March 13th, 2023

CNN Taps Lauren Mensch and Chris Russell as Executive Producers for “CNN This Morning”

Lauren Mensch and Chris Russell have been named Executive Producers of CNN This Morning, overseeing the network’s flagship morning show and reporting to Ryan Kadro, Senior Vice President of Content Strategy. Mensch will serve as executive producer and showrunner, leading editorial direction and overseeing control room execution to bring the show to air every weekday morning from 6-9am ET. Russell joins CNN to executive produce during dayside and evening hours, bolstering the show’s 24-hour infrastructure and editorial operations so it’s best positioned for the following morning. 

“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.  “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.”

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. Additionally, she executive produced the Emmy-nominated CNN/Sesame Street Town Halls aimed at helping kids and families understand complicated news issues like the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccinations, and race protests. She was also the Executive producer of CNN’s weekly primetime shows The Van Jones Show and The Axe Files. Mensch joined CNN in 2013 as senior producer for New Day. Prior to CNN, Mensch was a producer for the Emmy-nominated, nationally syndicated talk show Anderson Live. She began her career as a producer at Inside Edition. Mensch holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from University of Pennsylvania, and a master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Northwestern University.

An innovative, veteran producer, 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 On Balance with Leland Vittert. Previously, he was the senior executive producer at NBC Universal, 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. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Media and Politics from New York University.

Russell joins CNN on March 13. He and Mensch will be based out of CNN’s New York Bureau.