CBS News is remaking it ratings challenged morning program, “The Early Show.”
PBS interviewer Charlie Rose, along with Oprah Winfrey's best friend and talk show host Gayle King, are being brought on board to recharge the network’s morning lineup.
Beginning Jan. 9, 2012, Rose will join anchor Erica Hill during the 7 a.m. hour, and King will host the 8 a.m. hour. The show will reportedly be given a new name and be branded and marketed as the serious option to the programming offered on NBC and ABC.
Chris Licht, former producer of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show, will serve as executive producer.
At a recent news conference in which the new show was unveiled, CBS News chairman and “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager spoke of the longtime low morning ratings that the network has experienced. Fager told the press, “It’s amazing, really, that the No. 1 network in television by far, isn’t doing better.”
Fager described the upcoming CBS contribution as a program that will focus on breaking news and provocative interviews while avoiding the conventional morning visuals such as a couch set, cooking segment, and wisecracking weather forecaster.
Licht quipped, “Where will the weatherman sit? Oh wait,” referencing the adjusted set.
Fager indicated that “it will be hard news, it will be real news. But it's not going to be all serious.”
According to the executive, the stories included will range “from war zones to [financial] markets, to pop culture.” He stressed Rose’s hefty high-profile contact list as a potential guest resource.
CBS’ new show will essentially be an experiment in morning news fare, which will determine whether or not a hard-news approach in the morning. will boost sagging ratings.
As Hill told the press, morning TV “is very much about who you want to wake up with.”
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