CNN officially announced Tuesday that John Roberts will leave its morning show, "American Morning," at the end of the year. The network also said that it will be revamping the show and that a series of interim anchors will take Roberts' place alongside Kiran Chetry for the time being. In addition, the show's executive producer has jumped to NBC News.
In a memo to staff, CNN president Ken Jautz said that the network is "discussing" an Atlanta-based role for Roberts. Jautz said Roberts had "told me about his desire to be based in Atlanta so as to be near his fiancé and his desire to be able to spend more time reporting in the field on major stories and on documentaries."
"American Morning" has struggled mightily in the ratings for years, lagging behind all of its rivals--including on its sister station, HLN. Jautz told CNN staff that a retooling of the show is already underway:
We have been making some format changes to the show to make it better suited to the morning and to better reflect the way people view news as they're getting going with their day. By that I mean I've asked for the show to be more upbeat and faster-paced and for us to look carefully at the kinds of stories we're covering during that daypart.
T.J. Holmes will be the first of a series of rotating anchors to try out as Roberts' permanent replacement.
Moreover, the show's executive producer, Jamie Kraft, has left CNN to become a producer at "NBC Nightly News."