"American Morning" has lagged in ratings growth while the rest of the news channel's schedule is up by double digits, CNN president Jonathan Klein said in announcing the changes. "We think we can do even better, and we think the show deserves to," Klein told a telephone news conference. The "hard news" focus on "American Morning" will continue, he said.
Miles O'Brien and Soledad O'Brien, who are unrelated, will remain at the network as special correspondents, Klein said. Roberts, who came to CNN after leaving CBS last year, has been reporting, hosting the weekend show "This Week at War" and filling in as an anchor on "American Morning" and other programs. At CBS, he was a regular substitute for Dan Rather on the "CBS Evening News."
Klein described Roberts as a "classic news anchor" who's also distinguished himself as a reporter on stories including the Israel-Lebanon war and the war in Iraq.
As for Chetry, who joined CNN in February from Fox News Channel, "one look at her tells you why she deserves the spot," Klein said. "She's a terrific anchor who lights up the screen." As for the anchors who are leaving "American Morning," Klein said they will be able to pursue their "passion": reporting for Soledad O'Brien and science and aviation stories for Miles O'Brien. The two were paired in 2005.