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Poppy Harlow Out at CNN Following CNN This Morning Cancellation

Poppy Harlow Out at CNN Following CNN This Morning Cancellation
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Poppy Harlow is leaving CNN.

CNN CEO Mark Thompson announced her departure during the channel’s 9 a.m. editorial call Friday, with the veteran anchor sending an email to colleagues shortly after.

“Mark, Amy and the CNN management team have been wonderful and have given me the space to make this decision. I am very grateful to them,” Harlow wrote. “CNN gave me the opportunity to travel across this country and around the world — often at the worst of times, but when humanity also shows the best of itself.”

“There’s been plenty written about what’s wrong with journalism, and the challenges our industry faces. And it does. But there is also so much right with it,” Harlow continued. “At the heart of everything we do is the pursuit of truth – it is the core of CNN. I remain CNN’s biggest fan and I’ll be watching and cheering you on every day.”

The anchor was most recently the co-host CNN This Morning, the cable news channel’s morning show. The program, which Harlow most recently hosted alongside Phil Mattingly, was effectively canceled earlier this year, with production moving to Atlanta.

Mattingly subsequently moved to a new role as chief domestic correspondent and a fill-in anchor.

Harlow was part of the original CNN This Morning team, announced by then-CEO Chris Licht in 2022. Harlow was paired with Don Lemon and Kaitlan Collins in the effort to revamp the channel’s morning lineup.

Lemon, of course, was let go from the channel a year ago (Licht followed not long after), while Collins moved to the 9 p.m. hour.

CNN CEO Mark Thompson and Amy Entelis also released statements of their own praising Harlow.

“Poppy is a unique talent who combines formidable reporting and interviewing prowess with a human touch that audiences have always responded to,” Thompson said. “She’s been a wonderful colleague at CNN, and we know she will have much success in her future endeavors.” 

“Poppy leaves CNN after more than 16 memorable years, thousands of hours in the anchor chair and hundreds of reports from the field,” Entelis added. “She made a mark on numerous major stories including financial crises, the Paris terror attacks and the Boston bombing, but most notably enlightening interviews with the world’s top business leaders, who trusted her because she was tough, fair, and well-prepared. Poppy is a brilliant journalist who sets the standard for reporting with compassion and humanity, and we will miss her.”

Read Harlow’s note:

When I walked in the door at CNN in 2008, I was 25 years old and had never been on live TV. 

Green is an understatement! I passed those three iconic red letters in the hall on day one and thought how lucky I was to be here. 

The nearly two decades since have been a gift. I have been inspired by you and learned so much from you – who are (and will remain) dear friends. I grew up here: as a journalist and as a person. I was allowed to stumble, to falter, and then to try again with the support and care of this CNN family. This place has shaped me as a leader, taught me resilience, shown me the value of perspective and how to make hard decisions.

It is for those reasons that I take this leap and leave CNN with a full heart and deep gratitude.

Mark, Amy and the CNN management team have been wonderful and have given me the space to make this decision. I am very grateful to them.

CNN gave me the opportunity to travel across this country and around the world — often at the worst of times, but when humanity also shows the best of itself. 

I got to experience what makes this country great. I sat with people in their best moments and in their hardest. They taught me about the human condition and what binds us. Whether it was covering the impact of the financial crisis from Wall Street to Detroit, or spending time with young women in jail in East Tennessee or on Rikers Island, or listening to grieving parents who lost their children to the opioid crisis in Ohio, or the repeated heartbreak of mass shootings, it is the human side of the story that has always moved me, motivated me, and made me appreciate this work so much.

Above all, it is the teams of journalists behind each of these stories – producing at all levels – that make it all possible. 

They are everything.

They are the heart of CNN.

There’s been plenty written about what’s wrong with journalism, and the challenges our industry faces. And it does. But there is also so much right with it. At the heart of everything we do is the pursuit of truth – it is the core of CNN. I remain CNN’s biggest fan and I’ll be watching and cheering you on every day. 

For now, my plan is to walk our children to school and pick them up (hopefully they won’t get sick of me!), and to support the evolution of journalism in every way I can, while preserving the human(ity) in it.

I’m excited for what is ahead – and I will be rooting for CNN always.

With gratitude and love.

Poppy 


“The future is now. Roll up your sleeves and let your passion flow. The country we carry in our hearts is waiting.”

                        -Bruce Springsteen



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