CNN’s New “A.M.”: Soledad O’Brien Back

Out with the old & in with the new? For the most part. CNN announced that it is replacing its flagging American Morning with two new two-hour show in a “new format of news and conversation in the morning” in 2012. Fresh CNN faces, Emmy-winning former TruTV anchor Ashleigh Banfield and current NBC5 News Today (Chicago) Weekday Edition co-host and Telemundo Chicago correspondent Zoraida Sambolin, will co-host the 5-7 a.m. ET edition: CNN veteran, award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien returns to her former American Morning time slot in the subsequent 7-9 a.m. ET hours.

Perhaps, with a soupcon of a positive spin, Executive VP and Managing Editor of CNN Mark Whitaker proclaimed, “This is an exciting time to be relaunching our morning show, with the morning television audience more up for grabs than it has been in years.” As to the nature of the new programs, boss Executive VP of CN Ken Jautz opaquely declared, “We are planning to offer something original in the four-hour morning block to complement our direction in primetime.” More pellucidly, the CNN release explained that Banfield and Sambolin’s program would cover a “broad spectrum of the day’s news” and that O’Brien’s show would be a “new conversational ensemble program that explores top issues of the day opening the conversation to people of all walks of life.”

Not surprisingly, the three new hosts were quite effusive in their enthusiasm for their respective shows. Banfield said, “I’ve dreamed of joining CNN for more than 20 years. It’s the gold standard of news–the brand, the people, and the product.” Her co-host Sambolin added, “I am completely thrilled to be coming to CNN. Ashleigh is an accomplished journalist with an incredible wit and dynamic personality.” As to O’Brien herself, she declared, “I couldn’t be more eager to return to daily news, to bring conversation and context to CNN viewers in the morning. I welcome the opportunity to give voice to people who aren’t often heard and stories that are sometimes overlooked.”

Understandably, CNN did not discuss the future of American Morning “temporary” co-hosts, Ali Velshi, Christine Romans, and Carol Costello in its press release, supra. However, in a separate release issued today, CNN said that temporary AM co-host Ali Velshi¬† would be taking “new roles across CNN Worldwide” as he “launch[ed] signature segments on CNN/U.S. and anchor CNN International’s ‘World Business Today.'” However, CNN did not mention Christine Romans or Carol Costello in either. Nevertheless, when Romans was asked about her future, she Tweeted, “@HRHughesIII have no fear. You will still see my business reports and interviews. As to Costello, her plans may be less certain: her CNN bio simply lists her as “a contributor to American Morning.”

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4 Responses to “CNN’s New “A.M.”: Soledad O’Brien Back”

  1. Fran Says:

    eye candy for the men. we women need eye candy also.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    if you don’t bring back the regular lineup of co-anchors I will begin watching Fox (yuk); however, the last thing I need in the morning is a couple of twits giggling and basically doing stupid things.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I don’t enjoy Soledad. Never have, probably never will. To me she comes across as condescending and self-important, I will be watching 7-9AM.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    It would be nice to get “NEWS”….not the silly self important nonsense of Soledad. Give me the intelligence of Carol, Christine and Gloria instead of the increasing number of opinionated “eye candy” females. CNN is increasingly focussing on personality instead of REPORTING news…..I don’t need to have them tell us how to interpret the news, just the facts please.
    Disgusted!!!!!!!!BYE BYE

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