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HLN Reorganizes Program Lineup, Lays Off Staff

CNN sibling makes its first big move under new GM Albie Hecht

In its first major shift under new general manager Albie Hecht, Time Warner-owned HLN is rearranging a good chunk of its programming line-up, which will result in an unspecified number of layoffs among editorial and technical staff, a spokeswoman for the network confirmed Monday.

Gone are programs that were suffering in the ratings, including “Raising America,” which airs at 12 p.m., eastern; “Now In America,”which airs at 4 p.m. and “Evening Express,” which airs at 5 p.m. In their place: a morning re-airing of standby “Showbiz Tonight,” as well as an expanded block of “News Now.” All anchors involved are expected to stay with the network, according to the spokeswoman,with additional programming changes expected to be unveiled in the months ahead,

The new lineup goes into effect November 18.  Mainstays like “Morning Express with Robin Meade” and primetime shows with Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell remain.

Hecht came aboard Sept. 30, raising questions about the ultimate direction of the cable outlet, which is part of CNN Worldwide. In the past, the network has moved from offering a digest of the day’s new under the name CNN Headline News  to featuring personality-driven programming as well as intense coverage of buzzy legal cases wending through the courts.

Hecht, a former Nickelodeon Entertainment president at Viacom and one of the founders of that company’s Spike, has more experience with entertainment programming than with TV news, commentary or opinion content

News of the program shifts and layoffs was reported earlier by the website Mediaite.

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