CNN Sets Names, Premiere Dates for New Morning Shows

Soledad O’Brien - Head Shot - The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation - P - 2011
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Ashleigh Banfield and Zoraida Sambolin will host "Early Start," while Soledad O'Brien will anchor "Starting Point." Both will launch Jan. 2.

CNN has unveiled the names and premiere dates for a pair of its new morning shows.

The cabler announced Thursday that Ashleigh Banfield and Zoraida Sambolin will host Early Start, set to air mornings from 5-7 a.m. beginning Jan. 2.

In addition, Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien will air immediately afterward on weekdays from 7-9 a.m., also starting Jan. 2.

CNN announced in late October that it was revamping its morning lineup, with O'Brien and Banfield expected to be among the anchors of a new early programming schedule, thus dismantling its current American Morning Block after underwhelming ratings.

Banfield is a former ABC News co-anchor, while Sambolin is a former early morning anchor from Chicago.  

The news comes as CNN is looking to break through the morning show clutter dominated by the Today show, Good Morning America as well as Fox & Friends and Morning Joe.

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