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Early Start is a hard news morning television show on CNN anchored by Christine Romans and Dave Briggs. It premiered on January 2, 2012 and airs weekdays from 4:00-6:00 a.m. ET.

Early Start
GenreMorning television show
Presented byChristine Romans
Dave Briggs
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Production location(s)30 Hudson Yards
New York City
Running time120 minutes
Original networkCNN
Picture format480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseJanuary 2, 2012 –
External links



By the end of its run in 2011, CNN's American Morning had fallen behind in the morning ratings. Executive vice president Ken Jautz, who joined in September 2010, decided to revamp the network's morning lineup by canceling the show altogether and replacing it with two new programs less focused on national politics than cable rivals Fox & Friends and Morning Joe.[1]

Along with Starting Point, Early Start replaced American Morning, which aired from 2001 to 2011. Ashleigh Banfield, who co-anchored with Sambolin until July 13, 2012, has since moved to the 12pm timeslot.

The new morning lineup was announced in November 2011 with Ashleigh Banfield and Zoraida Sambolin confirmed as anchors of the 5-7 a.m. program, while Soledad O'Brien joined as anchor of the 7-9 a.m. program.[1] Banfield joined from ABC News while Sambolin was hired from WMAQ-TV.[2] The name of the 5-7 a.m. program was announced as Early Start on Twitter on December 29.[3] The program was subtitled News From A to Z, a reference to the first initials of the show's original co-anchors. On May 30, 2012, CNN announced ABC's John Berman would join Banfield and Sambolin as co-anchor.[4] On June 26, 2012, CNN announced Banfield was leaving Early Start in July to anchor the 11am hour of CNN Newsroom.[5] On December 13, 2013, Zoraida Sambolin left the show and was replaced by Christine Romans in January 2014.

Leading up to the 2016 US General election, Early Start ran from 3am to 5am ET, followed by an extended version of New Day from 5am to 9am ET. This schedule then becomes a standard for CNN during breaking news events, for instance the Manchester Arena bombing in 23 May 2017.

In January 2017, John Berman left the program to anchor CNN Newsroom at 9am ET. CNN announced Dave Briggs, formerly of NBC Sports and Fox News would succeed him.

Notable momentsEdit

On the January 9, 2012 edition of the show, Banfield and Sambolin attempted to call comedian Chuck Nice as part of the "Wake 'Em Up" segment. Instead, the show dialed the wrong number and woke up an unknown man.[6] The episode was skewered by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, who also mocked the format of the segment.[7]

Former on-air staffEdit

Recurring segmentsEdit

  • CNN Money Stream: The latest business headlines from CNN Money


  1. ^ a b "CNN Makes Morning Lineup Revamp Official". Comcast. Archived from the original on 2011-12-29. Retrieved 2011-12-29.
  2. ^ Ariens, Chris (2011-11-03). "Soledad O'Brien Returns to the AM at CNN; Ashleigh Banfield, Zoraida Sambolin Join Revamped Mornings". TV Newser. Retrieved 2011-12-29.
  3. ^ Ariens, Chris (2011-12-29). "New CNN Morning Show to Launch Monday". TV Newser. Retrieved 2011-12-29.
  4. ^ "John Berman Joins CNN as an Anchor of Morning Show "Early Start"". CNN. May 30, 2012.
  5. ^ "John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin to co-anchor Early Start". CNN. June 26, 2012.
  6. ^ Fung, Katherine (2012-01-09). "CNN 'Early Start' Hosts Dial Wrong Number, Wake Up Stranger". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-02-04.
  7. ^ Martel, Frances (2012-01-10). "Jon Stewart Skewers CNN's Early Start For Their 'Wake 'Em Up' Segment". Mediaite. Retrieved 2012-02-04.
  8. ^ "Former KPLC weather man begins co-hosting dutings at ET". Lake Charles: KPLC-TV. January 7, 2013. Retrieved January 8, 2013.

External linksEdit