The network unveiled a new marquee morning program on Thursday that will debut later this year, anchored by stars Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.
The show will replace “New Day,” which airs from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET. It will have a new name, new format and new setting, CNN said.
“New Day” anchors John Berman and Brianna Keilar will continue to anchor their show until the new program launches. They will then be assigned new anchor roles within the network, CNN said.
The major programming shake-up was announced by CNN chief executive Chris Licht, who took over as network helm in May.
In recent weeks, Licht has begun to put his stamp on the network’s programming, with the announcement of the new morning show his most significant move to date.
Morning shows have been a strong point for Licht throughout his career. Before joining CNN, Licht created MSNBC’s popular “Morning Joe” and revitalized “CBS This Morning.”
“There’s no better combination of talent than Don, Poppy and Kaitlan to deliver on our promise of a game-changing morning news program,” Licht said in a press release.
“They are each uniquely smart, reliable and compelling; together they have a rare and palpable chemistry,” Licht added. “Combined with CNN’s global newsgathering resources and capabilities, we will deliver a smart, bold and refreshing way to start the day.”
In a memo to staffers, Licht acknowledged that the redesign of the morning show “will raise a number of questions” that cannot all be answered in a single memo. But Licht sought to address the principals, telling employees that the “New Day” team “will continue to produce the morning show” and reiterating that Keilar and Berman will be given new anchor roles.
“CNN’s next chapter is starting to take shape,” Licht said. “I’m sure there are many unanswered questions in this memo. We will communicate as much as possible as we work out the details and ensure this transition is a thorough and inclusive process.”
Lemon, whose “Don Lemon Tonight” show will be ending as a result of the move, described the past eight years on prime time as an “incredible run.” But, he said, it was “time to shake things up”.
“I so appreciate the ‘Don Lemon Tonight’ crew, my wonderful and loyal viewers and everyone who believed in me,” Lemon said in a press release. “Honestly, I was stunned when Chris Licht asked me to do this and I’m honored by his confidence in me. It’s going to be a pleasure to take on this challenge with Poppy and Kaitlan.”
A CNN spokesperson said the network will announce new programming that will replace Lemon’s current show later this year.
Harlow, who currently co-hosts the 9-11 hours and recently completed Yale’s LLM program, described Lemon as one of her “closest friends for over a decade” and said that she was grateful for this opportunity.
“What a gift to be able to sit next to Don and Kaitlan 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 “excited to begin this new adventure” and to take on the new role of co-anchor and chief correspondent. of the revamped morning show.
It was not immediately clear who, if anyone, will fill her role as chief White House correspondent when she leaves office. A CNN spokesperson said the network will announce changes to the White House soon.