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‘Dr. Drew’ Ending After 5 Years on HLN

Dr. Drew Pinsky, the addiction specialist who has been part of the HLN schedule since 2011, is leaving the network as it continues to reshape its daytime and primetime lineups.

Pinsky’s last broadcast will take place September 22, according to a memo from Ken Jautz, the executive who oversees the network. HLN is part of Time Warner’s CNN operations.

“It has been a privilege working at HLN. My executive producer Burt Dubrow and our outstanding staff and contributors were consistently exceptional,” Pinsky said in a statement. “I am very excited to stay within the CNN Worldwide family as a contributor.”

HLN is in the midst of an overhaul that will have it focused more tightly on news.  Once known as “CNN Headline News,” HLN is moving back to those roots,  aligning itself more closely with CNN while building a new stable of programs that appeal to its core audience, believed to be younger and more female than its corporate sibling.  Already, the network has extended the daytime news block it has with Robin Meade’s “Morning Express” by enlisting Michaela Pereira, formerly of CNN’s “New Day,” and Erica Hill, formerly of NBC’s weekend edition of “Today” for daytime programs. Ashleigh Banfield, a daytime host with CNN, will start a new primetime show on HLN in October. Nancy Grace, the host who colorfully analyzed some of the nation’s most absorbing legal cases, is leaving HLN’s 8 p.m. slot next month.

In the memo, Jautz said he and Pinsky had “mutually agreed” to end the program.

Pinsky has appeared for years in various radio and television programs. He first came to notice as the co-host of a local radio call-in show about relationships, “Loveline. The program went national and Pinsky ended up serving as the more serious element of the program when it came to MTV. Comedian Adam Carolla was the co-host.”Loveline” continued until April of this year. Pinsky has appeared in various programs that ran on Discovery Health Channel and MTV. He has also dabbled in reality TV. His “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” generated attention for VH-1  and showed Pinsky working with random names from Brigitte Nielsen to former “Taxi” star Jeff Conaway to Gary Busey. The show lasted for six seasons.

 

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