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Kathleen Parker Out at ‘Parker Spitzer’

Breaking: “Parker Spitzer” co-host Kathleen Parker is leaving CNN’s 8 PM program.

Parker’s co-host, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, will remain. Earlier we noted that Spitzer had been telling friends Parker would be leaving the network in short order.

The show is being reformatted as an ensemble program called “In the Arena,” and will feature a rotating lineup of contributors that will be paired with Spitzer, according to a tweet from the NY Times Brian Stelter.

Update: Its official: “Kathleen Parker has decided to leave the program to focus on her writing, and we have decided to take the show in a new direction,” said CNN/U.S. executive VP Ken Jautz in a memo to staff. “We will be adopting an ensemble format with several newsmakers, guests and contributors joining Eliot Spitzer each night. The new program will be called, “In the Arena,” beginning Monday. E.D. Hill and Will Cain will join the program as well others within and outside the CNN family.”

Cain is a columnist for National Review, while Hill is a former Fox News anchor, who is infamous for her “terrorist fist jab” comment on the network back in 2008.

“In the Arena” appears to be a reference to the famous quote by former President Theodore Roosevelt.

That quote, along with statements from Parker, Spitzer and Jautz are after the jump.

The Man in the Arena-Theodore Roosevelt

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

NOTE FROM KEN TO STAFF:

I want to share with you some news today regarding our 8pm show. Kathleen Parker has decided to leave the program to focus on her writing, and we have decided to take the show in a new direction. We will be adopting an ensemble format with several newsmakers, guests and contributors joining Eliot Spitzer each night. The new program will be called, “In the Arena,” beginning Monday. E.D. Hill and Will Cain will join the program as well others within and outside the CNN family.

We have been pleased with how the 8pm hour has become a centerpiece of substantive, policy-oriented conversation, and we are looking forward to building on that with this new format. Simply put, the new program will look beyond the headlines to analyze and discuss the most important stories of the day. 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.

Kathleen 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. We respect her as a colleague and appreciate her perspective and contributions.

Statement from Kathleen Parker:

After bringing viewers a new 8pm show on CNN, I have decided to return to a schedule that will allow me to focus more on my syndicated newspaper column and other writings. 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. I want to thank the viewers who have been so kind with their comments and support. I will continue to appear to contribute and analyze occasionally on CNN and look forward to continuing my relationship with CNN and the many talented individuals I have worked with here.

Statement from Eliot Spitzer:

I wish Kathleen all the best in continuing on with her spectacular career. It has been a joy working with her as a teammate, 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.

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