'E! News' Taps 'Good Day L.A.' Vet as Executive in Charge (Exclusive)

Lisa Kridos
Lisa Kridos

E! News has found a new leader.

The entertainment news show tapped Lisa Kridos, who spent 15 years as EP of Good Day L.A, as the executive in charge. E! News president Cyndi McClellan suggests she was drawn to Kridos’ “talk meets news” background as the NBCUniversal cable network’s nightly news program looks to continue tweaking its format to stay both fresh and relevant in an era of myriad choices on air, online and on mobile.

The news of her hiring follows Bruce Perlmutter's departure in July, though Kridos’ role will be focused on on-air production rather than editorial for both the show and the website. So while the latter churns out stories on a minute-by-minute news cycle, Kridos will look to identify those that have legs and thus make sense for a more in-depth or second-take segment on-air later in the night.

Over the past two months, she has made herself familiar with the E! News format and the staff through her role as a consultant to the program, which reaches nearly 7 million viewers on a weekly basis. Already, shifts have been implemented to include more of a "live" feel. Thus far, that has entailed cutting down the time between taping and air considerably. The result is a greater sense of urgency and a show that doesn't feel as staged and rehearsed. (The occasional slip-ups, or human moments, are kept in to illustrate the latter.)

“Viewers are going to see more personality and breadth in the show, which will give them a connection to the stories that we do that is a little bit deeper,” McClellan says of the continuing changes from Kridos, who served a short stint on Ricki Lake's most recent talk show after her lengthy tenure at Good Day. While there could be a scenario in which E! News expands beyond its hourlong format, McClellan notes, there are no plans to add more on-air talent.

What will remain is the show's upbeat, positive nature -- or "fan focused" and "celebrity-friendly" feel, as McClellan puts it -- which is to say viewers will have to look elsewhere for negative, tabloid fare. To date, that positive tone coupled with the fact that the median age of an E! News viewer is 35 (rather than 50-something like many of the competing entertainment news magazines) makes it a draw for Madison Avenue as well as for studios and reps. 

E-mail: Lacey.Rose@THR.com
Twitter: @LaceyVRose

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