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CNN Cancels Ratings-Challenged Morning Show in Programming Shake-Up

Kevin Dietsch/Getty
Kevin Dietsch/Getty

Another relic from the brief but tumultuous Chris Licht era at CNN has been canceled.

In yet another revamp of its programming lineup, the cable news network is getting rid of its ratings-challenged weekday AM show CNN This Morning. In its place, CNN chief Mark Thompson said in a company-wide memo on Monday, Kasie Hunt’s early-morning show will add an additional hour and be rebranded as CNN This Morning.

Additionally, the three-hour, late-morning block of CNN News Central will move to 7 a.m ET and fill in the additional hours left by the current CNN This Morning’s departure. Anchors Pamela Brown and Jim Acosta will now anchor the 10 and 11 a.m. weekday hours. Wolf Blitzer will fill in for Brown until she returns from maternity leave in the spring.

As for current CNN This Morning anchors Poppy Harlow and Phil Mattingly, they are both in discussions about new on-air roles with the network. The network plans to launch the new programming slate later this month, with CNN This Morning wrapping up its run in two weeks.

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On top of the morning revamp, Thompson announced that all of the network’s AM weekday programs will now be produced out of Atlanta, ending the network’s efforts at a New York-based morning slate. (Hunt will host her show out of Washington, D.C.)

“These changes mean that we will no longer produce morning programming in New York and will be disbanding the team that currently produces CNN This Morning in that city,” Thompson wrote. “Our New York-based primetime and weekend programming will continue.”

Thompson added that he’s “strongly encouraging” members of CNN This Morning’s current 50-person production team to reapply for the “many new open roles that we are making available this week in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., along with a number of other open roles in New York in other programming blocks.”

Since launching in late 2022 as a replacement for New Day, CNN This Morning has been somewhat snakebitten. The program’s original lineup featured Harlow and Kaitlan Collins teaming up with longtime primetime star Don Lemon. Before long, however, tensions brewed between the trio, especially over Lemon’s misogynistic comments and behavior in front of and behind the camera.

Within months, Lemon was fired and the show continued on with Harlow and Collins, only for Collins to soon be shifted to primetime. Mattingly eventually was announced as Harlow’s new on-air partner. Amid all the drama and host changes, though, the ratings still remained low and CNN was never able to compete with its cable news competitors Fox & Friends or MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

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