Program to be retitled 'In the Arena'

Kathleen Parker has ankled CNN’s ratings-challenged “Parker Spitzer,” which is being retooled for a Monday relaunch without her.

CNN topper Ken Jautz announced that the program will be retitled “In the Arena” and will feature a round table of panelists, including Spitzer, discussing the day’s issues. Upcoming contributors to the ensemble-style revamp include CNN journos E.D. Hill and Will Cain.

“Kathleen will continue to appear on CNN occasionally to provide her insights and commentary,” said Jautz in a note to staff. “We respect her as a colleague and appreciate her perspective and contributions.”

Parker, who said in a statement e-mailed by the network that she had decided “to focus more on my syndicated newspaper column and other writings,” relocated from D.C. to join the skein in 2010.

“It has been a joy working with her as a teammate,” Spitzer said, “and I continue to be a huge fan of the wisdom that jumps from her written work and the wit, charm and insight she brings to all that she does.”

“Parker Spitzer” had shown some ratings gains in recent weeks, crossing the 300,000-viewer threshold among adults 25-54 in early February (during a week that Parker was absent from the program), but still lagged far behind Fox’s “The O’Reilly Factor.”

“We have been pleased with how the 8 p.m. hour has become a centerpiece of substantive, policy-oriented conversation,” Jautz said, “and we are looking forward to building on that with this new format.”

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