CBS taps Charlie Rose, Gayle King for ‘Early Show’

Jennifer Collins Nov 14, 2011

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Tomorrow, CBS will announce new regulars for its third place morning show.

The New York Times reports the network’s tapped Charlie Rose — known for his hard-hitting interviews on PBS – and Gayle King, known most famously as Oprah’s best friend.

As Marketplace’s Jennifer Collins tells us. It’s all a part of CBS’s continuing battle for morning viewers.

JENNIFER COLLINS: When it comes to morning talk, CBS has been stuck in third place for years behind NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America.

MARTY KAPLAN: CBS has tried everything. They even tried me.

Marty Kaplan is a former White House speechwriter. Today he’s a media professor at the University of Southern California.

KAPLAN: CBS doesn’t have a chance to compete with those other two networks.

The network has been trying to beef up its hard news operation… And so now it turns to The Early Show.

SHARI ANNE BRILL: I kind of think of it as extreme make-over morning news edition in the run up to the 20-12 elections.

Shari Anne Brill is a media consultant.

BRILL: You know with all the political advertising dollars showing up. A hard hitting format may be where a lot of the politicians will want to place some of their money.

Political TV advertising could reach $3 billion in 2012. But morning shows typically bank on programming like this:

MATT LAUER: Just ahead look who’s here: Justin Bieber.

And for good reason. The Today show has 35 percent of morning show viewers. Good Morning America gets about 30 percent of viewers. CBS gets 20 percent. The rest goes to Fox and cable networks…

BRILL: There’s more fragmentation and more choice.

Andrew Tyndall, who monitors the TV news, says for CBS – just shifting to hard news in the morning could be enough.

ANDREW TYNDALL: So even if you don’t attract any extra audience at 7 o’clock in the morning, it could be that you establish CBS news as a whole as being a more serious minded brand and that’s going to help you in other day parts.

At the very least it’ll give the network another shot at competing for morning viewers.

I’m Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.

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