“CNN This Morning” has implemented an updated set design, marking a distinct departure from the programming decisions of former CEO Chris Licht.
The fresh look includes brick detailing and is a CNN New York set design used by several other shows produced by the network.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) September 13, 2023
Licht was ousted from the network in June after his brief tenure was characterized by his poorly received programming changes, plummeting advertising revenue and declining ratings. Licht was fired after a controversial live town hall with former President Donald Trump and an explosive profile by the Atlantic’s Tim Alberta.
One of Licht’s primary programming decisions while helming CNN was to reimagine the network’s morning show, changing the name of the program from “New Day” to “CNN This Morning.” Licht moved Don Lemon from his coveted primetime slot to the new morning program with Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins. The restructured show also included a set design change, which was implemented in November 2022.
“CNN This Morning” again made the wrong kind of waves when Lemon made a controversial comment on-air which criticized Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley for no longer being “in her prime.” The remark visibly angered his coanchors and afterward Lemon was required to apologize for his statements and participate in “formal training.”
Lemon, Harlow and Collins reportedly had significant difficulties getting along throughout the show’s tenure.
In August, CNN announced a programming shakeup, solidifying a primetime lineup. The network announced that CNN chief White House correspondent Phil Mattingly would join anchor Poppy Harlow on “CNN This Morning.”
Ex-New York Times CEO and BBC director general Mark Thompson was appointed the new CEO of CNN at the end of August. Thompson joining the network has been widely regarded as a smart move for the company, which has struggled with the increase in cable cord-cutting.
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