Why Did CNN Cancel Their Morning Show Lineup?
Mornings on CNN are about to look a little different following the network's morning programming shakeup.
The cable news network has axed the ratings-challenged morning show that was the brainchild of former boss Chris Licht, who abruptly exited the network last year. Licht had created the morning show around Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.
According to Page Six, a memo "went out Monday morning announcing that early morning anchor Kasie Hunt will be given an extra hour, now under the CNN This Morning umbrella, and that CNN News Central — which had followed it — will move forward in the schedule to fill the gap."
According to CNN Business, chief executive Mark Thompson also noted that CNN will be moving away from producing "morning programming" in New York City, instead shifting to Atlanta and Washington, D.C.
"What we are announcing today is a change in strategic direction and not a reflection on the talent, expertise and dedication of the New York-based editorial production and operations teams who’ve worked on our morning output – they’re among the best in the business,” Thompson wrote in a memo to staffers, encouraging affected employees to apply for other positions within the network.
Current CNN This Morning hosts Harlow and Phil Mattingly will reportedly remain with the network, but in different positions.
As cable news TV ratings shrink due to streaming, CNN has attempted to bring in more viewers. In a recent chat with The Wall Street Journal, Thompson was asked about the network's ratings woes.
"There are some viewers out there who simply don’t want to hear the other side, don’t want to hear it, and feel much more comfortable in an environment where typically they’re hearing people whose opinions are very close to their own," Thompson said.
What's Going on With CNN This Morning?
CNN This Morning became a hot spot for drama shortly after it began airing, with reports of hosts clashing behind-the-scenes and even on air, and as a result the show never gained traction or trust among viewers.
Original hosting trio Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins never appeared to achieve the chemistry or camaraderie needed for a morning news show.
Lemon had a well-publicized, off-air spat with Collins when he accused her of trying to interrupt him. He also got into an awkward dispute with Collins and Harlow on air when he argued that the U.S. men’s soccer team should get paid more than the women’s team despite the men's team's lack of success at the World Cup.
In the wake of the controversy, Collins was moved to primetime, where she now hosts her own show, and Lemon was eventually canned by CNN.
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Gallery Credit: Jacklyn Krol