CNN says it will debut its new morning show on Nov. 1, before a new set is even built but with a new name, to get it in front of viewers a week before the midterm election.
The show will be called “CNN This Morning,” the network said on Wednesday. The program, with Kaitlan Collins, Poppy Harlow and Don Lemon as hosts, replaces the current “New Day” and will air weekdays at 6 to 9 a.m. Eastern.
It’s the first big programming move by CNN’s new chief executive, Chris Licht. “CNN This Morning” echoes the since-renamed “CBS This Morning,” which both Licht and Ryan Kadro, now senior vice president of content strategy at CNN, produced.
While the name is similar, and both will share a sensibility of respect for the audience, viewers shouldn’t necessarily be looking for a repeat, Kadro said.
“We’re going to put the full power of CNN’s newsgathering on display because we can do that better than anybody,” he said.
CNN wants to take advantage of an expected bump in viewership surrounding the Nov. 8 election so it is moving ahead in temporary quarters despite a New York-based set for the show still being under construction, he said.
“CNN This Morning” will showcase the network’s reporters around the world on big stories of the day, he said. The network’s higher-rated cable competitors, “Fox & Friends” and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” are both heavy on opinion.
Another priority is building familiarity with the new team: CNN is emphasizing their backgrounds in looking to drive home the point that it’s not just a show for people in the New York-Washington corridor, he said.
The network has been going to the family homes of each host to film promos: Collins in Alabama, Harlow in Minnesota and Lemon in Louisiana.
The show’s new theme will be “bringing the world home” to the audience, he said.
CNN will be trying some new technical tricks, and will keep viewers updated with onscreen reminders of segments on the show that are still to come, Kadro said.