CNN will replace its current morning show, New Day, with a “reimagined” program hosted by Don Lemon, Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow, the network announced Thursday morning. “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 and CEO Chris Licht in a statement. “They are each uniquely intelligent, reliable and compelling; together they have a rare and palpable chemistry. Combined with CNN’s resources and global newsgathering capabilities, we will offer a smart, bold and refreshing way to start the day.”
The new show, which does not yet have a name, will debut later this year. It replaces New Day, which debuted in 2013 in the hopes of toppling the goliath of morning news on cable, Fox News Channel’s Fox and Friends, but has continued to trail both the Fox News show and MSNBC’s Morning Joe. New Day debuted with Alisyn Camerota and Chris Cuomo as hosts, before Cuomo moved to prime time and John Berman joined the morning newscast. His current co-host is Brianna Keilar.
Last week, New Day delivered an average total audience of just 410,000 viewers, compared to Morning Joe’s 916,000 viewers and Fox and Friends’ 1.298 million viewers. The FNC show has won mornings for 77 straight weeks.
Lemon moves to mornings from prime time, where he’s hosted Don Lemon Tonight. “The last eight years have been an incredible ride. I’ve had the opportunity to work with one of the best show teams in the business, but it’s time to shake things up. I am so appreciative of the Don Lemon Tonight team, my wonderful, loyal viewers and everyone who has believed in me,” said Lemon in a statement released by the network. “I was honestly floored when Chris Licht asked me to do this and I’m honored by his belief in me. It’s going to be a thrill to take on this challenge with Poppy and Kaitlan. I’ll get to work with two of my dearest friends. Set your alarms folks, because we’re going to have a lot of fun.”
Collins has filled in as anchor on New Day while serving as CNN’s Chief White House correspondent. “I am thrilled to start this new adventure at CNN and work alongside Don and Poppy, two colleagues I deeply admire,” said Collins. “To go from sharing my reporting on their shows to sitting at the desk alongside them is an incredible opportunity and I’m deeply humbled by it. I’m so grateful to Chris and CNN for building something truly special. I can’t wait to wake with our viewers and do the news every day. So pour a cup of coffee and join us!”
CNN’s current morning show anchors, John Berman and Brianna Keilar, will continue to host New Day until the revamped morning show debuts, and will “assume new roles at the network later this year.”