CNN is planning to revamp its morning programming, creating
a new four-hour morning show to be hosted by Soledad O'Brien, Ashleigh Banfield
and Zoraida Sambolin, according to sources. And official announcement is
expected as early as this week.
The new setup would have Banfield and Sambolin anchor the
5-7 a.m. hours, with O'Brien and an ensemble hosting the 7-9 a.m. time period,
according to sources. No word on whether the new four-hour block will be
branded American Morning, like CNN's existing morning show, or be re-titled.
O'Brien previously co-anchored American Morning from
2003-06. She has since produced documentaries for the network, like her "In
America" series, which she will continue to do in some part in addition to her
morning role, according to sources.
Banfield is currently with ABC News appearing on Good
Morning America and 20/20 after stints at truTV and MSNBC. Sambolin was most
recently an early morning anchor at the NBC affiliate in Chicago.
Chief Business Correspondent Ali Velshi, who has been an
interim anchor of American Morning along with Christine Romans and Carol
Costello, will move to anchor a daily business show on CNN International, according to sources. It is
not clear if Romans and Costello will have a role on the retooled morning
The changes to CNN's morning lineup follow a shakeup of the
network's primetime in July, when it announced time period changes for shows
hosted by Wolf Blitzer, John King and Anderson Cooper and set a new show with
Erin Burnett at 7 p.m.
A CNN spokesperson declined to comment.