‘CNN This Morning’ Finds New Exec Producer (Exclusive)

CNN has found the next executive producer for its morning program CNN This Morning.

A source familiar with the plan tells The Hollywood Reporter it is anticipated that Chris Russell will join the morning show anchored by Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins as its new EP.

Russell currently works as EP of Leland Vittert’s program at NewsNation, the cable news channel owned by Nexstar. He previously worked as a producer at CBS News, according to his LinkedIn page, including serving as supervising producer at CBS This Morning, the program that CNN CEO Chris Licht helped create in 2011.

Russell succeeds Eric Hall, who launched CNN This Morning as EP in November but is moving to the 11 p.m. hour, which is anchored by Laura Coates.

While Licht is reimagining CNN’s entire lineup, the morning show has been one of his top priorities since taking over the news channel last year. At the Warner Bros. Discovery upfront last May, Licht told the audience that he intended to “reimagine” the time period.

“We are seeking to be a disrupter to the broadcast morning shows in this space, and we believe we have the resources to do it,” Licht said. A veteran producer before becoming CNN CEO, Licht previously helped create and lead both CBS This Morning and MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

CNN is still looking for a permanent primetime lineup, though Licht recently unveiled new plans for its dayside programming.

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