AM Shake-up Looming?

Almost three years after CNN/US prez Jon Klein brought in John Roberts and Kiran Chetry to replace American Morning co-anchors Miles O’Brien and Soledad O’Brien because of flagging ratings, it appears that he may be considering a similar shake-up. When Klein announced the change on April 4, 2007, AM total viewers averaged 372,000 (in 2007 first quarter) according to Broadcastingcable.com. Today, AM total viewers remain unchanged at 372,000 (in 2010 first quarter through March 1, 2010) according to TVbytheNumbers.com’s figures and the author’s computations.

In the last few weeks, Roberts and Chetry have been seen less and less together behind the AM desk. When either has been absent, it seems that the present one has been paired with a new guest co-anchor. In fact, Klein and/or AM EP Jamie Kraft have paraded before their audience a long list of fill-ins, e.g.,  regulars like T.J. Holmes and Christine Romans, a less frequent guest co-host (if ever before) Jim Acosta, and first-timers Sara Sidner and Kate Bolduan* as if it were an AM casting call.

If indeed Klein is considering such a change, it might actually inure to the benefit of both Roberts and Chetry. In re Roberts, perhaps, he will finally get his dream job that he lost to Katie Couric, i.e., the CBS Evening News anchor seat. (Was it he, rather than Anderson Cooper, who was reported talking with CBS executives about an anchor role as CBS News is cutting costs and Couric’s reportedly $15-million-per-year contract is set to expire in barely more than a year?) As to Chetry, maybe, FNC Senior Veep of Programming Bill Shine will let bygones be bygones if his former Fox & Friends (First and Weekend) co-host will embrace FNC anew (as her platinum standard vis-a-vis CNN as  her “gold standard”): Shine surely needs Chetry to add to the depth of his bevy of brainy beauties, especially if its rising star Megyn Kelly replaces Greta van Susteren on On the Record.

Perchance, Klein could jump start AM’s ratings with a new cast. And, simultaneously, Roberts and Chetry’s respective careers to boot. A possible win-win-win.

*American Morning – 03/04/10 – @5:59 a.m. ET [To guest co-host Bolduan, Roberts remarked, “Good to have you with us this morning. Your first day on dawn patrol.”]

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11 Responses to “AM Shake-up Looming?”

  1. Johnny Says:

    I wouldn’t even use 1st quarter numbers because Kiran had already started filling in as early as Feb of 2007.

    Also, if you compare the 2007 numbers against just Feb, the show is down 4% in total viewers but down a staggering 22% in the “money demo”.

    People acted like Klein really stole one from Fox. Problem is he paid Kiran 3 times what she was making at FNC and CNN got lower ratings with her. In the meantime, Fox and Friends has had record ratings with Gretchen. And these record ratings are even more substantial because the F&F avg now is for 3 hours instead of 2 like it was back then and Fox and Friends First was separate and it had much lower numbers.

    Fox should take Kiran back if she would agree to be the Fox and Friends weekend anchor. I think she could certainly do much better than Alyson Camerato is doing. Kiran would also have to agree to take a large paycut.

    But I disagree that Shrine would be in need of her. They have numerous Fox ladies who are underutilized as it is right now. PAB, Huddy just two name two of them.

    Besides, in one Greta interview it acted like she wanted to get out of the nights. Leaving the impression she would be happy with an afternoon slot. I could see them trading her spot with Glen Becks.

    Too many people assume FNC wouldn’t do 3 white male shows in a row in prime time. I disagree. No telling how much more their prime time ratings would go up if Beck was given Greta’s spot.

    Also, Megyn’s ratings in her new time slot haven’t risen that much. Had she increased the ratings 50% or so, I could see them wanting to make the move but its been a single digits so far.

    Instead of stealing Kiran from CNN, FNC would be better off “saving Savannah Guthrie” from NBC. She could be a real keeper for FNC. Kiran is more like Juliet while Guthrie (groomed right) could be another Megyn.

  2. Kep Says:

    Fox News would never take Chetry back, nor would they want her. And if you ask me, Kiran has no interest in going back to any network that leans right.

    Look, Chetry never had the journalistic ability to match that of her fellow CNNer’s. Klein grabbed her because he thought it was a very public way of poking Fox News in the eye. But the fact of the matter is, Chetry never was a big ratings winner at Fox anyway, so I don’t know why Klein thought he was taking something so valuable from Roger Ailes. Chetry was always second string at Fox. All of the libs are bench warmers there. And while she nicely fit the CNN slant in favor of libs, she didn’t have the solid journalistic abilities to match.

    MSNBC might be a good fit for her.

  3. Less Kiran Says:

    John and Kate looked and worked good together. John and Christine work good together. Jim and Kiran…….she looked and acted like she wanted to be there alone and not have a co-anchor. Just take Kiran off and put a female there that works and does stories. Chetry just reads the news and then she is out of there. She hasn’t done a handful of stories since she has been there.

  4. hgb3 Says:

    Morning television would be better off if they simply continued the ‘test pattern’ until about 8:00. First of all, most ‘early risers’ are too busy reading the morning newspaper and listening to the farm report on the ‘raddio’ to watch television. Secondly, the rest who roll out of bed at around 9 or 10 tend to go directly to the game and quiz shows.

    BTW, which test pattern do you like? I prefer the tried and true Indian head, although the Bullseye is gaining in popularity.

  5. Kiran: Still a “Steal” 4 Klein? « Carpe Diem Says:

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  6. jakeho Says:

    Johnny, as I began to reply to your comment as to Kiran value to Jon Klein, I began to realize that it was beginning to look like an article. So, I made it one. Link: https://jakeho.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/kiran-still-a-steal-4-klein/

    In re Kiran, if she were to return to FNC, she would indeed be great on F&F Weekend. Personally, I think that F&F might be a better fit.

    As to FNC under-utilizing gals like Juliet and PAB, I agree. Imo, Shine should give both more prime airtime. They’ve both got a certain charm and charisma.

    With regard to Greta, I remember reading a Gretawire entry indicating that after eight years she was beginning to really miss having more evening with friends. The link to her Tweet in that regard is as follows: http://twitter.com/gretawire/statuses/8394833857

    Pertaining to Beck, he is scoring stellar ratings. He probably would do even better in Greta’s slot. If FNC moved him, it might need to put Megyn in Shep’s 7:00 p.m. spot to maintain some much needed gender diversity.

    As to “saving Savannah Guthrie,” not informed enough to comment on her.

  7. Kep Says:

    I agree with Less Kiran about the fact that Chetry has done very little reporting while at CNN. Look at the former AM co-host O’Brien. This woman does so much for the network. Soledad has numerous specials that have aired in prime time, and she goes to where the news is happening as well, such as Haiti and Chile. And just because Chetry has children shouldn’t make any different, because Soledad has like 5 children, and lots of other reporters have kids as well. It does appear that Kiran doesn’t want to do any heavy lifting. It was the same way at Fox.

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