The Huffington Post: Ali Velshi, CNN Chief Business Correspondent, Talks New Show and Jon Huntsman

January 10th, 2012

The Huffington Post
January 10, 2012
By, Rebecca Shapiro

Hosting a cable news show could be considered a taxing job in and of itself. For CNN’s Ali Velshi, it only takes up one of the 24 hours available to him in a given day.

As CNN’s chief business correspondent, Velshi has been tapped to wear multiple hats for the network. His latest role? Hosting CNN International’s daily one-hour program, “World Business Today.” That’s in addition to his already demanding schedule at CNN’s American branch, where he reports every day and hosts “Your Money” on the weekends.

Velshi served as an interim host for CNN’s former morning show, “American Morning,” before the network announced it would be dismantling the show at the end of 2011.

CNN’s morning show ratings had been floundering for months, falling behind MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” and Fox News’ dominent morning program, “Fox and Friends.” While Velshi served as co-host, the network decided to bring back former “American Morning” anchor Soledad O’Brien, and completely overhaul its morning programming. Velshi was given the CNN International show instead.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Velshi said that his new show has awarded him “a lot of real estate” across CNN’s platforms. In addition to the U.S., Velshi will now reach prime time audiences in India, China, and Japan.

But while Velshi can boast a broader reach among CNN’s worldwide audiences, there’s still an elephant in the room: CNN International is not as high profile as the network’s American wing, and a morning slot is a coveted one at most networks. So does Velshi’s new role really work better for him?

“I’m always game…If they need to fill a spot for a little while, I’m happy to do it,” Velshi said. “I didn’t dislike doing ‘American Morning’. I really enjoyed it, but this is probably more suited to the kind of personality I am.” While acknowledging that the schedule was challenging, he described his new gig as a dream situation for a business journalist.

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