Erica Hill’s fast rise at CBS News might come as a big surprise to her former boss at CNN, Jonathan Klein. Hill left CNN only last January, after playing a supporting role on the nightly ‘Anderson Cooper 360.’ And this week, less than a year later, she’s been named as one of the co-anchors on ‘The Early Show’ on CBS, starting Jan. 3.
Klein, the former CNN president who left last September, once told Hill he thought her decision to go to CBS was a bad idea, according to the New York Post. “Why are you going there?” he reportedly asked her when she told him she was leaving. “It’s not like you’re anchoring ‘The Evening News’.”
That happens to be true, but the executive producer of ‘The Early Show’ apparently thinks highly of Hill, and is counting on her and and newly named co-anchor Chris Wragge, weatherperson Marysol Castro and news reader Jeff Glor to re-energize the moribund morning show.
The producer, David Friedman, explained why he made such a dramatic move – dropping the whole ‘Early Show’ team of Harry Smith, Maggie Rodriguez and Dave Price – in one fell swoop – in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
The main reason: Ratings. “Obviously if things were quote unquote working we wouldn’t make changes,” Friedman told THR. “We weren’t getting the results that we hoped to get.”
Friedman said the change had been in the works for a while. “Everything was considered,” he said, explaining that he finally decided it’s the whole team that has to go. “These shows are about the team,” the producer told the trade mag. “It’s about finding the right team.”
What do you think? Was the “team” the problem with ‘The Early Show’? And do you think the new team has the right stuff to boost the show’s third-place ratings?