In a couple of moves designed to position itself for coverage of the incoming Obama administration, CNN has reupped lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer and named chief national correspondent John King anchor of its Sunday morning programming.
Blitzer, whose new contract will take him through the 2012 election cycle, will remain the host of top-rated newscast “The Situation Room” weekdays from 4-7 p.m. His Sunday Beltway yakker, “Late Edition,” is being folded.
Beginning Jan. 18, two days before Barack Obama’s inauguration, King will preside over a 9 a.m.-1 p.m. block of programs, the first hour of which will feature a talking-head panel show focusing on politics and the new administration.
He’ll also contribute to Howard Kurtz’s media-critics magazine “Reliable Sources,” which will keep its 10 a.m. perch. The second two hours will feature national and international news and commentary, also anchored by King.
King joined the news cabler in 1997 and served as senior White House correspondent from 1999-2005. His star rose during the 2008 presidential primaries and elections when he presented district-by-district analysis using the net’s touch-screen “Magic Wall” technology.
“We are reinventing Sunday mornings around the best political reporter of his generation, John King,” said CNN/U.S. prexy Jon Klein. “He has stood out throughout the election as the single best-connected, most-knowledgeable source of what’s going on and why.”