Gayle King and Charles Barkley are reportedly in talks to host a show together on CNN. King, who co-hosts “CBS Mornings,” is working on a deal to allow her to take on the CNN gig. However, CBS is slow to finalize the agreement, and it is unclear why they are dragging their feet. CNN CEO Chris Licht is hopeful that King and Barkley will be able to host a show this fall, but a deal is not expected to be finalized for several weeks.
Barkley has a contract with TNT to co-host Inside the NBA, which as a sister network of CNN, could make things easier for him. He has previously expressed interest in hosting a show with King out of respect for her and to help the company. Licht is also on the hunt for other big names to fill the 9 pm and 10 pm slots, aiming to launch the new programs in the fall.
While CNN is reportedly in talks with buzzy names like Jon Stewart and Trevor Noah, sources say the network is unlikely to land them. However, CNN is in talks with comedic talent of their “caliber.” Licht has been trying to rejig the network’s primetime and daytime lineups amid sinking ratings. CNN’s average primetime viewers for the first quarter of 2023 have declined by 35% from last year, marking its lowest quarterly average since 2015.