The morning show wars are sometimes the ugliest when the battle is going on not just in the ratings but also behind the scenes of a troubled show, and the CBS “Early Show” is facing both scenarios.
It’s been speculated in the press for months that the “Early Show” is already looking to drop its revamped morning team of Chris Wragge and Erica Hill, the new crew brought in to replace co-hosts Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez, who were fired in November 2010. That shake-up was followed by the axing of executive producer David Friedman in May, but the show continues to snooze in the ratings more than ever.
So who’s on the short list to replace the replacements? As previously reported, producers are courting news veteran/PBS host Charlie Rose in attempt take the show in a different direction – a more serious news-driven program featuring less light-weight fluff and stuff.
Sources say the vibe new VP of programming Chris Licht is going for is more like MSNBC’s popular cable morning offering than CBS’ broadcast counterparts.
“They want the show to be politically oriented as they head into the 2012 election cycle,” according to The Post. “It will be a similar format to MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe.’ ”
Now The New York Post is throwing talk-show host and Oprah bestie Gayle King into the mix, reporting that her name has been mentioned as a possible co-host alongside Rose. She currently hosts “The Gayle King Show” on Winfrey’s OWN, but waking up early for a broadcast gig would be a big promotion for her.
“Gayle was a regular on ‘Morning Joe,’ ” a source says to The Post. “[Licht] sees Gayle as a Mika [Brzezinski] for Charlie who would be the Joe [Scarborough].”
The Rose rumors have since been validated by Rose himself, who recently confirmed he is in talks with the network.
“I’m having conversations with CBS because I’m a member of that family,” Rose said to Newsweek. “I’m intrigued by the fact that they want to do it differently. They understand that their success will not lie in duplicating what’s already on morning television.”
A CBS spokesperson declined to comment on the speculation.
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