Don Lemon, Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow lead CNN Morning Show in Shake-Up


CNN hopes to wake up his morning schedule.

The Warner Bros. Discovery-backed newscast revealed a new lineup for the morning block, installing Don Lemon, Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow in place of current hosts John Berman and Brianna Keilar. Chris Licht, chairman and chief executive of CNN, has had some of his greatest successes in the morning news, launching MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and overhauling the program once known as “TBEN This Morning.”

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The new program, with a new title and set, is expected to debut later this year – and looks set to emulate some of the formats that Light has led in the past. Both “TBEN This Morning” and “Morning Joe” revolved around lively conversations between a wider group of panelists, some of whom talk more among themselves than directly with viewers at home.

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“There is no stronger combination of talent than Don, Poppy and Kaitlan to deliver on our promise of a groundbreaking morning news program,” Licht said in a statement. “Every one of them is uniquely intelligent, reliable and compelling; together they have a rare and palpable chemistry. Combined with CNN’s resources and global newsgathering capabilities, we will provide a smart, bold and refreshing way to start the day.”

Lemon, who has notably performed primetime for CNN in recent years, will end his run there and give CNN a second slot to fill the most-watched portion of his schedule. The network is also looking at ways to fill its 9 p.m., and now talent will also have to be considered for Lemon’s 10 p.m. Berman and Keilar are expected to find other assignments to be announced at a later date.

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While CNN’s current morning program, “New Day,” gained attention during the Trump era for in-your-face sessions between government officials and former anchors Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota, the show lagged behind its main rivals – TBEN News’ “TBEN & Friends” and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” — for months in major viewership categories.

The shift will lead to another overhaul of the network’s AM schedule, which has gone through a number of drafts since the long-running “American Morning” went off the air in 2011. CNN’s morning viewers have seen “Early Start,” “Starting.” Point’, and in 2013 ‘New Day’. That show launched with a trio of Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira, but eventually ended up as a duo of Cuomo and Camerota until Cuomo was moved to primetime in 2018. Executives initially billed the show as a modern take on “Today,” and were set to focus on hard and soft news, but CNN’s shift during the Trump era left “New Day” as a place for verbal strife.

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The new concept attempts to forge a new chemistry between Lemon, who recently tried his hand at a live talk show focusing on cultural issues for CNN’s now-sunken streaming service; Harlow, who delivers business and hard news and has a reputation for preparedness; and Collins, a breakout young star whose profile has broadened since she was assigned to the White House under former CNN chief Jeff Zucker.

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