Out with the old: in with the new? According to New York Post‘s Page 6 sources, American Morning‘s co-anchor John Roberts is leaving AM “as early as the start of the new year.” Reportedly, Roberts is concluding a contract with CNN which would take him from his AM anchor seat in New York City to a national correspondent role in Atlanta, home of his gravid fiance, weekday CNN Newsroom anchor Kyra Phillips. In Roberts’ stead, inside sources suggest that CNN Newsroom‘s younger weekend anchor T.J. Holmes is a “favorite” to replace Roberts and to join the comely current co-anchor, Kiran Chetry, behind the AM desk.
No one should be surprised at the shakeup of AM, the cellar-dwelling cable morning news program: in fact, cable news media have been speculating for almost a year about a much needed makeover. Even though then CNN boss Jon Klein seemed loathe to alter the team that he himself had confected, successor CNN chief Ken Jautz has shown no such compunction: when Jautz was chosen to replace Klein in September, Jautz outlined his plans to jazz up the primetime ratings by making “primetime more compelling and engaging, sometimes more fun.” Then, last month (November 1) Page Six insider sources disclosed that new CNN chief Ken Jautz was going to concentrate on the daytime programming and that “his first step[would] be to dismantle American Morning, the lowest-rated cable morning show.” Now, apparently, Katz has so acted.
If Holmes does join Chetry, the AM dynamic should change significantly. With the “voice of God” journalist Roberts, Chetry too often has seemed unsure of herself and her abilities. But, when paired on occasion with the greener Holmes, Chetry has appeared to shine with an unabashed self-confidence.