Friday, December 2, 2022

Robin Meade, Entire Atlanta HLN News Operations Nixed

Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. is ending live programming on CNN’s sister channel HLN, the latest cost-cutting move aimed at reducing the company’s debt.

Bloomberg reports starting Dec. 6, HLN, once known as Headline News, will simulcast the new CNN morning show hosted by Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow, and Kaitlan Collins in place of its current morning news program.

HLN also aired true-crime shows through much of the day. While its live programming will go away, the staff will join forces with the company’s ID network and develop or acquire true-crime programming for both channels, according to a person familiar with the matter.

In a memo to staff Thursday, CNN chief Chris Licht also said CNN will cut an undisclosed number of jobs in programming and marketing and, in some cases, merge teams for daytime and weekend shows. CNN’s US newsroom is laying off some staff and also adding new roles to cover the country more broadly, he said.

“The changes we are making today are necessary and will make us stronger and better positioned to place big bets going forward without fear of failure,” Licht wrote.

HLN, which Ted Turner started as CNN2 and later Headline News in 1982, has morphed over the years from a quick-hit 24/7 news operation to supplement the parent CNN cable network into a mix of true crime and news.

Atlanta-based morning host Robin Meade was the last key personality standing, although HLN did run weekend news programming with Susan Hendricks. Meade was the weekday morning host for more than 21 years, the longest running morning news anchor in TV history, recently exceeding Matt Lauer’s tenure at NBC’s “Today” show, reports

In his memo, Licht acknowledged Meade’s contributions to the network: “I know the HLN audience will miss her and the other HLN talent.”

CNN will simulcast its new “CNN This Morning” featuring Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins on HLN, according to Variety. In that story posted Thurday morning, Variety also reported that veteran Atlanta-based reporter Martin Savidge was among those let go.

In its early years before the Internet, CNN Headline News would run a repetitive 30-minute news wheel mixing hard news, features and sports. In 2001, the network began using multiple anchors and cluttered the screen with a scrolling news ticker and added Meade to mornings.

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