The network on Thursday revealed a new morning show set to begin later this year, sponsored by stars Don Lemon, Bobby Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.
“New Day” hosts John Berman and Brianna Keilar will continue their show until the start of the new show. CNN said they will then be assigned new key roles in the network.
CNN CEO Chris Licht announced the major change in programming, who took over as the network’s president in May.
In recent weeks, Licht has begun to put his stamp on network programming, with the announcement of the new morning, which shows his most important move to date.
Morning Shows has been the home of the yacht throughout his career. Prior to joining CNN, Licht created the popular MSNBC show “Morning Joe” and revitalized “CBS This Morning.”
“There is no stronger combination of talent than Don, Bobby and Caitlan to deliver on our promise of a game-changing morning news show,” Licht said in a press release.
“Each possesses a unique, reliable and persuasive intelligence; together they possess a rare and tangible chemistry,” Licht added. “Combined with CNN’s resources and global newsgathering capabilities, we’ll offer a smart, bold and refreshing way to start the day.”
In a note to staff, Licht acknowledged that fixing the morning show would “raise a number of questions” that can’t all be addressed in one note. But Licht sought to answer key questions, telling the staff that the “New Day” cast would “continue producing the morning show” and reiterating that Keilar and Berman would get new lead roles.
“The next chapter of CNN is starting to take shape,” Licht said. “I’m sure there are many questions that are not answered in this note. We will communicate as much as we can as we can improve on the details and ensure that this transition is a thorough and comprehensive process.”
Lemon, whose show Don Lemon Tonight will end as a result of the move, described the past eight years in prime time as an “incredible journey.” But, he said, it’s time to turn things around.
“I deeply appreciate the Don Lemon Tonight team, the wonderful, loyal viewers, and everyone who believed in me,” Lemon said in a press release. “I was genuinely touched when Chris Licht asked me to do this and was honored by his belief in me. It will be exciting to take on this challenge with Bobby and Caitlan.”
A CNN spokesperson said the network will announce new programming that will replace the current Lemon offering later this year.
Harlow, who is currently presenting programs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and recently completed her Master of Laws degree program at Yale University, described Lemon as one of her “closest friends for over a decade” and said she was grateful for the opportunity.
“What a gift it is to be able to sit next to Don and Caitlan every morning,” Harlow said.
Collins, who has served as the White House’s chief correspondent since the start of the Biden administration, said she was “delighted to embark on this new adventure” and take on the new role as assistant anchor and principal reporter for the revamped morning show.
It was not immediately clear who, if anyone, would take over her position as the White House’s chief correspondent when she leaves the post. A CNN spokesperson said the network will announce changes to the White House soon.
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