CNN didn't waste anytime in filling the programming hole left by Lou Dobbs' departure Wednesday night, announcing Thursday that its chief national correspondent John King will helm a new weeknight political show beginning next year.
Dobbs, who served as anchor at CNN since 1980 and had recently become a lightening rod at the network due to his position on several controversial subjects, resigned as host of the Lou Dobbs Tonight last night (Nov. 11).
Dobbs had come home under fire this year for giving so-called "birthers" -- people who believe President Obama is not a U.S. citizen -- a largely friendly platform to present their views, as well as for his vocal stance on illegal immigration.
King, who currently hosts the network's Sunday morning program State of the Union, and was an integral part of CNN's innovative "America Votes 2008" coverage of the presidential campaign, will host an hour-long, politically-tinged program set to air at 7 p.m. sometime early next year. The show will present in-depth analysis and context to key political movements in Washington, according to network officials.
"The program will reflect what CNN is all about: straight facts from our anchors and the widest range of opinions from across the political spectrum," said Jonathan Klein, president of CNN/U.S., in a statement. "John has enthralled CNN viewers with his vast political knowledge, and he has spent the past year reporting from beyond the Beltway on pressing policy issues and the real people they impact. Every night, he'll share his passion and his insights about what is really going on in Washington and across America."
King added that he's thrilled about the opportunity to have a platform to discuss the big issues of the day. "There is a lot of noise and conflict in our political discourse, which is fun to cover, but I'm convinced from my travels that people also thirst for more details as well as insight and context. I'm looking forward to combining those conversations with top newsmakers, smart reporting and expert analysis."