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CNN Primetime Changes Are Imminent; Aaron Brown May Not Return To NewsNight

CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein is preparing to separate the “fire and ice” duo of Aaron Brown and Anderson Cooper, TVNewser has learned.

The pairing, which premiered last month, has resulted in a few awkward moments. Brown frequently comes across as Cooper’s awkward and sometimes annoyed grandfather.

So here’s the most likely scenario: Brown will anchor a 7pm broadcast with a new title TBD, and Cooper will take over NewsNight at 10pm. Broadcasting & Cable says CNN is considering whether to continue extending NN to two hours.

This schedule shift, which has been rumored in the halls of the Time Warner Center, makes sense since the staffs were shifted a few weeks ago.

A “traditional” 7pm newscast by Brown could draw a unique audience that doesn’t want to watch Shep Smith, Hardball or Showbiz Tonight. A “younger” 10pm show by Cooper could attract the 25-54 crowd that is watching TV after dark.

The impending changes raise questions about Brown’s future at the network. This tipster may be dead wrong, or he may be right on the money: “After wrap on Friday, Aaron thanked the crew, told the crew that they would not again see him on NewsNight, took his sculpture from one of the walls, and left.”

Brown is on vacation in Arizona this week. When he comes home, when will he be anchoring?

> “Keep your eyes and ears close to CNN this week,” another tipster says. “Major doings will change the face of primetime and lead to a major shakeup (maybe setback), but lots of news will be coming.”

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