CNN president Jon Klein has settled on a new executive producer for the upcoming Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker program. According to people familiar with the show’s development, CNN is expected to name Liza McGuirk, a CNN and CBS News veteran who is currently producing Fareed Zakaria’s weekend program, GPS. McGuirk’s hiring for the 8 p.m. slot plugs a hole that Klein has been struggling to fill since announcing the Spitzer-Parker show back in June. Earlier this month, CNN was close to landing Rachel Maddow’s producer Bill Wolff, but Wolff had second thoughts and remained at MSNBC. McGuirk’s hiring affirms that Klein wants the Spitzer-Parker show to feature highbrow discussion, perhaps to avoid criticism that he’s putting a shoutfest like Crossfire back on the air.
McGuirk was the fifth person hired by CNN back in 1980. Before rejoining CNN in 2009, McGuirk spent years at 60 Minutes as a producer for the late correspondent Ed Bradley. She will have an extra couple of weeks to get the show off the air: Initially, CNN planned a debut in late September, but now the show isn’t set to air until early October. A CNN spokesperson declined to comment.