Why is HLN News not on today? Morning Express and more axed by CNN

Kim Schewitz December 5, 2022
Why is HLN News not on today? Morning Express and more axed by CNN
Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for GCAPP

Today’s HLN News program was shorter than usual and will be the last. If you tuned in past 8 am EST, you might have wondered why Morning Express is not on today.

CNN will axe all live programming on its HLN network, previously called CNN Headline News, in order to meet its goal of cutting $3 billion in costs, Variety reports.

A number of popular correspondents and journalists were also sacked from the Warner Bros. Discovery-owned outlet.

What happened to HLN News?

CNN will no longer produce original or live programming for its sister network HLN. The channel’s true-crime shows will remain but will now be produced in partnership with Investigation Discovery.

It comes as CNN Chairman and CEO Chris Licht, who has held the position since April 2022, and the new owner of the company, Warner Bros. Discovery, look to make substantial cuts to costs.

Allegedly, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav made a commitment to investors that the company would cut $3 billion in costs after acquiring the assets of the company.

Meanwhile, Licht had warned of an upcoming era of ‘noticeable change‘ at the outlet back in October.

Morning Express with Robin Meade discontinued after two decades

Morning Express was HLN’s live morning news program and filled the 6 am – 11 am slot. It has been on air since 2005 and Robin Meade anchored the show ever since.

Famous for her tagline ‘Morning sunshine!’, Robin Meade accrued a large fan base over the years.

Writing for The Atlantic, journalist Brian Stelter said of her: “Meade has done it [AM news] with infectious joy for 21 years. TikTok’s emerging stars could learn a thing or two from Meade about connecting all the way through the camera lens to the person on the other side.”

A simulcast of CNN This Morning will take the Morning Express time slot, but this reportedly is due to long-standing cable deals that say HLN must carry some amount of straight news

Reactions from viewers

Viewers, some of whom have watched the news on HLN for many years were devastated to discover that Morning Express in particular would be canceled.

One fan commented on the program’s Facebook Page: “This program made it easy to wake up so early and it won’t be the same without your show. Thank you for having been there.”

Another expressed their dismay at the show’s termination on Instagram. They wrote: “Am I the only one that’s heartbroken right now? I look forward to Robin, and the entire team, every morning. They are literally the only reason I kept cable along with streaming. Thank you all, for your hard work and lightheartedness. Best of luck to all of you, and we hope to see you soon in the future! 😢💔”

Another fan took to Twitter to share his view that CNN”s treatment of HLN staff, and Robin Meade who he referred to as ‘an institution’, was unfair.

A Brief History of HLN News

The HLN network was launched on New Year’s Day of 1982, which was 19 months after CNN itself had gone on air.

The idea was to create a headline-driven TV channel that would mimic the reactivity of news radio, but as social media became mainstream, programs like this started to become somewhat obsolete.

The network has experimented greatly with different types of content in an attempt to stay relevant and now has a heavy focus on true crime series such as The Forensic Files.

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Kim Schewitz is a London-based staff writer at The Focus and HITC. She is a gold-standard NCTJ-qualified journalist with a passion for pop culture, politics, feminism, and trends. She has previously written for publications including The i paper and Glamour UK and previously worked in local news. Kim graduated from the University of Bristol in 2020 with a first-class degree in French and Spanish. She is passionate about modern languages and has spent time living in Paris and Barcelona.