CNN is a sinking ship.
Top executives are desperate to pull the nose up on the failing network.
And now Charles Barkley is about to take a new job at CNN that will turn everything upside down.
Former NBA All-Star and Hall of Famer Charles Barkley carved out a niche over the last two decades as the greatest studio analyst in sports TV history.
Barkley’s served as the centerpiece of TNT’s Inside the NBA program where Barkley’s willingness to say anything and criticize anyone made Inside the NBA must-see TV.
TNT and CNN are both owned by Warner Brothers Discovery and so, in an act of corporate synergy, Barkley could now serve as the centerpiece of CNN President Chris Licht’s desperate attempt to revive CNN’s flagging ratings.
Puck News reports that Licht is trying to pair Barkley and CBS This Morning anchor Gayle King as a duo that will anchor CNN’s revamped Prime Time lineup.
The show would see the 11-time NBA All-Star, Hall of Famer, and current mega-popular TNT Inside the NBA analyst interviewing newsmakers, journalists, and other guests about various topics of the day.
The conceit is that a genuine, outspoken, often humorous figure like Barkley might be a bigger draw than the traditional self-serious newsman, and might be better suited to ask guests the kinds of questions that average Americans actually care about.
In an interview with the New York Post Barkley explained that he was only considering doing the show – which would only air once a week – because of his friendship with King.
“They are trying to pair Gayle King and me,” Barkley told the New York Post. “We don’t have anything set in stone. I’m only considering it because of my respect for Gayle.”
Barkley added that he also wanted to be a good corporate partner and help CNN, which Barkley called a “sh!t show.”
“I just want to help the company because obviously it is a s–t show right now,” Barkley added. “Anything I can do to help.”
“It would be an honor and a privilege to work with Gayle,” Barkley concluded.
CNN’s ratings plunged to their lowest level in a decade.
The ratings dive at CNN had little to do with the ability of the on-air talent’s ability to perform on television.
CNN’s ratings sank because the network burned its credibility with viewers by leaning completely into the role of opposition to Donald Trump.