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CNN hires O'Brien for 'AM'

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CNN confirmed speculation surrounding the new presenter of its weekday morning show, American Morning, by confirming Soledad O'Brien would begin anchoring the show in July.

AM launched in January 2002, anchored by Paula Zahn. Zahn moved to primetime after rolling coverage of the war in Iraq finished, anchoring a temporary placeholder show to fill the axed Connie Chung Tonight. Zahn, currently on leave, will anchor the network's American Evening show, which is "still in development" according to CNN today.

O'Brien joins CNN from NBC News, where she has co-anchored Weekend Today on the network since 1999. O'Brien said: "I am honoured and thrilled to join CNN and to work alongside journalists considered to be among the very finest in the business. I have had wonderful experiences at NBC News, and I am looking forward to the new opportunities that CNN offers as one of the most admired and trusted names in journalism."

O'Brien will co-anchor AM with Bill Hemmer, who has worked on the show alongside Jack Cafferty since its launch.

CNN/US Executive Vice President and General Manager, Teya Ryan, said: "We are delighted that Soledad will be joining our American Morning family. She is an excellent journalist and talented anchor and is extremely well suited to our morning news programme. We think American Morning viewers will find her smart, engaging and a perfect fit with Bill, Jack Cafferty and the rest of the American Morning team."
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