Early Start

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Early Start
Genre Morning television show
Presented by Christine Romans
Dave Briggs
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Production location(s) Time Warner Center
New York City
Running time 120 minutes
Original network CNN
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original release January 2, 2012 – present
External links

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.


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.

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 The 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, the show began at 3am ET and ran until 5am ET with New Day adding an additional hour during the 4am ET hour.

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 Channel would succeed him.

Notable moments[edit]

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 staff[edit]

Recurring segments[edit]

  • 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 links[edit]