Executives have been mulling a move that would put Alisyn Camerota, the “New Day” co-anchor who has steered the program though the bulk of the Trump administration, to afternoons, according to a person familiar with the matter. She could be replaced in her current role by Brianna Keilar, a Washington-based afternoon anchor who has gained attention in recent months for delivering hard-nosed video essays and pushing back at Trump officials in live interviews.
Spokespersons for CNN did not respond to queries seeking comment. NBC News’ Dylan Byers previously reported the potential moves via Twitter.
If the switch is put into place, it would represent the latest shake-up at the CNN A.M. franchise, which vies regularly with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends.” CNN launched the program in 2013 with a different vision: a counterpart to traditional morning-news fare like NBC’s “Today” program, with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira serving as an affable trio. As time moved on, however, executives sought a co-host who could take on Cuomo, who has a strong on-air personality, and needed to change the tenor of the program even more noticeably as Donald Trump took over the White House.
Cuomo left the show in 2018 to take on an hour in prime-time, and it has become CNN’s most-watched hour.
People familiar with the matter say Camerota has for some time sought a new position, citing the demands of early-morning TV. She has impressed executives at CNN with her ability to handle some of the morning’s most aggressive guests while also interviewing people on sensitive subjects — a rare quality. She also regularly spars good-naturedly with her co-anchor, John Berman, who has handled many different roles at CNN and always maintains a sense of humor while on camera. She joined CNN in 2014 after a long tenure at Fox News Channel.
“Because I’ve done morning news for so long, it’s important to me to give people some reason for living, and I think that sometimes the news, all the news, can be soul crushing. I am still conscious that we are a morning show and we do set the tone for people’s day, and they are walking out of the show with us being the last voice they’ve heard. I do try to inject a little gift of levity and a little bit of humor and a little bit of kindness,” Camerota told Variety in 2020. “Whatever we are dealing with, this too shall pass.”
Meanwhile, CNN has been giving more air time to Washington anchors in the run-up to and in the aftermath of the 2020 election,and Keilar’s potential move to mornings would continue that dynamic. CNN recently said it would expand Jake Tapper’s late-afternoon hours and assigned Washington correspondent Pam Brown to weekend evenings. Jim Acosta, who led CNN’s White House coverage, is expected to take on a new weekend anchor role. CNN has partnered mid-morning anchor Poppy Harlow with Jim Sciutto, a veteran of covering national security affairs.
In January, “New Day” ranked second among cable-news audiences in the demographic most coveted by advertisers, people between 25 and 54. That measure has been a key one for CNN under its leader, Jeff Zucker, as it helps determine the rates advertisers pay for commercials on the show. MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” had more of that category of viewer in January, though “New Day” had more viewers than “Fox & Friends” among the advertiser demo for the first time last month since it debuted.