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Kyra Phillips Moves from CNN to HLN; Ashleigh Banfield Moves Off ‘Early Start’ to Late Mornings

Some changes announced at CNN and HLN this morning.

First, Kyra Phillips, who has been an anchor with CNN since 1999, is leaving the network and moving a few floors away at CNN Center, to HLN where she will anchor a new daytime program launching later this summer.

Also, Ashleigh Banfield is moving off “Early Start” and will anchor her own hour later in the morning in Phillips’ previous CNN timeslot of 11amET. John Berman, who left ABC News for CNN, will now co-anchor “Early Start” with Zoraida Sambolin as well as contribute to other CNN programs and to CNN.com.

All the changes take effect in a few weeks.

Recently, Phillips had been anchoring daytime hours on HLN and Banfield has been anchoring daytime hours on CNN, so the moves are not unexpected.

HLN executive Scot Safon says, Phillips’ program “will highlight her strengths as a journalist as well as her insights and observations on the news and the people at the center of the stories.”

Memos from Safon and CNN EVP Ken Jautz, after the jump…

I am very excited to officially welcome Kyra Phillips to the HLN family. The HLN team has long been fans of Kyra’s work, and many of us have also had the tremendous pleasure of working directly with Kyra on projects at CNN and recently at HLN.

Kyra will join HLN to lead a new daytime program that will kick off late this summer. Her new program will highlight her strengths as a journalist as well as her insights and observations on the news and the people at the center of the stories. The show will be built around Kyra’s personality and passions, which include looking at the state of parenting and the modern family, civil rights and discrimination, children with disabilities and military families. The HLN audience will get the chance to see many aspects of Kyra’s talents and interests, and her show will help HLN expand its viewer promise during the day.

Among the many things Kyra brings to the HLN line-up is her acclaimed track record in reporting on major news events. Her award-winning work includes extensive reporting on Iraq, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and CNN’s Election coverage. She became the first female journalist to fly in an F-14 air-to-air combat training mission over the Persian Gulf, and has extensive police, SWAT and weapons training.

Kyra’s compassionate style, incisive questions and intrepid search for answers, coupled with her passion for telling the human side of news, are perfect for the HLN audience. We are so excited to add her talents and voice to our line-up.

Please join me in congratulating Kyra on her move to HLN.

Scot Safon

——

I wanted to share with you some changes we are making to our morning programming. John Berman has started at CNN and beginning next month he will co-anchor Early Start with Zoraida Sambolin as well as contribute to other CNN programs and to CNN.com. Also this summer, Ashleigh Banfield will move to CNN Newsroom to anchor her own program from 11 am- noon.

Kyra Phillips will move to HLN to lead a new daytime program later this summer. I’d like to take a moment to thank Kyra for her years of anchoring on CNN. We are delighted that her next step will be on HLN.

John, Zoraida and Ashleigh are all accomplished journalists and I know they will enhance our commitment to quality journalism and to reporting a broad range of stories without picking sides.

As always, if you have any questions feel free to ask.

Best,

Ken

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