CNN To Start New ‘Crossfire,’ Anderson Cooper Programs Earlier Than Expected

Cable network thinks interest around potential Syria conflict will goose viewership

CNN said it would launch both its revived “Crossfire” as well as a second primetime hour featuring host Anderson Cooper one week earlier than previously announced, hoping to capitalize on the potential for military action against Syria as a means to draw viewership to both programs.

Both programs, the half-hour “Crossfire” and the 60-minute “AC360 Later,” are now set to debut Monday September 9, at 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., respectively. “Crossfire” will air Monday through Friday while “Later” will run Monday through Thursday.

CNN had previously set Sept. 16 as the launch date for both new programs.

The Time Warner-owned cable-news network has experienced ratings momentum this year, enjoying viewership surges thanks to a spate of big national news stories, including the recent Boston Marathon bombing and unrest in Egypt. The new launch date for the programs reflect an emerging strategy under CNN President Jeff Zucker, currently in his first year at the helm of the network, which had suffered audience declines: Find topics that attract passionate viewership bases and devote the network’s resources to them until interest dissipates.

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