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Poppy Harlow announces she will exit CNN after nearly two decades

Updated:2024-05-14 10:10    Views:112

Poppy Harlow has announced that she will be leaving CNN. Poppy Harlow has announced that she will be leaving CNN. Craig Barritt/Getty Images for TIME CNN  — 

Poppy Harlow, the longtime CNN anchor who most recently co-helmed “CNN This Morning,” announced Friday that she will exit the network.

“The nearly two decades since have been a gift,” Harlow wrote in an email to colleagues. “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,” Harlow added. “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.”

Mark Thompson, CNN’s chief executive, praised Harlow as a “unique talent who combines formidable reporting and interviewing prowess with a human touch that audiences have always responded to.”

Poppy Harlow attends 17th Annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at The American Museum of Natural History on December 10, 2023 in New York City. Poppy Harlow attends 17th Annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at The American Museum of Natural History on December 10, 2023 in New York City. Mike Coppola/Getty Images for CNN

“She’s been a wonderful colleague at CNN, and we know she will have much success in her future endeavors,” Thompson said.

Amy Entelis, executive vice president of talent and content, also praised Harlow in a statement, saying she “leaves CNN after more than 16 memorable years, thousands of hours in the anchor chair and hundreds of reports from the field.”

“Poppy is a brilliant journalist who sets the standard for reporting with compassion and humanity, and we will miss her,” Entelis said.

Harlow joined CNN in 2008 and worked in a variety of roles at the network. During her time, she reported across the world on some of the biggest and most consequential news stories, including the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and 2015 Paris terror attacks.

Harlow, who has a background in business journalism, hosted the “Boss Files” podcast and also regularly landed notable executives for interviews, including Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill and Melinda Gates, Susan Wojcicki, Jamie Dimon and others.

In 2022, then-CNN chief Chris Licht tapped Harlow to help relaunch the network’s flagship morning show. Harlow became co-host with Kaitlan Collins and Don Lemon. The show, however, struggled to capture an audience and behind-the-scenes drama fueled tabloid headlines. Lemon was ultimately dismissed from the network and Collins was moved to helm a solo prime time show.

Poppy Harlow in 2022. Poppy Harlow in 2022. Jeremy Freeman

Thompson, after taking over from Licht, announced in February that he would reconfigure CNN’s morning lineup. “CNN This Morning” changed time slots and moved to Washington, D.C., where it is now hosted by Kasie Hunt.

The new morning show lineup left Harlow without an anchor slot. CNN engaged in discussions with Harlow, but ultimately she decided to exit the network.

In her email to colleagues, Harlow said that in the immediate future she looks forward to spending more time with family.

“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,” Harlow wrote. “I’m excited for what is ahead – and I will be rooting for CNN always.”





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