CNN Morning Shows Say Goodbye Ahead of New Schedule

By Mark Mwachiro 

Picture of the CNN This Morning New York crew

Early Start, CNN This Morning and CNN News Central have officially bid goodbye to viewers accustomed to watching them in their respective time slots. This coming Monday, the network launches a new morning schedule.

As announced in early February by CNN chairman and CEO Mark Thompson, the morning hours of the network will look different due to the production of the early morning, morning and mid-morning dayparts now originating from CNN’s World Headquarters in Atlanta.

This shift in production resulted in the expansion of the Early Start with Kasie Hunt hours and the cancellation of the Poppy Harlow and Phil Mattingly-led CNN This Morning. Both of these shows were produced out of CNN’s New York offices.


Early Start is being renamed CNN This Morning and will air from 5 to 7 a.m. ET, and CNN News Central, which aired from 9 am to noon E.T, is being time-shifted to now air from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Following that, there will be two new DC-anchored shows, CNN Newsroom with Jim Acosta at 10 a.m. ET and The Bulletin with Pamela Brown at 11 a.m. ET. Wolf Blitzer will be Brown’s interim anchor, filling in while she is on maternity leave.

Fun fact: Early Start has been on the CNN schedule since 2011 when Jim Walton was CNN’s chairman and Ken Jautz ran CNN/US. It was John Berman’s first show when he joined CNN in 2012.

CNN This Morning was Chris Licht’s attempt at jumpstarting CNN’s ratings during the morning hours, but the show’s tenure got off to a bumpy start and achieved more negative press than ratings wins. Harlow and Mattingly stabilized the program in recent months, but with Thompson looking to bring costs down for CNN’s linear operations, the changes persist.

CNN News Central, however, can be considered a Licht success story. The hard news program anchored by John Berman, Sara Sidner and Kate Bolduan inherits a plum morning position, and its afternoon counterpart featuring the DC-based Brianna Keilar and Boris Sanchez has held on strong.

Meanwhile, on this past Sunday’s evening edition of CNN Newsroom, Acosta informed viewers of his move to weekdays and showed off a bottle of wine given to him by former federal prosecutor Shanlon Wu, who had appeared on his show earlier.