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20 Nov 2011

Gayle King exits OWN; ‘Early Show’ premiere date set

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November 20, 2011 Category: Entertainment Posted by:


CBS just made it official. Charlie Rose and Gayle King will join its morning program “The Early Show” on Jan. 9, according to The Hollywood Reporter.


The long rumored news was announced today as the anchors and CBS News executives gathered for a press conference at the networks West. 57th Street headquarters.


Rose will anchor the 7 AM hour, which in the morning news template contains the hard news, while King will join the show in the 8 a.m. hour. Chris Licht has been tapped as executive producer. Erica Hill, 35, will stay on and will co-anchor the 7 AM hour with Rose, who turns 70 in January.


King’s addition to CBS means she will be ending her work for best friend Oprah Winfrey’s cable channel OWN. The last episode of OWN’s “The Gayle King Show” will aired last Thursday.


“We are so happy for Gayle’s opportunity of a lifetime,” OWN presidents Sheri Salata and Erik Logan said in a statement. “She’ll be a fantastic host for the new morning show on CBS and we wish her all the best. Although her show will not continue on OWN, we look forward to her joining us from time-to-time as her schedule allows.”


“The Early Show” will move from its studio near Manhattan’s Plaza Hotel into a new studio in the broadcast center where there will be no street-side windows, a staple of morning television pioneered by the “Today” show.


“Early” is a distant third in the morning news wars. For the first six weeks of the season, the CBS morning show is averaging 2.4 million viewers with 1 million in the 25-54 demographic that news programs target. Those mark season-to-season declines of six percent and eight percent, respectively.


“Today’ continues to chug along at No. 1, where it has been for nearly 16 years, averaging 5.2 million viewers (from 7-9 AM) with 2.3 million in the demo. And ABC’s “Good Morning America” has pulled closer to “Today” this season, averaging 4.7 million viewers with 1.8 million in the demo for gains of 13 percent among total viewers and the demo.

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