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'American Morning' Revamp: CNN To Announce Changes This Week

Soledad Obrien

First Posted: 10/31/11 10:03 AM ET Updated: 10/31/11 01:29 PM ET

CNN is expected to announce significant changes to its morning programming this week.

According to The New York Times and TV Newser, CNN will officially announce the dismantling of "American Morning," addition of two new shows, and reintroduce Soledad O'Brien to CNN morning viewers sometime this week.

O'Brien's return to the mornings had been widely rumored for months.. She anchored CNN's "American Morning" from 2003 to 2007. She continued to work for CNN special programming following her departure. She currently hosts CNN's "In America" documentary series. In 2007, CNN replaced O'Brien and her co-host Miles O'Brien (no relation) with John Roberts and Kiran Chetry. Roberts and Chetry both left "American Morning" this past year.

It has also been reported that current ABC News correspondent Ashleigh Banfield will co-anchor the 5-7 a.m. show. Banfield formerly hosted shows on Tru TV (formely CourtTV) and MSNBC.

Former NBC local anchor Zoraida Sambolin was rumored as Banfield's co-anchor. She hosted the early morning show for WMAQ, NBC's owned-and-operated station in Chicago. Sambolin left her gig and signed with CNN earlier this month, according to TimeOut Chicago.

Current "American Morning" host Ali Velshi will move to CNN International to host a daily business program, according to Broadcasting & Cable.

CNN's morning revamp is the network's latest response to regain ratings during a time slot that is dominated by powerhouses like NBC's "Today and ABC's "Good Morning America" on the broadcast side, and cable news programs like Fox News' "Fox and Friends" and MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

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Filed by Rebecca Shapiro  |