CNN axes morning show featuring Poppy Harlow, Phil Mattingly

GOSSIP & RUMORS: CNN axes morning show featuring Poppy Harlow, Phil Mattingly

Ratings-challenged CNN canceled its scandal-scarred morning news show in a massive shakeup, the cable network announced Monday.

“CNN This Morning” — launched in November 2022 with a trio of hosts that included Don Lemon before he was fired — will no longer air from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., CNN boss Mark Thompson said in a memo to staff.

The show’s current co-anchors, Poppy Harlow and Phil Mattingly, will be reassigned, and the network will abandon producing the morning show in New York City — with the 50-person staff that worked on “CNN This Morning” from its glittering Hudson Yards studio asked to reapply for jobs.

The “CNN This Morning” brand will continue under a new format with Kasie Hunt, the former MSNBC reporter, anchoring the show from Washington, DC., from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m., according to CNN.

“They are doubling down on all things politics,” a source close to the situation told The Post on Monday.

A second network insider said the decision was most likely cost-related as Thompson tries build up a digital operation while stopping the bleeding of flagging viewership across the network.

“Primetime anchors are freaked out,” the insider added.

“Nobody is assuming they are safe.”

Phil Mattingly (left) and Poppy Harlow (right) will no longer co-anchor “CNN This Morning,” according to a memo. Getty Images for CNN

“CNN News Central,” the news show that is broadcast from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., will now begin two hours earlier, starting at 7 a.m. and running until 10 a.m.

The show is helmed by co-anchors John Berman, Kate Bolduan and Sara Sidner from CNN headquarters in Atlanta.

Jim Acosta, the former White House correspondent known for his testy exchanges with then-President Donald Trump and his aides, will anchor a daily one-hour show beginning at 10 a.m.

He will be followed by Pamela Brown at 11 a.m. Brown is currently on maternity leave, and veteran anchor Wolf Blitzer will assume hosting duties on an interim basis, according to the network.

The Post has sought comment from CNN.

Thompson said in the memo that the “change in strategic direction” was “not a reflection on the talent, expertise and dedication of the New York-based editorial production and operations teams who’ve worked on our morning output.”

CNN is revamping its morning lineup as it struggles in the ratings race against rivals MSNBC and Fox News. SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

“I’m very aware that today’s announcement means a great deal of uncertainty for many valued colleagues,” Thompson said.

He added that “change and uncertainty are inevitable in an industry undergoing a revolution” and that the network “must never underestimate the human consequences that come in their wake.”

The shakeup comes amid the network’s sagging morning ratings, which show CNN far behind rivals Fox and MSNBC.

“CNN This Morning’ averaged 322,000 total viewers last month, trailing the 988,000 who tuned into MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” according to Nielsen ratings. “Fox and Friends” was the top-rated cable news show in the morning last month, with 1.068 million average viewers.

CNN also brought up the rear in the coveted 25-to-54 age demographic, garnering just 64,000 average viewers last month. By contrast, Fox posted 144,000 and MSNBC had 104,000, according to Nielsen.

Mark Thompson, the newly installed head of CNN, announced the move in a memo to staffers. AP

“CNN This Morning” was the brainchild of former CEO Chris Licht, who was fired last summer after a disastrous 14-month stint as network boss.

Licht originally cast Harlow alongside Kaitlan Collins and Lemon as co-anchors.

But a lack of chemistry and a tense relationship between Lemon and Collins, as well as Lemon’s ill-advised remark about GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley being “not in her prime” at age 51 led to Lemon’s eventual firing.

Fox News is owned by Fox Corp — sister company to The Post’s parent News Corp.

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