CNN announces name for new morning show that sounds really, really familiar

CNN has announced its pick for the name of its revamped morning show set for a November 2022 debut — and it sounds pretty familiar.

 

The show will be named “CNN This Morning,” according to the network.

It will replace “New Day,” a show then-CNN chief Jeff Zucker launched with much fanfare in 2013 but has failed to gain much traction with viewers despite multiple anchor and format tweaks, the latest of which happened in April 2021.

The new name is different from the former “CBS This Morning” moniker by exactly two letters.

In September 2021, CBS changed the name of its morning newscast helmed by Gayle King, Tony Dokupil and Nate Burleson, to “CBS Mornings” (losing four letters but gaining one back).

‘CBS Mornings’ anchors on set in Times Square.

The idea was to make it be more cohesive with “CBS Sunday Morning,” the network’s magazine-style culture and news program, a move that includes borrowing the notes from that show’s iconic fanfare theme.

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The last version of the ‘CBS This Morning’ logo design.

The “This Morning” name isn’t the only thing that CNN shares with CBS.

Chris Licht, who joined CNN in the spring of 2022 as president and CEO, is a former CBS producer who launched what was the second version of a show called “CBS This Morning” back in 2012. It had previously used that same name from 1987 to 1999, when it was known as “The Early Show” in between its two lives as “CTM.”

 

At the time, “CTM” was meant to be a more newsy approach to morning news, with veteran journalist Charlie Rose and Oprah’s best friend Gayle King hired to co-anchor alongside Erica Hill. Hill was replaced by now-“CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell after less than a year.

This meant there was no sofa on set except for in the glassed-in green room. There was also no space for cooking demonstrations and the anchors sat in the round that allowed guests and correspondents to join them at it or via vertical video panels installed throughout the space.

Meanwhile, CNN has tapped former primetime anchor Don Lemon, daytime anchor Poppy Harlow and White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins to anchor “CNN This Morning starting Nov. 1, 2022. Harlow and Collins are expected to leave their current roles as well.

CNN is planning to build a new set for the show, but it will be on a temporary setup at launch.

The ‘New Day’ studio when it debuted in 2019. The brick motif and staircase, as well as other design elements, were carried over from the show’s former studio in Time Warner Center, which it had used since it debuted. 

“New Day” currently broadcasts from a wraparound set in Studio 19Y inside the network’s New York headquarters. The set features large expanses of seamless video walls as well as faux brick and glass accents.

This would make it fairly easy to significantly change the look of the set to match whatever the new show’s feel ends up being, though if producers want to move away from the structural elements, such as the faux brick columns and archways, some physical renovation would likely be required.

CNN also has some smaller studios originally meant for CNN+ that could be leveraged either as a temporary or permanent home, though sources say these spaces would be a tight fit, especially if all three anchors are in-studio at the same time.

Many of the other studios inside of 30 Hudson Yards are also stocked full of video walls that would make it easy to brand the new set around the show’s look — with some featuring areas that haven’t seen much on-air use, so it’s also possible the network could bring in additional scenery to one of these spaces.

It remains to be seen if “CNN This Morning” will follow the “CBS This Morning” approach of focusing more on hard news or borrow the best of other morning shows such as “Today” and “Good Morning America.”

Licht has promised that the new show will be “disrupter” — though it’s not exactly clear what that means given that that’s become a rather overused term.

 

In April 2021, “New Day” kept its name but introduced a new co-anchor and appeared to try to take on a more serious look and feel, with new graphics, dramatic red, black and white open instead of the multicolored look it used before and hard-hitting theme music.

The “CNN This Morning” name is not new to the network’s extended family. It was previously used on CNN International. 

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CNN’s sister network HLN also airs a program called “Morning Express.”

CBS also hardly had a monopoly on the name — the “(Outlet Name) This Morning” is a common naming schema for local morning newscasts as well.

Licht has also announced a series of what the network is billing as temporary schedule changes ahead of the 2022 elections, including filling Lemon’s slot and moving former “New Day” anchors John Berman and Brianna Keiler to “The Lead” as that show’s anchor, Jake Tapper, moves to primetime.

These schedule changes have been emphasized as temporary, though it’s hard not to see them as a way to test the waters with new talent in new timeslots.

Clarification: This story originally included an image with the CNN logo and the words “This Morning” below it as a graphical representation of the show. The subsequent article contained a clear note that this image was created by NewscastStudio and that no official logo has been released. The image was circulated online, often without the context that it was not provided by CNN as outlined in the story. NewscastStudio has removed the original image from this story and replaced it with just the CNN logo to avoid any further confusion, but it should be noted that CNN has not confirmed if its primary mark will be used in the show logo.

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