By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers.
There's big news at CNN today, but it's not just that ace political reporter John King is taking over on Sundays with four hours of political and news coverage. It's that the guy who has owned that space for 11 years is taking a breather. Yes, CNN's 24-7 anchor and reporter Wolf Blitzer is going to take weekends off beginning next year. "It's bittersweet," Wolf tells me. But it's welcome news. "It works for me because I can go back and play tennis on Sunday mornings," he says. What's more, Blitzer, a sports nut with tickets to the Nationals, Redskins, Wizards, and GW Colonials, will finally make it on time for the opening plays. "I'll finally get to see a kickoff," he says.
We hear that Wolf leaves at the top of his game: His Sunday show, Late Edition, is currently winning the TV ratings for the quarter and is one of the highest-rated cable shows every weekend.
And he's not going anywhere. CNN reupped him for four years, and he will remain the cable's lead political anchor through the next presidential election. He will also keep his weekday No. 1-rated show The Situation Room, which he plans to expand. "I don't want to go anyplace else," he says. "I'm very happy."
Friends say that the weekend change was an easy one for Blitzer. In fact, they say that Wolf was the first to suggest that it was time for a new face to take over. "He said we need to freshen up the look on Sunday," says one ally.