ABC News’ Good Morning America outstripped NBC News’ Today by 761,000 viewers and 279,000 news demo viewers the week of April 7. It’s GMA‘s seventh consecutive week on top of the morning infotainment show race in both metrics, and …
The most camera-ready opponent of Comcast’s merger plans with Time Warner Cable — who, ironically, owes his big break to Comcast-owned NBC — went on CBS This Morning to again blast the proposed merger, saying “consumers will end up paying more, there will be less competition, there will be less innovation and, worse, even worse service.” Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) this morning said he sent out an email to his constituents to get their “feelings about what kind of service they get from Comcast” and whether they think the proposed deal “will be good.” “I got 60,000 responses, and believe me, people don’t like their service from Comcast, and they don’t think this deal is going to help them,” said Franken — who, before entering politics in a big way was a writer and performer on the now Comcast-owned NBC’s Saturday Night Live from its launch in the mid 1970s until 1980, returning in 1985 for another decade. Watch his appearance here:
Franken matters because he sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee which, later this month, will hold hearings on the reported $45 billion deal that would give Comcast 30 million subscribers in 43 of the nation’s top 50 markets — aka about 30% of pay TV customers. Franken reminded CBS This Morning anchors this morning he hadn’t been any too happy about the Comcast/NBCU merger either.
The trick to co-anchoring CBS’ morning show, contributing to 60 Minutes, and anchoring two programs for PBS is to “not read the book twice” – and two naps a day, Charlie Rose said this morning. “I’m worried about you, Charlie. I’m worried about your health and you’re doing too much,” one TV critic said during his Q&A for PBS. “I’m flattered you worry about me and I would like you to continue to worry about me,” Rose responded to her. His PBS exec producer calls him “an intellectual athlete.”
Back in May, PBS, home of Rose’s syndicated Charlie Rose program since 1993, announced Rose also would host a new Friday night primetime show (Fridays at 8:30 PM) titled Charlie Rose Weekend, debuting in July. It replaced the net’s Need To Know newsmag. The program combines highlights from the 71-year-old host’s late-night program with new interviews and discussions of topics in politics, science, business, culture, media and sports.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Three days after being announced as a new co-host on CBS This Morning, former CBS News chief White House correspondent Norah O’Donnell joined her fellow hosts Charlie Rose and Gayle King along with her CBS News bosses on a TCA panel to promote the news division. O’Donnell replaces Erica Hill. It was made clear that the timing of the shakeup isn’t coincidental and comes as the Presidential election enters the homestretch. “It really is about Norah and her abilities,” said CBS News chairman Jeff Fager. “We just feel like in terms of where we’re going, and with Norah’s experience in reporting and where we’re going with our broadcast, that she’s just such a perfect fit. Especially going into the election, coming right out of the White House, she just adds so much. And Erica’s been a great pro for us. She helped launch this program. We hope she stays. We just think this is a better fit.” For her part, O’Donnell said that she was “thrilled” to be on the broadcast. “It’s an exciting time,” she added. “Two hours of live television. There’s nothing else like it. I think we’re now 100 days out from the election so we’ve got two conventions coming up, three Presidential debates, one Vice Presidential debate, so I’m excited to join them on politics and do what I do best. Also some new stuff. I made the decision this week.”
The only face on CBS This Morning from CBS’ previous morning program, Erica Hill, is now gone. CBS News has named its Chief White House Correspondent Norah O’Donnell co-host of CBS This Morning. O’Donnell, who was once considered a possible successor to Meredith Vieira on Today, will join co-hosts Charlie Rose and Gayle King beginning this fall. The news comes after O’Donnell recently substituted for Hill, sitting next to Rose and King on the CBS morning program. Here’s what O’Donnell said about her guest stint on the show just last week: “I told Erica Hill who is letting me fill in for her, I promised not to leave too many crumbs in her keyboard; I won’t mess up her office too much.” Ironic, huh?
Three months after her BFF Gayle King started on CBS This Morning, Oprah Winfrey will make an appearance on the revamped morning program. She will sit down with King and her co-hosts Charlie …
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.