CNN is turning some of the lights out on its efforts to produce morning news.
The network is revamping its entire A.M. schedule as the Warner Bros. Discovery-based cable news outlet continues to grapple with poor ratings.
Poppy Harlow and Phil Mattingly, who co-anchor “CNN This Morning,” will leave the line-up, while Kasie Hunt’s early-morning program will take on an extra hour. Her show, “Early Start,” will run from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m., and will take on the “CNN This Morning” title. CNN will then move “CNN News Central,” anchored by John Berman, Kate Bolduan and Sara Sidner, to a 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. slot, with Jim Acosta and Pamela Brown taking over new hours at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
The moves mean, as CNN CEO Mark Thompson said in a note to staffers Monday, 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. Our New York-based primetime and weekend programming will continue.” Thompson said CNN would find new roles for Harlow and Mattingly, but people familiar with the matter suggested the network has proposed no new ideas for them, a sign of how suddenly its morning plans were put into place. Mattingly recently moved his large family — he has four young children — to New York for the assignment, and Harlow has served as a steady presence in mornings despite an era of behind-the-scenes chaos at the network under its owner, Warner Bros. Discovery.
The move appears to bring to an end a years-long effort by CNN to run a New York-based morning program that tried to compete directly with A.M. behemoths like “Today” and “Good Morning America” as well as more direct counterparts like Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
CNN has slogged its way through years of failed A.M. efforts that range from “American Morning” to “Starting Point.”
More to come….