CBS revamps morning show – again

Here we go again: The Church Of Tisch is revamping its perennially low-rated morning show for the 284th time – and there may be changes to WBBM’s dawn patrol newscasts as well.

CBS canceled The Early Show on Tuesday and is launching a new two-hour newscast with the rather odd pairing of Charlie Rose and Gayle King with Early Show holdover Erica Hill as a secondary anchor, with a harder news edge than rivals Today and Good Morning America. The title of CBS’ morning is changing; it won’t be named The Early Show.

As a result, Gayle King is exiting Oprah Winfrey’s OWN channel – she had a talk show on the cable network, and she also exiting the Oprah radio channel at SiriusXM. However, Charlie Rose is expected to retain his gig at PBS, where he hosts a nightly one-hour talk show.

The changes take effect January 9th.

Meanwhile, changes may also come to CBS-owned WBBM’s morning news show. According to an article posted Monday at Robert Feder’s Time out Chicago media blog, station management could be soon forced to shake up its barely-watched newscast, which has been pretty much in auto-pilot mode since the departure of co-anchor Steve Bartelstein earlier this year.

Just like its inferior lead-out, WBBM’s 4:30 a.m.-to-7 a.m. newscast has been barely visible in the ratings as the station has been unable to take advantage of viewers growing appetite for news in the early-morning hours.

CBS’ morning programs have trailed its competitors since the television was basically invented with change after change after change, with several low points in between – particularly Phyllis George’s gaffes on the CBS Morning News in the mid-1980’s and the ten-month abomination that was The Morning Program with Rolland Smith and Mariette Hartley in 1987. And speaking of abominations (at least on a local level), WBBM’s own Monsters and Money In The Morning with WSCR-AM and Comcast SportsNet castoffs Mike North and Dan Jiggetts and Terry Savage and Mike Hegedus languished for eight months in 2010 in what is considered by yours truly as the worst local morning show ever.

Thought: Charlie Rose and “Oprah’s Best Friend” Gayle King? The only odder couple than this for a news show is a pairing of Mancow Mueller and Marie Osmond. Wow, and I thought it wouldn’t get lower than The Morning Program. How about naming this show The Church Of Tisch Epic Fail Morning Show? As for WBBM management’s refusal to fix its awful morning newscasts – if that’s their attitude, then dump them and run infomercials instead (the infomercials would likely get higher ratings anyway.)

Did you know? Both Charlie Rose and Gayle King each had short stints in syndicated series in the 1990’s – Rose briefly hosted Twentieth Television’s first-run magazine strip Personalities from the producers of A Current Affair for two months in the fall of 1990 (the series would later be renamed EDJ in July 1991 and shifted its focus to entertainment news before getting canceled in October of that year), while Gayle King hosted her own short-lived talk show during the 1997-98 season.