CNN names to EPs to ‘CNN This Morning’ team

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Lauren Mensch and Chris Russell have been named executive producers of “CNN This Morning,” overseeing the network’s flagship morning show.

The pair will split duties, with Mensch serving as showrunner and working out of the control room during the broadcast, while Russell will manage the teams who work on the show during dayside and evening hours.

The show already has teams that work on content for upcoming editions during the day, evening and overnight, but this leadership structure is designed to make the 24-hour operations even stronger.

“In just over four months, ‘CNN This Morning’ has become a destination for top newsmakers and is well positioned to grow under the leadership of Lauren and Chris, who bring years of experience producing exciting and relevant morning television,” said Ryan Kadro, senior vice president of content strategy in a statement. “With the recent additions of broadcast producers Carolyn Cremen and Rachid Haoues to our talented senior staff, we’re building a dynamic team to help the show evolve and succeed heading into a major election news cycle.”

The show, however, has failed to produce significant ratings improvement and already has an on-air scandal after co-anchor Don Lemon made ageist and sexist comments on air. He also has reportedly been difficult to work with.

Mensch joins “CNN This Morning” after nearly a decade at CNN, where she was most recently the executive producer of “CNN Newsroom” with Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell, leading coverage of some of the biggest stories of the last decade including the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the aftermath of January 6th insurrection.

Russell’s career includes successful chapters at CBS, NBC and NewsNation working across linear, digital, and streaming. Russell joins CNN from NewsNation, where he was the executive producer for the analysis show “On Balance with Leland Vittert.”

Previously, he was the senior executive producer at NBCUniversal, overseeing the network’s daily lifestyle programming on Quibi.

Russell joined NBC from CBS, where as co-executive producer he built ET Live, a pop culture streaming service rooted in the “Entertainment Tonight” brand. As senior producer he spearheaded the construction and launch of CBSN, the network’s 24/7 streaming news network.

Before moving to streaming, Russell spent a decade at CBS News, including at “CBS This Morning” where he joined the senior staff that created and launched the broadcast. While there, Russell filled a number of roles including managing the signature “Eye-Opener” franchise and serving as broadcast producer.

CNN CEO Chris Licht was the creator and original EP of “CBS This Morning.”