Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Change in the weather at CBS: At today’s CBS This Morning TCA panel, executive producer Chris Licht talked about why the new morning competitor has eliminated that longtime staple of morning TV: national weather reports. While the show builds four local weather segments into each program, Licht, also VP of news programming, said local audiences identify with their local news personalities. He said the show does not want to introduce a “cliché weather guy.” However, “when weather is news on a national level, we will absolutely cover it,” the executive said, Appearing via satellite with the program’s co-hosts — Charlie Rose, Erica Hill and Gayle King — Licht also fielded questions about why CBS continues to try to compete in the morning talk program arena when the network has found little success against NBC’s behemoth Today and ABC’s Good Morning America. “It is the daypart that has the most upside, the most opportunity to make a lot of money,” Licht said. “To not try would be very foolish.” The question was asked: How much money? “A lot. I mean, not ’60 Minutes’ money, but a lot,” Licht replied.
Said the always-outspoken King: “We’re very well aware that CBS has not been No. 1 since Captain Kangaroo.” She said that in the past the network had made the mistake of trying to clone successful morning programs but now have “four different people” and a different approach. “I believe you keep trying until you get it right,” she said. Rose said that the show would be newsier and perhaps present lengthier segments on important political, scientific and social figures than other morning shows tend to do. However, he added that the show would also have “fun” guests.
Licht also said the show plans to have big-get Oprah Winfrey as a guest. His answer came in response to a question to King, the official Oprah BFF, about how long it would take to get “you know who” on the program. “Number one, I don’t think it’s an obvious question, who is you-know-who?” she cracked. “I’m going to make you say it.” To the question, she replied: “Yes, “We’re not stoopid with two o’s. We will have Oprah on when it makes sense to have her on.”
Both Rose and King said that they would treat any of their powerful friends who appear as aggressively as any other interviewees. Also, they won’t bring their friends on the show unless it makes sense. “The friends are all people anyone would want to have on the show,” King said. “I have a friend Adrian, I guarantee you will not see Adrian on the show.”