CBS in Talks to Rebrand 'The Insider' as 'OMG Now' With Yahoo
Hollywood newsmagazine The Insider may be getting a makeover for the digital age.
CBS, which owns and distributes the companion show to Entertainment Tonight, is in talks to rebrand the show as OMG Now, which is the name of a popular Yahoo vertical, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Brad Bessey, who had been at E.T., is in talks to return as showrunner of the revamped daily show. Linda Bell Blue, longtime executive producer of both E.T. and The Insider, is expected to have the same title on the new version of Insider.
Now in its ninth season, Insider is currently hosted by Kevin Frazier and Brooke Anderson, who are expected to remain after the format and name change, which would take place in January 2013.
Bessey had left E.T. to be executive producer of The Talk on CBS when it launched. However after less than a year he left that show, and since has been rumored to be up for a number of other jobs.
A source tells The Hollywood Reporter that as part of the deal Yahoo is expected to pay CBS about $10 million. CBS declined to comment. News of the negotiation was first reported by Broadcasting and Cable.
CBS has held discussions with various media outlets about co-branding The Insider but now appears to be dong the deal with Yahoo instead.
The deal could close within a week, according to a source, although it's not clear whether the exit on Tuesday of CBS Television Distribution head John Nagowski will complicate the negotiation.
The Insider debuted in 2004 as a spinoff of E.T. It has gone through a series of different formats, including a tabloid approach and a roundtable-style presentation like The View.
Since Sept. 2010, Insider has been a traditional newsmagazine. While E.T. is the top-rated syndicated entertainment news program, Insider has ranked near the bottom in a competitive space. In the most recent national ratings (for the week beginning Sept. 18) E.T. had a total household rating of 3.6, followed by Inside Edition with a 2.9, TMZ with a 1.9, Access Hollywood with a 1.7, Extra with a 1.5 and then The Insider with a 1.4.
Frazier was named co-anchor of Insider in March 2011 and shortly after that Laura Spencer was replaced by Anderson.