Time to do the early bird shuffle once again.
CNN is expected to announce a host of changes to its morning news lineup this week, reports The New York Times.
The gist of the sweeping changes will see a “dismantling” of its morning news program “American Morning”, with two new anchors being brought in to anchor two separate two-hour blocks.
Well, one of them is not so new.
Former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien is returning to host the 7 to 9 a.m. hours weekdays, where she may also be joined by “an ensemble of contributors.” In addition, ABC News correspondent Ashleigh Banfield will anchor the 5 to 7 a.m. time slot.
O’Brien’s return has been speculated for months, as we previously reported. She first anchored “Mornings” from 2003 to 2007 until she and her co-host miles O’Brien were replaced with John Roberts and Kiran Chetry, who both left the program earlier this year. Since her departure, O’Brien has been hosting CNN’s “In America” documentary series.
The bespectacled Banfield, who became well known for her MSNBC coverage of Iraq and the Sept. 11 attacks, has most recently been an ABC News correspondent for “Good Morning America,” “20/20″ and “Nightline” since 2010, as well as a host on TruTV.
Additionally, current “American Morning” reporter Ali Velshi is expected to shift to an anchoring role on a business program on CNN International.
The morning facelift is the latest change at the cable news network; CNN also revamped its evening schedule earlier this year. CNN has not commented on the story but is reportedly on the verge of announcing the lineup changes.
For more big changes on the news front, check out a preview clip of tonight’s series premiere of Brian Williams’ newsmagazine “Rock Center” below.