter. Cafferty needs to be an actor, maybe playing a detective living on the edge.

Big mistake letting Heidi Collins go!!

How could you let Heidi Collins get away? And to replace her with kierra Phillips is a disgrace. Heidi was the only anchor worth watching on your daytime lineup. you replace her and bring on a bunch like Phillips, Rick Sanchez,and Ali Belshi, wow CNN really is serious about reporting the news in an adult straightforward manner aren't you. so now I have one less choice for real news. What a shame. you let the only real news anchor you had go and replaced her with another politically correct empty shell. It makes me sick to watch her do an interview and watch her spew her slanted nonsense . Too bad CNN no longer wishes to be a real news organization. Good luck with your new left wing entertainment division,as I will be looking for a new outlet for my news. Hey maybe I'll get lucky and a real news organization will snap up Heidi Collins, I'll sure follow her where ever she lands. At least she knows how to report the news and do a proper interview. Good luck Heidi ,wherever you land I will be following you. Good job whoever let her go.Hey maybe you can get a million $ bonus now , that seems to be the new American way. Good job CNN , you guys really screwed up BIG!!!!

Big mistake and it sucks!!! How is it possible that someone at CNN could think to replace Heidi Collins. To add insult, Tony Harris too. For the past several, Heidi has been my favorite of all because she smart, experienced, understands what's important to ask those interviewed and what's importart to get across to her audience. The same appliies Tony, my second behide Heidi. Kyra is okay but falls seriously of Heide and Tony. For me, CNN is no longer worth watching week-day mornings.

What is up with Kyra this morning? She is laughing about everything she is reporting. I have actually been watching another channel, thought I should give it a try. Just CAN'T do it. If you are not going to bring Heidi back, put Fred there....I agree "unwatchable"

Heidi Collins was THE reason that I watched CNN in the AM. I am so sad that she has been let go. I will now have to find another place for my news. I sure hope that Heidi is offered a job as an anchor at another station. That will become my new favorite place to get my news. CNN is not the news station that it use to be.

Losing Heidi Collins is a lose/lose situation for the network and for us. I used to watch CNN in the morning, and at night. After Paula Zahn disappeared with NO EXPLANATION, I stopped watching n the evening. Where do these executives get their "pulse of the public" from????
John KingS? Ho-hum. I do watch now that Candy Crowley has taken over

If Heidi is gone from CNN Where did she go?

Miss Heidi.....hope to seeher soon on another good network.

Where is Heidi Collins??

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