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Kathleen Parker departing from 'Parker Spitzer,' Spitzer takes CNN talk show in new direction

February 25, 2011 | 11:57 am

Spitzer After only four months, Kathleen Parker is leaving her post as the co-anchor of "Parker Spitzer,"CNN announced on Friday.

Starting Monday, the show will take on an ensemble format featuring "several newsmakers, guests and contributors" joining the sole remaining host, Eliot Spitzer, each night. It will operate under a new title, "In the Arena."

"Simply put, the new program will look beyond the headlines to analyze and discuss the most important stories of the day," said CNN executive vice president Ken Jautz in a statement. "The program will provide context and analysis through balanced and thoughtful discussions and interviews with a wide range of guests and newsmakers who cumulatively represent various points of view."

CNN said that Parker will continue to appear on CNN "occasionally to provide her insights and commentary."

"We thank Kathleen for her hard work and all that she has done to help us launch our new 8pm program," said Jautz. "We respect her as a colleague and appreciate her perspective and contributions."

"Parker Spitzer" was the first big step in CNN's plan to revitalize its prime time ratings. But after premiering in October, it struggled with low ratings, reportedly creating tension between the two co-hosts. In December, the New York Post reported that Parker had threatened to quit the show because she was frustrated with Spitzer's controlling personality. One month later, the Washington Post reported that CNN was considering replacing Parker.

In a statement, Parker claimed that juggling a show while writing columns proved too much: "While I am extremely proud of the show we created, and the subject matter and level of discourse Parker Spitzer promoted every night, it was a difficult decision to scale back my column a few months ago and, with the show going in a new direction, it is a good time to move on."

Spitzer wished Parker the best in "continuing on with her spectacular career."

"It has been a joy working with her as a teammate," he said in a statement, "and I continue to be a huge fan of the wisdom that jumps from her written work and the wit, charm and insight she brings to all that she does."

--Melissa Maerz

Credit: Kathleen Parker and Eliott Spitzer of "Parker Spitzer." Credit: Lorenzo Bevilaqua / CNN.