Charlie Rose, Gayle King to Join CBS Morning Show

3:37 PM PST 11/10/2011 by Marisa Guthrie
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Charlie Rose

The second revamp in as many years is expected to come in January when Rose will co-anchor the 7 a.m. hour with Erica Hill while King will co-host at 8 a.m. with Jeff Glor.

NEW YORK – CBS News will revamp its morning news program for the second time in as many years when it adds Charlie Rose and Gayle King to the third-place morning show.

Sources say the changes are likely to come early next year when construction is finished on a new studio at the news division’s West 57th Street headquarters. Current hosts Erica Hill and Jeff Glor will remain. But the fate of Chris Wragge, who segued to The Early Show last January from WCBS, is still undetermined.

Rose, who hosts his own program on PBS, will co-anchor the 7 a.m. hour with Hill, while King will co-anchor the 8 p.m. hour with Glor. The changes were first reported Thursday by the New York Times.

The morning show has been a priority for Jeff Fager and David Rhodes, who were named chairman and president, respectively, last February, barely a month into a complete on-air overhaul at Early. Chris Licht, the former producer of MSNBC’s successful morning program Morning Joe, was hired as president of programming last June. Among his mandates: fix the broken morning show, which for years has lagged behind NBC’s dominant Today and ABC’s Good Morning America.

Fager and Rhodes have emphasized the division’s hard news bona fides and made original reporting a priority at the CBS Evening News, which was taken over by Scott Pelley last June. And when it comes to morning TV, they have made it clear that do not intend to continue to adhere to the morning news template of their competitors.

“There has to be some differentiation,” Rhodes said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last summer. “The natural inclination in the mornings is to try to [do] what everybody else is doing. And it’s really infuriating because there’s no way that’s going to work. Actually when everybody’s just racing to be alike, it works really well for whoever happens to be in first place.”

Rose, 69, has had a long-running relationship with CBS News. In 1999, he joined 60 Minutes II as a correspondent and still does occasional pieces for 60 Minutes. His nightly PBS interview show is required viewing for a small but influential audience of influencers. And last month Rose told the New York Times that we would not “under any circumstances” give up the PBS show.

That King, 56, has a close relationship with Oprah Winfrey is not lost on executives at CBS News; sources say Winfrey is likely to pop up on the show to chat with her friend, much like she does on King’s radio show.

A CBS News spokesperson declined comment.

Email: Marisa.Guthrie@thr.com
Twitter: @MarisaGuthrie

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