‘Dobbs’ revamped, renamed, expanded

Host wants program's content to mirror show's name

This article was corrected on June 10, 2003.

CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Moneyline” was anointed Monday with a new name and thoroughly modern set, reflecting the evolution of the financial show into a more general newscast.

The one-hour program, which airs live at 6 p.m. EDT, is currently replayed at 11:30 p.m. EDT in an edited, 30 minutes format.

When the revamped show debuts June 16, it will be replayed in full, beginning at 11 p.m. EDT. Expansion gives show anchor and managing editor Lou Dobbs the key 8 p.m. timeslot in the West.

In making the announcement with CNN business news veep Ken Jautz, Dobbs said that it was time to align the show’s title with the show’s content, as well as time to modernize the look of the newscast.

“Our world has changed fundamentally over the last two years, and viewers demand broader, deeper, global coverage of the news and events that affect their well being and their standard of living,” said Dobbs. “We will continue to do our best to report and analyze the news and events that most profoundly affect our viewers and provide insight into all aspects of the day’s news.”

Dobbs was one of the first news personalities to join CNN, launching his financial news program in 1980. He left CNN in the late 1990s after a disagreement with management but returned in April 2001. He made it clear that it wasn’t enough to just feed his audience financial news. The 9/11 terrorist attacks furthered his resolve.

“When I came back, I said I wanted this,” Dobbs told Daily Variety.

“Lou Dobbs Tonight” will add two segments, including a weekly contribution from retired Army Gen. David Grange on the issues facing Americans serving in the military. The second weekly seg, “Face Off,” will feature guest journalists, politicians and business leaders squaring off.

Ratings for “Moneyline” have remained static over the past year. Fox News Channel’s one-hour financial show “Your World With Neil Cavuto,” which airs at 4 p.m. EDT, has increased its ratings by more than 40% over the past year. CNBC’s “Business Center” has dropped in terms of average rating over the past year.

The decision to replay Dobbs’ show in full means that “NewsNight With Aaron Brown” will return to its one-hour format. When Connie Chung’s show was canceled in the early days of the war in Iraq, Brown’s show was expanded to 90 minutes.

Dobbs’ newscast airs on CNNfn and other CNN networks.