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Lou Dobbs Tonight: Wikis


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Lou Dobbs Tonight
Format Opinion/Talk program
Presented by Lou Dobbs
Country of origin  United States
Running time 60 minutes
Original channel CNN
Picture format 480i (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)
Original run June 1, 1980 (as Moneyline) – November 11, 2009

Lou Dobbs Tonight was an American editorial commentary and discussion program on CNN, anchored by Lou Dobbs, who was also its managing editor. The hour-long show aired live on evenings every weekday, and was replayed in the overnight/early morning hours. It covered the major news stories of the day with a focus on politics and economics. Field correspondents provided additional reporting and occasionally served as guest anchors. During Dobbs' tenure, notable politicians and economists were often guests on the show, facing his often pointed questioning.

On November 11, 2009, Dobbs announced that he would be leaving CNN effective immediately.[1] CNN anchor John King has been announced as his replacement.[2] His new show is called CNN Tonight.



Lou Dobbs Tonight began with the name Moneyline with the premiere of CNN, and was CNN's main financial show for over 20 years, for a large portion of those years aring on CNN International as well. As the show moved more towards general news and economic and political commentary, it was renamed Lou Dobbs Moneyline and then Lou Dobbs Tonight. The show was among CNN's most watched.[3]

On November 4, 2006, a taped weekend edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight, entitled Lou Dobbs this Week, began airing. The weekend show, which aired every Saturday and Sunday night, discussed a variety of heated issues from the past week and the week ahead. The weekend show has since been canceled.

On November 11, 2009, Lou Dobbs left the network, telling viewers that the night's episode of Lou Dobbs Tonight was his last and that "some leaders in media, politics and business have been urging me to go beyond the role here at CNN". Although he had a contract with CNN until the end of 2011, CNN agreed to release him early.[4][5]



  • 1 June 1980: premiere date of both CNN and Moneyline. The latter was hosted by Lou Dobbs.
  • 7 June 1999: Dobbs leaves CNN and CNNfn to found[6] He is succeeded as host of Moneyline by Willow Bay and Stuart Varney.
  • 19 March 2001: Varney leaves Moneyline, leaving Bay as sole host of the program as rumors of a pending return of Dobbs swirl.[7]
  • 14 May 2001: Bay leaves Moneyline as Dobbs returns to the cable network and the anchor desk of the newly-rechristened Lou Dobbs Moneyline.[8][9]
  • 9 June 2003: CNN announces change of program name from Lou Dobbs Moneyline to Lou Dobbs Tonight. [10]
  • November 4, 2006: weekend version of Lou Dobbs Tonight, named Lou Dobbs This Week, debuts.
  • 26 September 2007: program began broadcasting in high definition.
  • 5 November 2007: Lou Dobbs Tonight switched timeslots with The Situation Room's third hour making the latter one single news block starting at 16:00 ET. Lou Dobbs Tonight started airing at 19:00 ET.
  • 11 November 2009: Lou Dobbs announces that the night's show is his last, and that he is leaving the network effective immediately.

Regular features

One regular feature on the show was "Exporting America", in which Dobbs documented the American companies that had offshored jobs to overseas facilities, as well as those businesses that had taken special steps to keep jobs on U.S. soil. Dobbs had compiled a list of companies that had outsourced that he had posted on the show's website and occasionally repeated on the air. Dobbs frequently criticized U.S. international trade policy as insufficiently protecting American jobs, advocating in favor of what many consider to be economic protectionism in contrast to free trade. As part of his criticism of globalization, Dobbs often noted that the United States is running trade deficits with virtually every major trading partner it has, especially China.

Another regular feature was "Broken Borders", which highlighted what Dobbs considered to be the problems and costs associated with illegal immigrants, and the inefficiencies in the U.S. Border Patrol and immigration policies in general.

Around the middle of the show a daily poll was opened that was answered on the shows website. Voting for the poll continued until the end of the show when the results of the poll along with some viewer comments were revealed. These polls were often overwhelming in their margins.

Correspondents and production

Kitty Pilgrim was a correspondent for the program, and the most frequent substitute anchor when Dobbs is not on. Other reporters attached to Lou Dobbs Tonight included Dana Bash, Lisa Sylvester, Bill Tucker, Suzanne Malveaux and Casey Wian. The show was broadcast live from CNN's New York studios, located in the Time Warner Center.


Critics of his broadcast, such as the civil rights group Southern Poverty Law Center, allege Lou Dobbs Tonight regularly aired segments featuring, and had as on-air guests, people that the SPLC considers to be involved with white supremacist groups, without the show revealing involvement in such groups.[11][12]


Its highest rated show in 2008 was the day after the presidential election - two million viewers. Lou Dobbs Tonight was off by 15 percent between January 26 and February 22, 2009, according to Nielsen Media Research data.[13]


External links


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