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End of an Era, Poppy Harlow, and Phil Mattingly’s CNN Morning Goodbye

“CNN This Morning” concludes for now, as well as for Poppy Harlow and Phil Mattingly.

After co-anchoring the program with Harlow since August 23, Mattingly and Harlow bid adieu to Friday’s broadcast on February 23. 

Since taking over as CNN’s chief executive in October 2023, Mark Thompson has made a number of changes, one of which is revamping the morning programming. 

If there was any doubt about Thompson’s desire to completely destroy the cable news network, he wrote a long memo to the staff in January that began, “It is time for a revolution.”

Presumably, the inception of that revolution started when Mattingly and Harlow thanked the show’s crew before bidding them farewell for good. Nobody knows for sure what those futures hold.

CNN has announced that Harlow and Mattingly will be joining the network, but it has not disclosed what their new roles will entail.

The current incarnation of CNN This Morning, hosted by Poppy Harlow and Phil Mattingly, came to an end on Friday, and they did so by putting their crew front and center.

CNN’s New Dawn

Earlier this month, CNN announced a major reorganization of their morning schedule, effectively ending Chris Licht’s biggest move at CNN—launching a morning show. 

Former anchor Kasie Hunt will take over a new, shortened version of CNN This Morning from 5 to 7 a.m., replacing current hosts Harlow and Mattingly, who host the show from 6 to 9 a.m.

Poppy Harlow and Phil Mattingly
Poppy Harlow and Phil Mattingly

From 7 a.m. until 10 a.m., CNN News Central will take over the remainder of the morning.

The anchors, Phil Mattingly and Poppy Harlow, also mentioned that the morning timeslot presents a challenging schedule for the numerous individuals involved in the program’s production.

The program, which was created by former executive Chris Licht and paired hosts Don Lemon, Kaitlan Collins, and Harlow together, debuted on the network in November 2022. 

The show’s ratings were declining for months as it struggled to gain traction due to rumors of internal conflicts between Collins and Lemon. 

Following a string of inadequacies on the show and drama behind the scenes, Lemon was ultimately let go by the network. Later on, Collins was transferred to a primetime slot on the network, which she still works in.

Later, after facing significant internal opposition to his choice to host former President Donald Trump for a town hall meeting, Licht was fired by CNN. Mark Thompson was later appointed by the outlet as its new CEO and president. 

He spearheaded the effort to add a new show to the morning slot. CNN’s whole morning lineup will now originate from its Atlanta studios as a result of the modifications.

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