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Anchor Connie Chung gets the boot from CNN

CNN has abruptly dropped one of its best-known anchors, Connie Chung, who had been hired only last spring as the centerpiece of a star-driven prime-time lineup.

"Connie Chung Tonight" had been criticized in some circles for its emphasis on crime and personality stories but had drawn strong ratings in a nondescript time slot.

Her show was temporarily replaced by an Aaron Brown-anchored news program after the war's start last week, and she had asked management for a time when it would come back. Instead, she was informed Tuesday that the show had been canceled, CNN spokeswoman Christa Robinson said.

Chung was asked to stay at CNN in another capacity and declined, Robinson said.

A major figure in broadcasting over the past 30 years, Chung was hired away from ABC News last year, where she primarily worked in newsmagazines and landed a high-profile interview with Gary Condit. CNN built a new studio for her in midtown Manhattan and the program launched on June 24.