CNN This Morning is making a notable change at the top of its ranks. Executive producer Eric Hall is leaving the broadcast in order to develop Laura Coates‘ new 11 p.m. CNN show, which debuts in the coming months.
The Wrap broke the news, which the network later confirmed to us.
There is an active search underway for a new executive producer for CNN This Morning and the network will have news to share on that front in the near future.
Elsewhere on the CNN production front, TVNewser can report that Don Lemon’s longtime executive producer on CNN Tonight/Don Lemon Tonight, Maria Spinella, will remain at 10 p.m. to produce Alisyn Camerota‘s new CNN show when it launches in the coming months.
As for Hall’s broadcast, CNN This Morning launched November 1 right before the 2022 midterm elections. Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins were named co-hosts on September 15, and Hall—who joined its predecessor New Day as senior ep seven months earlier—was kept on to serve as ep for the rebooted morning show.
CNN This Morning represents the first significant programming launch by CNN CEO Chris Licht, who took on leadership of the network this past spring, and the show’s title certainly echoes that of the one Licht and CNN svp of content strategy Ryan Kadro produced when they were at CBS News: CBS This Morning (since rebranded as CBS Mornings).
As was the case for CBS This Morning more than a decade ago, CNN This Morning has gotten off to a slow start on the Nielsen ratings front and has yet to truly move the needle relative to its predecessor. The Wrap reports that over the past year, New Day averaged 414,000 total viewers on CNN — its smallest morning audience since 2015 — compared with 839,000 for Morning Joe and 1.36 million for Fox News. Unlike New Day, CNN This Morning now simulcasts on HLN (after the network scrapped Morning Express with Robin Meade) and now averages 459,000 total viewers across the two networks. CNN This Morning on CNN-only averages 410,000 total viewers.
To be fair, launching a revamped morning show in this environment is difficult. Fox & Friends and Morning Joe are two news analysis programs with built-in, devoted audiences. The same is true for GMA, Today and to a lesser extent, CBS Mornings (which CNN This Morning seems to most closely resemble, unsurprisingly).
Licht appeared on Kara Swisher‘s podcast three weeks after CNN This Morning launched, and preached patience despite the slow start.
“After three weeks, we continue to grow so that to me is exciting. It takes a very long time for people to even know that we have a new morning show on. I’m incredibly excited about the morning show because of what it is and the impact it’s already having and the guests that they book. I’m very bullish on that show, and it’s already beaten some of the competition twice in three weeks and that’s that’s pretty good [MSNBC Morning Joe in the A25-54 demo] …”
But that was November, and we’re approaching late-January. Let’s see if the change pays off.