Gayle King ‘Finalizing’ Deal With CNN as Its Ratings Sink

Gayle King in attendance for Broadcasting & Cable, Hall of Fame Awards and 28th Annual Gala, Ziegfeld Ballroom, New York, NY October 29, 2018. Photo By: Jason Smith/Everett Collection — Photo by everett225/Deposit Photos

Gayle King is close to “finalizing” a contract to host a new weekly primetime show on CNN.

Both Variety and The Wall Street Journal reported Monday the cable news network is courting King in hopes she’ll bring in more viewers amid a ratings slump.

Under the reported deal, King would continue to anchor CBS Mornings. The agreement is not unheard of, considering CNN anchor Anderson Cooper is a correspondent for CBS magazine show 60 Minutes.

CNN is also said to be negotiating a contract with former NBA star and current NBA analyst Charles Barkley to host alongside King.

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The cable net has been changing programming and moving around talent since new CEO Chris Licht joined the company last May.

Licht’s goal has been to boost the ratings, but so far the changes have had the opposite effect.

The WSJ reported CNN just logged its “lowest quarterly ratings average since 2015.” Citing Nielsen figures, the paper said the network is averaging 535,000 primetime viewers for the first quarter as of March 24, marking a 35 percent decline from a year ago.

Licht previously executive produced The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and CBS This Morning.

His biggest on-air change to date at CNN was launching a new morning news program hosted by Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow and correspondent Kaitlan Collins.

The show has failed to catch on and instead regularly posts lower ratings than the previous iteration of the program called New Day, with hosts John Berman and Brianna Keilar.