8:34am PT by Marisa Guthrie
CBS News Finalizes New Contracts With Gayle King and Charlie Rose (Exclusive)
CBS News has finalized new long-term contracts with Gayle King and Charlie Rose that will keep the anchors at CBS This Morning for the foreseeable future.
Norah O’Donnell, 41, joined the show in July 2012 from CBS’ Washington bureau and still has another year left on her deal.
Rose and King were seen as something of an odd couple when they were picked to anchor the re-imagined program at CBS News, which had struggled for years to find the right tone in the mornings. The strategy at CBS has been to offer a newsy alternative to the more traditional morning shows on ABC and NBC, which include a regular menu of soft features, cooking segments and weather reports. And while CTM still sits in the third place behind Good Morning America and Today, network executives are quick to point out that the show has added blue-chip advertisers since its launch in January 2012.
So far this season, CTM is averaging 3.3 million viewers, an increase of 6 percent year-over-year. Top-rated GMA is pulling in 5.5 million viewers followed by Today’s 4.9 million, according to Nielsen. Both GMA and Today are down slightly year-over-year while all three broadcasts have shed viewers in the 25-54 demographic. Third-place CBS is down the least at 4 percent. But GMA and Today are in a dog-fight in the demo with GMA about 150,000 viewers ahead of Today in that measure.
The extensions for King, 60, and Rose, 73, come amid some personnel churn in the morning news wars. Last year NBC Sports executives lured Josh Elliott away from GMA. Since then, Elliott has appeared on Today to talk about various sports stories and there is still much industry speculation about a more regular role for him on Today. He was replaced at GMA by Amy Robach, while Michael Strahan joined the show as a part-time correspondent. NBC News executives locked up Today co-host Savannah Guthrie for at least three more years. And next month Noah Oppenheim, a former NBC News producer who left the network in 2008, takes up his post as senior vp with oversight of Today.