Jake Tapper Ready to Get Started at CNN


Jake Tapper is about to follow in the footsteps of Campbell Brown, Paula Zahn and a whole list of others at CNN.

He's hoping he will fare better than those now canceled and gone from the network Anchors before him.

The former ABC News White House correspondent is getting his own show on CNN -- "The Lead With Jake Tapper" -- starting Monday in the 4 p.m. Eastern time slot.

The LA Times writes that, for Tapper and CNN, the hope is that "The Lead" will become a wide-ranging news hour that can expand beyond being a political shout-fest without resorting to going tabloid or following the latest car chase to score ratings. 

"It will be about all sorts of stories that are relevant to our lives," Tapper said. The show, he added, will include national, world and financial news as well as a political story or two. There will also be room for some sports and entertainment. Eventually he hopes to have a correspondent assigned full time to the show as well as a rotation of panelists for round-table discussions during the program's second half-hour.

Tapper also intends to keep working his sources for news.

"I'm a reporter," he said. "I'm not going to stop making phone calls and trying to find out what is going on just because I have a chair behind a desk."

After spending almost a decade at ABC News, Tapper said he wanted to "spread my wings a little beyond politics." As amazing as covering the White House was, Tapper also found it to be a bit "confining."

"I have interests far beyond that," he said.

The show's 4 p.m. time slot may not be ideal for what is essentially a general-interest newscast. Not only will he be competing against daytime TV, but many news watchers are still at work and don't have TVs at their desks. Tapper seemed to acknowledge that if things go well the show could find a home when a bigger audience is available.

"I don't know that we'll be at 4 p.m. forever," he said.

More from the LA Times