Los Angeles Times
When “CBS This Morning” moves to a Times Square studio and adds co-host Nate Burleson next month, it will also have a new name and format, CBS News announced Tuesday.
Starting Tuesday, the program will be called “CBS Mornings,” replacing the title used since 2012. The new moniker signifies an effort to refresh the program, which has seen its audience erode since its founding co-host Charlie Rose was fired in November 2017 over sexual harassment allegations.
Neeraj Khemlani, president and co-head of CBS News and Stations, said the program will put a greater emphasis on the kind of original reporting and more intricate storytelling viewers see on its long-running weekend program “CBS Sunday Morning,” the most-watched morning show in television.
“CBS Mornings” will also use the signature sun logo of “CBS Sunday Morning” and the Sunday program’s theme music, Gottfried Reiche’s “Abblasen,” a Baroque-era trumpet fanfare performed by Wynton Marsalis.
Expanding the use of graphics and music from “CBS Sunday Morning” is a way to let weekday viewers know they can see the same kind of deeply reported stories that have been the hallmark of the Sunday program. During the week, such features will be shown during the 8 a.m. hour of “CBS Mornings.”
“In a world where it’s harder to cut through the clutter, we’re building a seven-day-a -week franchise,” Khemlani said.
The title change coincides with the debut of Burleson, a former NFL star and current CBS Sports analyst, who will work alongside co-hosts Gayle King and Tony Dokoupil. They will broadcast from a new studio on Broadway in the ViacomCBS-owned building that served as the home for MTV’s daily program “Total Request Live.”
How “CBS Mornings” can capture the essence of “CBS Sunday Morning” on a daily basis remains to be seen. The Sunday show hosted by Jane Pauley is known for its longer segments, low-key approach and subject matter that isn’t typically covered on other network news programs.
Khemlani believes the audience will get the change because “CBS This Morning” experimented with more in-depth segments over the summer – such as a Charlie D’Agata report on Afghan interpreters shown well ahead of the U.S. military pullout in Afghanistan – and saw a ratings lift.
“When we tell great stories, people come to us,” Khemlani said.
The more feature-oriented format will also give CBS News more content to offer on parent company ViacomCBS’ streaming platform, Paramount+.
“These kinds of pieces are evergreens, have a longer shelf life,” Khemlani said.
The Saturday edition of “CBS This Morning” with co-hosts Michelle Miller, Jeff Glor and Dana Jacobson will be renamed “CBS Saturday Morning.” The program, which has seen its audience grow in recent years, has already moved toward a mix that includes more feature stories.
CBS has long been the third-place network in the morning behind ABC’s “Good Morning America” and NBC’s “Today.” “CBS This Morning,” launched as a newsier alternative to the other two shows, saw its ratings grow in each of the first five years on the air.
The trend reversed after the departure of Rose, a key attraction for many viewers who wanted a serious news alternative in the morning. “CBS This Morning” and its competitors are all feeling pressure from the declining number of homes watching traditional TV.
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