CNN Revives 'Inside Politics' With John King as Host

CNN John King - P 2012
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CNN John King - P 2012

CNN is reviving the political discussion program Inside Politics and installing veteran Washington correspondent John King as anchor. The half-hour show will bow Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and feature King and a rotating cast of political reporters discussing the week's top stories.

King -- who popularized the much-imitated election season "magic wall" -- is no stranger to Sundays. He launched CNN's Sunday public affairs program State of the Union before segueing to his own weeknight show, John King USA, which was canceled in 2012.

"As we look ahead to the 2014 and 2016 campaigns, John is the ideal reporter to dissect the important political stories as Americans begin to think about their next president," Sam Feist, CNN senior vp and Washington bureau chief, said in a statement Thursday. "John and his panel's observations will give viewers a candid peek behind the week's political headlines."

Inside Politics was a mainstay on CNN for two decades. But when host Judy Woodruff left CNN in 2005, the show was canceled. (Woodruff is now at PBS' The NewsHour.)

King added: "I'm honored to be part of bringing Inside Politics back to CNN, with a focus on ahead-of-the-curve political reporting. It's a fascinating time in American politics, in Washington and across the country, and we have a remarkable group of journalists committed to sharing their reporting and their insights each week."

Of course, this is not the first program revival during CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker's tenure. Last year, the network relaunched Crossfire, the show Jon Stewart derided long ago as "hurting America." Zucker has attempted to thread a difficult needle in reviving CNN, which has built a global brand on flood-the-zone coverage of breaking news events. Zucker has launched a new morning show, luring Chris Cuomo to CNN to headline. He has yet to re-jigger CNN's primetime lineup -- though by all accounts, changes are coming soon. Docuseries hosted by unscripted television stars Anthony Bourdain and Morgan Spurlock, as well as independent documentary acquisitions, have become the ratings success stories of Zucker's stewardship so far. And he used his keynote address last Monday at the annual Realscreen Summit in Washington, D.C., to rebut the media narrative -- fueled in part by at least one cable news competitor -- that CNN is forsaking news for entertainment.

"We can walk and chew gum at the same time," he said. "We're not going to lessen in any way our commitment to news, our coverage of news, our coverage of breaking news. In no way are we going to walk away from any of that."