CNBC ends ‘Miller’ time

Cabler tries to pump life into primetime

NEW YORK — CNBC is canceling ratings-challenged “Dennis Miller” and will replace “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” with a new business show at 7 p.m. in an attempt to revive the net’s ailing primetime.

“Dennis Miller” will be replaced with a second airing of “Mad Money With Jim Cramer” at 9 p.m. EST (4 p.m. on the West Coast), and the net is developing a new show for the 7 p.m. hour that will debut in the third quarter.

Both moves are part of a repositioning of CNBC’s primetime away from failed attempts at entertainment and back to the net’s daytime focus: financial news.

CNBC prexy Mark Hoffman, who took the helm of the network 10 weeks ago, told staff the changes are meant to give the West Coast more opportunities to see the net’s signature shows during business hours.

CNBC is a single-feed network programmed around the opening and closing of financial markets in New York, but by 4 p.m. on the West Coast, the net shifts to entertainment, which doesn’t serve CNBC’s core audience of professionals who watch at work.

Axing of Miller’s show follows the cancellation of shows helmed by John McEnroe and Tina Brown, which didn’t necessarily mesh with the network’s overarching editorial point of view.

Miller drew an average of 107,000 viewers during April, a 59% drop from last year during the same time period.

Surviving the reorg is “Big Idea With Donny Deutsch,” which will remain in the 10 p.m. timeslot despite averaging 79,000 viewers.

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