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Dobbs Leaves CNN, John King to Host New Program at 7pm

johnking11_12.jpgCNN has announced this morning that John King, anchor of Sunday’s “State of the Union” program on the network, will take over the 7pmET time slot on CNN early next.

The spot was previously held by Lou Dobbs who announced on his program last night that he had resigned from CNN and that it would be his final broadcast.

King’s program is described by CNN as a “definitive political hour.” He will still anchor “State of the Union” until next year.

In a release, CNN/U.S. President Jon Klein said, “The program will reflect what CNN is all about: straight facts from our anchors and the widest range of opinions from across the political spectrum.”

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity, at this busy and consequential time, to have a platform to discuss and explore the big issues of our time,” John King said. “There is a lot of noise and conflict in our political discourse, which is fun to cover, but I’m convinced from my travels that people also thirst for more details as well as insight and context. I’m looking forward to combining those conversations with top newsmakers, smart reporting and expert analysis.”

> More: A CNN spokesperson tells us King will be hosting the new program from D.C. and that CNN staff were informed of the news via email at 9:45amET. Klein also addressed the changeover at the 10am editorial meeting.

> More from Klein: NYTimes’ Brian Stelter reports that, according to an employee who transcribed the morning conference call, Klein told staff that the King move is “obviously a statement about the importance of real non-partisan news to CNN” and said, “Having made a statement that we’re all about nonpartisan journalism and outstanding journalism, we have to live up to that. We have got the hardest mission.”

> More on the Interim: A CNN spokesperson tells TVNewser that a rotating group of anchors will fill the 7pmEt slot until King’s 2010 start. The title of the interim program is “CNN Tonight.” Wolf Blitzer will anchor an extra hour of “The Situation Room” until 8pmET this evening. CNN is looking for a replacement to take over “State of the Union” once King leaves.

(John King release after the jump…)


John King to Helm New Daily Political Program on CNN

CNN anchor and chief national correspondent John King will take the helm of a new weeknight political program to air on CNN at 7 p.m., beginning early next year, it was announced today by Jonathan Klein, president of CNN/U.S.

As one of the nation’s leading political reporters, King will host a definitive political hour that goes well beyond the surface of the day’s top stories to provide in-depth analysis and context to key political movements in Washington and across the nation. As King does on his Sunday program, State of the Union, he will sit down with a wide range of the day’s top newsmakers, key political reporters and analysts, and elected officials.

“The program will reflect what CNN is all about: straight facts from our anchors and the widest range of opinions from across the political spectrum,” said Klein. “John has enthralled CNN viewers with his vast political knowledge, and he has spent the past year reporting from beyond the Beltway on pressing policy issues and the real people they impact. Every night, he’ll share his passion and his insights about what is really going on in Washington and across America.”

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity, at this busy and consequential time, to have a platform to discuss and explore the big issues of our time,” said King. “There is a lot of noise and conflict in our political discourse, which is fun to cover, but I’m convinced from my travels that people also thirst for more details as well as insight and context. I’m looking forward to combining those conversations with top newsmakers, smart reporting and expert analysis.”

King joins the weekday roster of CNN journalists that include Wolf Blitzer, Campbell Brown, Anderson Cooper and Larry King. He will continue to anchor State of the Union until early next year.

King joined the network in 1997 after a 12-year career at the Associated Press, and launched the network’s successful Sunday program State of the Union earlier this year. Since the launch of State of the Union in January, King has delivered numerous news-making interviews, including those with President Barack Obama, former Vice President Dick Cheney, Gen. George Casey, Secretary Robert Gates, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, Admiral Mike Mullen, Gen. Colin Powell, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and key members of Congress and state officials. Moreover, in the 45 weeks on the air, King has visited 45 states with his Sunday program, looking beyond the beltway at the pain of the recession, the health care debate and other national challenges.

King was an integral part of CNN’s innovative “America Votes 2008″ coverage of the presidential campaign, which earned a Peabody award. During the campaign, he traveled to important early election states to cover and interview major candidates, breaking news about campaign developments and pioneering the use of the CNN “Magic Wall.” While at CNN, he also served as the network’s senior White House correspondent. The 2008 campaign marked the sixth presidential election King has covered. In addition, he has reported extensively across the United States and the world, including the first Gulf War, the war in Iraq and the Southeast Asia tsunami.

CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.

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