UPDATED with copy of CNN memo and confirmation of cancellation ...

John King's nightly show on CNN has been cancelled.

King, the star of political reporting during the 2008 presidential campaign, will continue with the channel as its "lead campaign correspodent," according to an internal memo from CNN President Ken Jautz. King was chief national correspondent.

Wolf Blitzer's "Situation Room," which now runs two hours, will be expanded to three hours, 4 to 7 p.m. weekdays. King's show, "John King USA," aired from 6 to 7 p.m. weeknights.

King will file reports and appear on Blitzer's show as well as those of Anderson Cooper.

Prior to the weeknight show, King had served as host of a Sunday morning program on CNN that is now chaired by Candy Crowley.

The move is clearly part of a larger effort by CNN senior management to improve its weeknight prime-time ratings. The 6 and and 7 p.m. hours are the gateway to that.

Erin Burnett, who serves as host of the 7 p.m. hour, has struggled with ratings as well. Removing King without doing something about her is not going to solve the channel's larger prime-time problems.


Here's the memo from Jautz:

I wanted to inform you of a change we are making to bolster our political coverage heading into the critical stretch of the 2012 campaign. Beginning next month, John King will shift roles and become our lead national campaign correspondent. As a result, Situation Room will air from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and John will be providing reports for SitRoom, AC360 and other programs and CNN platforms.  This is John's seventh presidential campaign, fourth with CNN, and making him available across our programming lineup allows us to better tap his skills and experience, especially on the ground reporting in major battleground states and among critical voting blocs.
Additionally, we are expanding our news coverage in Washington. With landmark decisions on the horizon, I'm very pleased to announce that Joe Johns will be taking on a new role as the CNN Crime and Justice Correspondent, covering the Supreme Court and the criminal justice system.  Joe, who holds a law degree, has received national recognition for his crime and law enforcement reporting in DC. We are also expanding our coverage of national security and we will be adding a new correspondent to the Washington Bureau. Senior Producer Suzanne Kelly will become CNN's Intelligence Correspondent covering national security and the intelligence community.  Suzanne is an acclaimed author who published a detailed account of Blackwater's role in the Iraq War.
These changes will help us provide groundbreaking reporting and more depth of coverage of the important issues facing our viewers.  As always, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.