CNN’s ‘New Day’ On Battling ‘Fox & Friends’

By | Sunday June 16, 2013 @ 2:20pm PDT

Jeff Zucker has said that he’d consider CNN’s new morning show New Day a success if it beat the news network’s previous AM offerings in the ratings. That’s setting the bar pretty low for New Day which debuts at 6 AM ET on June 17 with recent ABC News transplant Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan as hosts, former KTLA morning show anchor Michaela Pereira as the news anchor and former Good Morning America chief Jim Murphy as Senior Executive Producer. Year to date Early Start and Starting Point averaged 308,000 total viewers and 123,000 in the Adults 25-54 demo from 6 AM to 9 AM for CNN. While up from last year, those numbers are still behind their cable rivals’ AM shows and way behind what the Big 3 networks pull in on their morning shows. On cable news, MSNBC’s Morning Joe has had 400,000 viewers and 139,000 among 25-54s YTD and Fox News Channel’s long time top spot Fox And Friends has averaged 1.141 million viewers and 274,000.

Related: Sarah Palin Returns To Fox News On June 17

While CNN’s ratings have been up in recent months after hitting lows last year, the network’s track record of debuts hasn’t been so good since Zucker took over in late January. Almost all of the new shows or experiments that CNN has attempted of late have premiered poorly with the exception of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown – and that wasn’t a Zucker baby like New Day has been for the former Today boss who has said that CNN will more “broadly” define what news is. Deadline spoke with Bolduan and Cuomo as well as Murphy (who was at Anderson Cooper’s syndicated talk show until this January) recently about the expectations for the show, fighting Fox & Friends, how much Zucker’s was involved with the new show, CNN’s bump and the difference between cable and network news.

DEADLINE: From the time that Jeff Zucker took over at CNN he said that a morning show was a top priority, so how is New Day going to get CNN some traction in the morning?
MURPHY: It’s going get some traction by being a very good morning news program. Without giving away too much, I would say that what you should expect is a very busy, energetic, story filled and information filled, fast moving, interesting morning news program with a broad range of stories and topics and a lot of resources from CNN helping to lift it up and cover a lot of things.

DEADLINE: OK, but, Jim, Chris and Kate, are you guys going to beat Fox and Friends?
BOLDUAN: We’re not going into it with the goal of beating Fox & Friends. We’re going into it with the goal of making a news program that we are proud of and that we want to watch. And that’s our goal. And do we want to improve our ratings? Do we want people to watch our show? Absolutely. We wouldn’t be in the business if we didn’t. Is there a perfect formula that we can apply with a surefire win in the ratings game? No. If I had that recipe I could sell it for a lot of money. So we are going to, first and foremost, put on a strong news program, a show that we ourselves will be proud of and want to watch, and we’re also allowing ourselves flexibility to evolve the show. Day one is not going to look like day one hundred and one. And that’s where our focus will be. And we’re not going to be picking a partisan angle. That’s not what CNN does and this is a news program that will stick very firmly with the CNN brand of news. Read More »

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CNN’s Jeff Zucker Says News And Generational Change Will Mark ‘New Day’

The morning newscast, which launches June 17, is a top priority for the CNN chief. And while it won’t break the mold, Jeff Zucker says in a briefing today that the effort will stand out over time by blending hard news with a relatively young anchor team featuring Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan, and news anchor Michaela Pereira. When he ran NBC’s Today Show “we did play with a lot of gimmicks. Cooking segments and outdoor concerts. Those are not going to be part of this kind of program…People are coming to CNN for the news.” Zucker says New Day won’t try to mimic MSNBC’s Morning Joe: “Its success has been with an elite audience but not with a broad audience. We’re not after a niche audience.” He praised the news focus of CBS This Morning but says New Day will have “a slightly different tone that you’ll get from a new generation.” He hopes to get a jump on his rivals by starting New Day at 6 AM. “The one time of day when people don’t necessarily know what’s happening is when they wake up,” he says. Read More »

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Kate Bolduan Named CNN Morning Show Co-Host With Chris Cuomo; KTLA’s Michaela Pereira Set As News Anchor

By | Thursday March 28, 2013 @ 7:06am PDT

CNN finally has its morning team, with congressional correspondent Kate Bolduan joining Chris Cuomo in the early hours. KTLA Los Angeles morning show anchor Michaela Pereira will serve as news anchor for the yet-unnamed New York-based show. “I’ve been looking forward to this announcement since I first joined CNN”, said CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker in a statement this morning. “Chris, Kate and Michaela are a dynamic team that will give our viewers in America a new way to start their day. We were floored with excitement when we saw Chris and Kate together on screen, and by adding Michaela to the mix we feel we have something very special. We believe there is an opening to do news in the morning with a fresh, new voice”.  No official launch date was given, though the show is set to premiere sometime in the spring. Read More »

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