CNN scrapping latest iteration of its morning show amid schedule shakeup

CNN’s latest attempt at a morning show is closing up shop after a little over a year and a checkered past that included anchor scandals and low ratings — though its name will live on.

CNN This Morning,” which replaced “New Day” in November 2022, will end later in its current format in February 2024, the network announced Feb. 5, 2024.

In a memo announcing the changes, the network said the changes are part of a new strategic direction and do not a reflection on the teams behind the current “This Morning.”

The show’s name will be recycled for an expanded, two-hour version of Kasie Hunt’sEarly Start,” which is taking on the “CTM” name.

Meanwhile, the morning edition of “CNN NewsCentral” will move up an hour and start at 7 a.m., right after the retitled “This Morning.”

John Berman, Kate Bolduan and Sara Sidner will continue to anchor that show, but it will end an hour earlier, at 10 a.m. eastern.

The network is bringing back its domestic “CNN Newsroom” brand at 10 a.m., with weekend anchor Jim Acosta moving to that spot. The network still carries shows under the “CNN Newsroom” name produced by its international division but had dropped it from its domestic schedule after “NewsCentral” launched.

The Bulletin with Pamela Brown,” meanwhile, will launch at 11 a.m., though Brown, who is currently on family leave, will have Wolf Blitzer fill in until she returns.


“The Bulletin” was first announced back in August 2023 as a dayside program, though no timeslot was indicated at the time. 

“This Morning” co-anchors Poppy Harlow and Phil Mattingly, the latter of whom just moved into the role in August 2023 after previously being based in Washington, D.C., are in talks for new roles at the network, according to a memo issued by CEO Mark Thompson.

The entire team behind “This Morning” is being let go, though staffers are being encouraged to apply for other roles within the network.

“This Morning” was the only morning show on the network with a New York-based editorial team. “NewsCentral” is produced from the network’s Atlanta headquarters, though its studio and anchors are based in New York.

The move could be seen as a cost-cutting move to be able to eliminate numerous positions on a low-rated show that has been through numerous tweaks and changes without much improvement. It’s not clear how many people will lose their jobs.

CNN’s choice of an Atlanta headquarters dating back to its founding was often seen as a cost-saving strategy to avoid unionized workforces and higher costs of living in media hotbeds such as New York and Washington, D.C., though it’s not clear what cost savings the network might realize with this latest move.

CNN parent Warner Bros. Discovery is finalizing moving out of the former CNN Center to Turner Broadcasting’s Techwood campus, where new facilities are in the process of opening.

“This Morning” was the brainchild of former CNN CEO Chris Licht, who was also the founding executive producer of the similarly-named second iteration of “CBS This Morning.” The CBS show, now known as “CBS Mornings,” still regularly rates last in the morning show ratings.

“New Day,” on the other hand, was launched under Licht’s predecessor, Jeff Zucker, a former NBC exec who is known for his work on “Today” and helping bring it to dominance in network morning TV, though since Zucker left it faltered to second place.

After the changes take effect, here’s what the morning schedule will look like:

  • 5 to 7 a.m.: “CNN This Morning” with Kasie Hunt
  • 7 to 10 a.m.: “CNN NewsCentral” with John Berman, Kate Bolduan and Sara Sidner
  • 10 to 11 a.m.: “CNN Newsroom” with Jim Acosta
  • 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.: “The Bulletin with Pamela Brown”

The new schedule continues to put Hunt against her former spot on MSNBC’s “Way Too Early” plus the first hour of “Morning Joe” on the same network and Fox’s “Fox & Friends First” and the first part of “Fox & Friends.”

“NewsCentral” will now go against later parts of “Morning Joe” until 10 a.m. and “Fox & Friends” until 9 a.m. eastern, when “America’s Newsroom” airs on Fox. The new “CNN Newsroom” goes against the first hour of “America’s Newsroom” and “Ana Cabrera Reports” on MSNBC. Brown will go up against “Jose Diaz-Balart Reports” on MSNBC and “The Faulkner Focus” on Fox.


“CNN This Morning” first featured Don Lemon, Kaitlan Collins and Harlow when it launched. Collins was moved off the show for “The Source,” a primetime offering, and Lemon was later fired from the network after a serious of controversies both on-air and behind the scenes.

It originally launched in 2013 with Chris Cuomo, Bolduan and Michaela Pereira as anchors. All three would end of departing the show at various times to anchor other shows within the CNN family. Alisyn Camerota was brought in to co-anchor with Berman in 2014 but was replaced by Brianna Keilar in 2021.

None of these talent changes ended up making a significant impact in gathering new eyeballs.

Full text of Thompson’s memo:

February 5, 2024

Dear all,

I wanted to let the whole CNN family know about changes we informed our US cable morning programming team of earlier today, which will go into effect later this month.

We have decided to reshape how we approach mornings on domestic cable. First, we’re expanding the show currently known as Early Start by an hour so that in future it will run from 5-7am ET under the CNN This Morning brand. It will be anchored as now by Kasie Hunt in DC and will be produced in Atlanta.

Second, we’re moving our CNN News Central franchise with John Berman, Kate Bolduan and Sara Sidner up to 7am and will run it until 10am ET. This production team will continue to be based in Atlanta.

That move opens up two hours of new programming at 10am and 11am. Jim Acosta will anchor CNN Newsroom at 10am, and 11am will feature The Bulletin with Pamela Brown, which will launch in the spring. Wolf Blitzer will anchor the 11am hour in the interim while Pam is on maternity leave. Both of these shows will also be produced out of Atlanta.

These changes mean 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.

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. We will be strongly encouraging them to apply for the many new open roles that we are making available this week in Atlanta and Washington, DC, along with a number of other open roles in New York in other programming blocks. We are also talking to both Poppy Harlow and Phil Mattingly about new roles at CNN.

I’m very aware that today’s announcement means a great deal of uncertainty for many valued colleagues. Change and uncertainty are inevitable in an industry undergoing a revolution, but we must never underestimate the human consequences that come in their wake. So to everyone who has been involved in the New York based Early Start and CNN This Morning, thank you for your hard work and your total commitment to the show since its launch.