Don Lemon will move to mornings on CNN to co-anchor new show
CNN announced a revamp of its morning program with Don Lemon shifting out of prime time to become a co-anchor.
Lemon will be joined by Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins on the new show that will have a new name — replacing the current “New Day” later this year.
“There is no stronger combination of talent than Don, Poppy and Kaitlan to deliver on our promise of a game-changing morning news program,” said CNN Chairman Chris Licht in announcing the new anchor plans. “They are each uniquely intelligent, reliable and compelling; together they have a rare and palpable chemistry.”
The new team will replace current anchors John Berman and Brianna Keilar, who will continue to handle “New Day” until the new program premieres. Both will assume new roles at the network later this year.
Licht will take over the news organization in May after Discovery completes its acquisition of CNN parent WarnerMedia.
Licht, who took over CNN in April, said revamping the morning show is a priority for him. He has experience in the time period, having developed “Morning Joe” for MSNBC, the influential Beltway program with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, and “CBS This Morning” while at CBS.
Lemon has been a prime-time host for the last eight years on “Don Lemon Tonight” and is one of CNN’s most recognizable personalities. The move means Licht will have two host slots to fill in prime time, replacing Lemon and Chris Cuomo, who was fired from the network in December.
The assignment to mornings is a vote of confidence in Lemon. Licht’s statements on wanting to move the network away from liberal commentary led to speculation that Lemon — who could be a sharp critic of former President Trump — would be vulnerable, although that was never the case.
Harlow, who joined CNN in 2008, is currently co-anchor of the mid-morning program “CNN Newsroom.” She recently earned a Master of Studies in Law from Yale.
Collins will serve as co-anchor and chief correspondent for the show. She joined CNN in 2017 as its youngest-ever chief White House correspondent at 29 years old.
Collins joined CNN from The Daily Caller, a right wing web site co-founded by Fox News host Tucker Carlson. In 2018, she had to apologize for anti-gay slurs she used in Tweets posted while she was a college student at the University of Alabama.
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