'CBS This Morning' Premiere Posts Modest Ratings Gains

CBS This Morning On Set Promo - H 2011

CBS This Morning On Set Promo - H 2011

The revamped CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Gayle King joining Erica Hill, was watched by 2.68 million viewers for its debut on Monday, according to preliminary Nielsen numbers.

The show was up 5 percent in households compared to the network's Monday average in December (excluding holidays). That may not be a big opening, but the true test will come as the show gets several weeks under its belt.

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Monday’s show did not feature a blockbuster interview that could have juiced premiere ratings; Rose interviewed GOP contender Newt Gingrich and King talked to rocker and breast cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge.

CBS has had the perennially third-place morning news program behind NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America. And the addition of Rose and King is the second anchor shuffle in as many years. CBS News chairman Jeff Fager and president David Rhodes took over last February and have vowed to make the news division competitive in the potentially lucrative daypart.

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As with their evening news strategy, they have stressed original reporting and a harder news focus. The nod to counter programming on CBS This Morning includes the jettisoning of requisite morning TV components like cooking segments, the weatherman and the street side studio.