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CNN taps b’cast duo to pump primetime

Net hopes Neufeld, Doss will boost lineup

NEW YORK — CNN is expected to name two heavy hitters from broadcast TV today to revitalize the net’s flagging primetime lineup.

Victor Neufeld, former exec producer of CBS’ “The Early Show,” will be tapped exec producer of “Paula Zahn Now” and David Doss, former exec producer of ABC’s “Primetime Live,” will join the cabler as exec producer of “Anderson Cooper 360.”

Hires will be charged with leading a ratings turnaround in the heart of CNN’s primetime.

“Anderson Cooper 360” drew an average of 451,000 viewers in May, about flat with last year; “Paula Zahn Now” drew 476,000, a 14% drop from last year.

The two shows lead into “Larry King Live” at 9 p.m.. “Larry King” is CNN’s highest-rated hour, with nearly a million viewers, and the only CNN show among the top 10 in cable news.

Before his stint at CBS, Neufeld spent three decades at ABC, serving for many years as exec producer of “20/20” before becoming exec producer of newsmagazines in 2000.

At “The Early Show,” Neufeld reported to senior exec producer Michael Bass. He won’t immediately be replaced.

Doss was exec producer of NBC’s “Nightly News” in the late ’90s before moving to ABC to be exec producer of “Primetime Live.” Doss left “Primetime” in 2004, unable to come to terms with ABC on a contract extension.

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