After almost nine years, a cable news era is about to end. CNN offshoot HLN has announced that they are canceling their 11 p.m. entertainment news magazine show 'Showbiz Tonight,' effective at the end of this week. Sadly, this does not mean the end of entertainment news glutting the airwaves of so-called legitimate news networks though.
This decision comes just a few short months after former Spike TV executive Albie Hecht took over as general manager and executive vice president of the struggling network. The first two casualties came soon into Hecht's tenure, as the Kyra Phillips hosted program 'Raising America' and the Ryan Smith anchored program 'Evening Express' were both quickly canned. Oddly enough, 'Raising America's replacement (up until now) has been reruns of the previous evening's episode of 'Showbiz Tonight.'
The end of 'Showbiz Tonight' does not however mark the end of either host A.J. Hammer's tenure at HLN, or HLN's ongoing obsession with entertainment news. Hammer will stay on as the channel's resident entertainment reporter, and will contribute to various HLN broadcasts. No word yet on whether Hecht has plans to create a new entertainment-specific news program in the future.
The final episode of 'Showbiz Tonight' will air this Thursday night at 11 p.m., not that most people will probably notice, as it has the misfortune of going head-to-head with Jay Leno's (second) final episode of 'The Tonight Show' on NBC.