Morning anchor Soledad O’Brien is on her way out as Jeff Zucker moves Erin Burnett into her morning slot, The NY Post has learned. A source tells the paper: “The deal to move Erin to the morning alongside Chris Cuomo is basically done. Soledad had been told she’d get a prime-time slot, but that hasn’t yet happened, and now she is telling friends she is likely to leave…Soledad is talented at producing in-depth, serious pieces of journalism, and is a tough interviewer. That doesn’t seem to fit the direction the network is going.”
Another source added, “Soledad is a big star, and would only stay for the right show. There’s word there will be a flurry of announcements at CNN very soon, including Erin’s move to the morning.”
O’Brien jumped from NBC to CNN in 2003, anchoring “American Morning,” and then moved on to anchoring specials. She’s anchored the current morning show, “Starting Point,” since January of last year.
She said in a recent interview that she was sure she would not be hosting a lighter morning show once Zucker, her former boss at NBC, took the reins. “I’m fairly confident that I’m not going to be cooking salmon and doing fashion shows on CNN,” she told the NY Times.
Soledad, who fronted documentaries “Black in America” and “Latino in America,” was a favorite of former CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton, who stepped down at the end of last year. A CNN rep said, “We don’t comment on speculation.”