CBS’ Gayle King dodges on question about joining CNN: ‘Me no speak English'
CNN CEO Chris Licht previously worked at CBS and has reportedly courted King
"CBS Mornings" co-anchor Gayle King didn't fully deny rumors that she might join CNN in a new interview, joking "Me no speak English" when asked about the possibility.
CNN CEO Chris Licht previously worked with King when he was the executive producer of "CBS This Morning," and his cable news outlet has struggled to attract primetime viewers, particularly among the demographic coveted by advertisers. As a result, there have been tabloid rumors about King teaming up with his old producer.
King was asked about the possibility of landing at CNN during a discussion on Wednesday at the 2023 Adweek Convergent TV Summit in New York.
"I’m very close to Chris Licht. I like him very much, but on that question, ‘Me no speak English,’" King said, according to Adweek’s coverage of the event.
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"Let’s just say I have two years left on my contract with CBS," she continued. "And I have no intention of leaving CBS."
Working for both networks at the same time would not be unprecedented, as Anderson Cooper is a full-time CNN host but also serves as a correspondent for CBS’ "60 Minutes."
CBS News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Last month, NBA legend Charles Barkley confirmed reports about the serious discussions he and King are having with CNN about hosting a show together.
"They are trying to pair Gayle King and me," Barkley told the New York Post. "We don’t have anything set in stone. I’m only considering it because of my respect for Gayle."
Barkley then blasted the ratings-challenged network that is a corporate partner of his current home, TNT.
"I just want to help the company because obviously it is a s–- show right now," Barkley said. "Anything I can do to help."
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The 9 p.m. ET time slot has been vacant ever since the December 2021 firing of Chris Cuomo, who at the time was CNN's most-watched anchor. The primetime vacancy further expanded when Licht pulled Don Lemon, who had anchored from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. ET, for a new morning show. Recently, CNN has been airing a series of specials and town halls during primetime that have struggled to find an audience.
Last week, CNN had its smallest primetime audience among the key demo of adults 25-54 in over 30 years.
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.