- Odd News
By Sara Nathan
PUBLISHED: 18:28 EST, 30 January 2013 | UPDATED: 18:43 EST, 30 January 2013
CNN chief national correspondent John King could be ousted from the network in favour of new Chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper, MailOnline can reveal.
King, 49, has already moved out of his office to make way for Tapper, 43, who was poached by new CNN boss Jeff Zucker from ABC.
And now sources have revealed that King has not signed a new contract - and has instead signed an extension to his existing deal, leaving his future at the network unclear.
Exes: CNN chief national correspondent John King with his ex wife, CNN's senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash at a White House bash in May 2009
Popular: CNN's new Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper has already been given his own weekday show
Tapper, who debuted on CNN last week, has already been given his own weekday show by Zucker, most likely set to launch in March or April.
Both Jake and John are uber forces in Washington and a source said: 'People are wondering what Jeff has planned for John. His own show didn't work and it was dropped, so where can he go? What would be the best place for him?'
King disappeared from the airwaves and Twitter for nearly a month between December and January until Media Bistro reported he had been on an extended vacation with his family - a post-election break.
The longtime CNN correspondent who hosted 'John King USA' until disappointing ratings forced it off the air last summer, signed a short-term contract extension at the end of last year.
He split from CNN's senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash, 40, last March after four years of marriage less than a year after she gave birth to their son Jonah Frank King. The petite blonde is a favourite at the network.
Tapper is now in King's former office - and the correspondent left him a bottle of Johnny Walker Black as a moving in gift.
A CNN source told MailOnline: 'This was purely out of convenience. Jake's team are going to be based by that office, so it made sense. John has a got a new office, it's really gorgeous.'
Tapper said he expects to take over the 4 p.m. hour currently occupied by Wolf Blitzer’s ‘Situation Room.’ Blitzer will be cut back to 5 to 7 p.m.
If all goes well, it could be a prelude to Tapper breaking into the prime-time lineup and he told Media Bistro: 'It’s a little premature, but anything’s possible. Jeff says he wants to do a lot of different things.
'Everything’s on the table. But maybe 4 p.m. will ultimately be a great place to be. It’s when viewers start getting serious about news. It’s valuable real estate.'
A CNN spokeswoman said: 'We never discuss contracts.'
This week, Zucker - who was hired from NBC to shake up CNN after it suffered its worst rating slump in 21 years last summer - hired and fired six big names in his first two days in the job.
The first departuree was political power couple James Carville, the veteran political analyst, and his wife Mary Matalin, who have been with CNN since 2005.
CNN network's managing editor Mark Whitaker then announced that he was going to quit as it emerged Tapper's former ABC colleague Chris Cuomo was coming over to start a new morning show.
Shake-up: CNN's new boss Jeff Zucker, pictured left, has hired and fired six big names in his first two days in the job. However, the former editor of Britain's Daily Mirror, Piers Morgan, right, will keep his job
RedState's Erick Erickson will also be leaving and will reportedly be heading to Fox News, which recently fired Sarah Palin.
But perhaps the biggest news of all is that the voice of James Earl Jones will once again speak the 'This is CNN' greeting.
The Oscar nominee and voice of Darth Vader has not been featured on the network for years but Zucker asked that it be brought back on Monday to coincide with President Obama's inauguration - also his first day in the job.
The former editor of Britain's Daily Mirror, Piers Morgan, will remain in his position as host of Piers Morgan Tonight, which he began hosting on 17 January 2011, as ratings continue to grow.
The changes show just how serious Zucker is about turning CNN around, but for so much to happen so soon has raised eyebrows.
His actions also leave huge questions over others whose fate rests in his hands, namely Ann Curry who wants to leave NBC for CNN.
Another who will be feeling anxious is Soledad O'Brien, who currently hosts the CNN morning show 'Starting Point,' which has struggled in the ratings despite being critically applauded.
Gone: The first departure was political power couple James Carville, right, the veteran political analyst, and his wife Mary Matalin, left, who have been with CNN since 2005
Co-anchors: Chris Cuomo, left, will reportedly be paired with Erin Burnett, right, who currently hosts her prime time CNN show 'OutFront'
O'Brien faces being ousted for Cuomo who will reportedly be paired with Erin Burnett, who currently hosts her prime time CNN show 'OutFront.'
Getting Cuomo, the son of New York governor Andrew Cuomo, is quite a coup for CNN as he is a former anchor on ABC's Good Morning America and is extremely experienced.
O'Brien will now have to renegotiate her role and try to avoid being
put on the dreaded 'special assignment' duty which will see her
consigned to graveyard slots and obscurity.
A CNN spokesman said: 'Soledad is very important to the network, and we're discussing various options with her.'
Carver's firing seems less controversial.
He claimed that he was 'completely cool' with being axed and that it
was to do with the fact he lives in New Orleans and not Washington.
Fate unclear: It's not clear whether Ann Curry, right, will be able to leave NBC for CNN and Soledad O'Brien, right, who currently hosts the CNN morning show 'Starting Point,' could be out
Switch: Erick Erickson, left, is out, but James Earl Jones, right, is rehired for the CNN jingle
He told Politico: 'I was told that they wanted the contributors to be more available -- essentially, closer to Washington. I'm not always available, I don't live there.'
Matalin told Politico in an email: 'Agree with everything James said.
'I loved my time in and out at CNN and more, the many lifelong friendships made there.'
Whitaker, a former Newsweek editor, left with a barb and sent out an email to staff saying that he stepped aside because Zucker has what he called 'forceful ideas.'
Gone: CNN's managing editor Mark Whitaker has resigned
He then tried to smooth things over
and said: 'For him to succeed, I believe he deserves his own team and
management structure and the freedom to communicate one clear vision to
'I have shared that conclusion with him and he has agreed to let me step down as Managing Editor and move on from CNN.
Zucker will in fact take over Whitaker's role overseeing editorial content at CNN and there will no new managing editor appointed.
Zucker said in a statement: 'I want to thank Mark for his service at CNN. We are grateful for his contributions and wish him the best in the future.'
Right-leaning Erickson has been with CNN since 2010 when he started as a contributor on John King, USA, which has already been axed, before becoming a contributor across the network.
The worst affected by the switch seems to be his daughter and on his RedState blog he wrote: 'When I told my 7 year old I had decided to leave, she laid on the sofa for an hour crying that she'd never see Anderson Cooper again.'
He also wrote that even though he was not an 'easy fit' at CNN and that the first month was 'tumultuous,' he was grateful for the chance to 'learn to be friends with people who I disagreed with.'