CNN appears to have some big problems, so they’re shaking things up in an attempt to make people want to watch them.
Mediaite is reporting:
CNN announced significant changes to its morning programming, Mediaite has learned, which will be announced internally on Monday. The changes mark the end in all but name of CNN This Morning, the audacious breakfast show launched by former CNN chief Chris Licht.
Poppy Harlow and Phil Mattingly, the current hosts of CNN This Morning (6 a.m. to 9 a.m.), will be taking on new roles at the network. Kasie Hunt, who hosts the 5 a.m. hour on CNN, will take over the new, smaller iteration of CNN This Morning, now from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m.
CNN News Central, a news program, will replace the bulk of the old CNN This Morning slot, running from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Jim Acosta, who currently anchors a five hour stretch of weekend programming on CNN, will move to weekdays to host CNN Newsroom at 10 a.m.
A new show will launch in the spring at 11 a.m.: The Bulletin with Pamela Brown, who is currently on maternity leave. Until she returns, Wolf Blitzer will host the hour.
The new programming slate is expected to debut later this month.
On the backend, the new slate means CNN will no longer be producing its morning programming out of its Hudson Yards studios New York; the team that produces CNN This Morning in New York will be disbanded; in an internal memo, CNN CEO Mark Thompson said they “will be strongly encouraging [those staffers] to apply for the many new open roles that we are making available this week in Atlanta and Washington, DC, along with a number of other open roles in New York in other programming blocks.”
As for Harlow and Mattingly, Thompson said, “We are also talking to both Poppy Harlow and Phil Mattingly about new roles at CNN.”
The changes come as CNN continues to face ratings woes that have beset the network since the end of the Jeff Zucker era and the audience highs of the Trump administration. CNN ended 2023 with its lowest total viewers since 2014 and its lowest audience ever in the younger demo.
The demise of Chris Licht’s morning show — which initially boasted Harlow, Don Lemon and Kaitlan Collins as hosts — marks the final nail in the coffin of Licht’s boldest programming play at the network he ran for 18 months.
The show debuted in 2022 and featured the trio of star anchors around a talk-show table on a rosy-pink set. It quickly fell apart, first making headlines thanks to tension between Lemon and Collins, then over Lemon’s comments about when women are in their “prime.” Licht fired Lemon; Collins moved to prime time. For the last year, Harlow has been holding down the morning show.