CNN has announced that it plans to overhaul the majority of its daily programming with a dynamic new format – though what it will look like is still unknown.
The network says the presentation will be “energetic” and will be produced from its global headquarters in Atlanta as well as studios in New York and Washington, D.C.
CNN declined to provide details about which studios will be used, stating that more information will be shared in the coming weeks.
The exact date for the changes hasn’t been determined, but it’s likely to be between late Q1 and early Q1 2023.
Once the new schedule takes over, the recently revamped “CNN This Morning” will be followed at 9 a.m. Eastern by co-anchors John Berman, Kate Baldwin and Sarah Sydner from New York until noon.
“Inside Politics” will stay in place at noon before introducing Brianna Keilar, Boris Sanchez and Jim Sciutto until 4 p.m. from Washington, when The Lead takes over before streaming to “The Situation Room” and the network’s primetime schedule.
No further schedule changes have been announced, although some of the talent these changes replaced has been reassigned.
It’s the second major programming change announced under CEO Chris Licht, who joined CNN in the spring of 2022 after working on “CBS This Morning,” “Morning Joe,” and most recently, “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
It’s not immediately clear how CNN will name the daily coverage, though a report in Variety says it called it “newsroom headquarters.”
Currently, all of CNN’s weekdays are branded under the “CNN Newsroom” name except for the “At This Hour” show, Bolduan’s 9 a.m. and “Inside Politics”.
According to a Variety report, the format will put much of the news-gathering on camera and reporters out from behind the desk, so the look will likely center around the newsroom or in-studio workstations.
Technology will also play a role – perhaps in the form of video walls, touch screens, or mixed reality elements that allow presenters to interact with graphics and other content.
“CNN’s audience throughout the day is deeply influential, as executives and leaders watch from their offices across the country as the day’s news unfolds,” Licht said in a statement. “We tend to our greatest strengths, showcasing our unparalleled newsgathering and giving our reporters the opportunity to be more real. We’ve seen how our audience responds to this format, and we think it will put us in a position of strength in the evenings and primetime.”
It’s not immediately clear what any potential updates would look like, but in the fall of 2022, CNN moved production from Studio 17N, a newsroom with a traditional docking desk that was used for “Early Start” and other programs.
Shows using that space have since been produced from alternate locations with images inspired by the old set’s view displayed on video boards or walls behind the anchors, according to sources.
This may be a signal, though CNN has not commented on this, that the 17N space is being updated for the new format.
In Washington, the network has a large studio space that allows for large, sweeping camera shots, stand-ups in front of video walls and multiple viewing areas with small viewing stands that can be brought in for special coverage.
The office also contains other flexible studio spaces filled with additional video walls.
Meanwhile, Studio 19Y, the former home of “New Day,” “CNN This Morning,” hasn’t been used regularly since “This Morning” premiered in November 2022.
At the time of launch, CNN indicated that the show would use a temporary studio — and it was using Studio 19X, a multi-purpose space, in the meantime, though the network didn’t say where the show would end up.
Not surprisingly, this new format was used under Licht.
“Morning Joe” has broadcast from the newsroom studio in the past and “CBS This Morning” located inside Studio 47 includes on-camera workstations as well as a control room monitor wall reproduction.
The films “Morning Joe,” “CBS This Morning,” and “CBS Mornings” all use green rooms in front of the camera, giving viewers some peeks at the action behind the scenes as guests prepare to go on air.
Licht also relies on coordinating anchors for the two main blocks, something he already penned for “CNN This Morning,” which co-anchors Don Lemon, Bobby Harlow, and Caitlan Collins.
“CBS This Morning” debuted with three co-anchors and continues in that setting today (although the size of the roster has changed several times over the years). “Morning Joe” co-hosts Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, and Willie Guest.
Of course, the idea of moving anchors from outside behind stationery desks isn’t new.
In many ways, it looks like CNN’s new format may be similar to the Fox News Deck concept where reporters including Shepard Smith can move around the venue, interact with staff, and use a variety of video walls and panels to display related graphics and images, though differently. How much this format has been used over the years.
CNN itself is already benefiting from multi-venue based presentation.
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