CNN is canceling ‘Morning Express with Robin Meade’
The budget-cutting ax is in full swing at CNN.
The news network is canceling “Morning Express,” Robin Meade’s daily program that has aired on CNN’s sister channel HLN since 2005.
Meade and her program’s staff will be leaving CNN as part of a sweeping cut that’s underway as parent company Warner Bros. Discovery seeks to deleverage.
Meade’s breezy, fast-paced newscast from Atlanta’s CNN Center has a following among small-town viewers outside of the media centers of Washington and New York. “Morning Express” is best known for “Salute to Troops,” a daily segment celebrating members of the military and their families.
Meade also has a side career as a country music singer and songwriter.
“Morning Express” will be replaced by a simulcast of “CNN This Morning,” the recently launched program starring Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.
“Weekend Express” on HLN will also be discontinued. No date has been set for a final show, according to a CNN representative who confirmed the cancellation.
Ratings for The Morning Express are falling as the number of people waking up to traditional TV continues to shrink due to cable cuts and increased competition from online news sources.
Morning Express also faced the challenge of being broadcast on a network with little other live programming, and had become a target for true crime shows like Forensic Files.
HLN’s mission — once known as CNN Headline News — has become even less clear as of late, with a marathon of “The West Wing” episodes airing during the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Morning Express” likely drew viewers who would otherwise have been put off by a perceived liberal slant of the flagship network. Warner Bros. Discovery executives have said they want to restore CNN to being a reliable, unbiased news source because they believe it may have veered too far to the left during the Trump years in the White House.
But CNN is under pressure to save more than $100 million under Warner Bros. Discovery’s cost-cutting mandate.
Along with the Morning Express staff, CNN employees across the company were fired Thursday, including several longtime correspondents. Anchors were spared from the cuts, according to a person with knowledge of the plans.
CNN political reporter and editor Chris Cillizza confirmed on Twitter that he was among the departing employees.
The layoffs are also expected to hit the network’s vast slate of employees, some of whom will be paid after-the-fact and others on exclusive contracts paying six-figure sums annually.
CNN’s cuts are part of an ongoing wave of austerity measures at media companies as cable cutting hurts pay-TV subscription fees, which help traditional TV stations and ratings shrink.
AMC Networks announced it would cut its business significantly. Walt Disney Co. has also announced a hiring freeze; Comcast has offered buyouts to longtime employees; and Paramount Global is downsizing as part of a corporate restructuring.
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2022-12-01/cnn-is-canceling-morning-express-with-robin-meade-another-cost-cutting-casualty CNN is canceling ‘Morning Express with Robin Meade’