Well, THAT didn’t take long. CNN announced Wednesday its new Jake Tapper program “The Lead” will debut March 18.
The former ABC newsman’s program will be telecast weekdays at 4 p.m., cutting into Wolf Blitzer’s “The Situation Room” by one hour.
CNN only announced Tapper was jumping to the network from ABC News, where he was senior White House correspondent, in late December. He was the first major on-air personality switch named under new CNN chief Jeff Zucker, who himself had only been officially named to the gig in late November. Zucker didn’t officially assume his post until the end of January.
At the time Tapper was announced, the ratings-challenged cable news network said Tapper would anchor a new weekday program to debut this year.
MSNBC’s Federico Quadrani is exec producing of Tapper’s new show. Prior to MSNBC, Quadrani was an Emmy-winning producer for NBC’s “Today” – a program that also served as springboard for the J. Pierpont Finchian career of Zucker at NBC Universal.
In addition to Tapper’s program, Zucker is working on a new morning show for former ABC News “20/20” anchor Chris Cuomo, who will be partnered with Erin Burnett.