Shelley Ross Axed at CBS’ Early Show, Rick Kaplan to Fill In
Ross Gone from Third-Place Morning Show After Just Six Months
By Marisa Guthrie -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/6/2008 9:33:00 AM
The news comes in the wake of mounting complaints from Ross’ staff on the third-place morning show and a troubling spate of resignations -- more than 20 -- according to CBS sources.
Ross addressed her staff after Monday’s show in an attempt to clear the air. But it was obviously too little, too late. She was absent from work for the remainder of the week, according to CBS sources.
Ross took over at Early Show in September, displacing senior executive producer Michael Bass and director of morning programs Steve Friedman, whose last day at CBS News came this week. (Friedman announced Thursday that he is teaming up with Nanci Ross, another former CBS News colleague, on Vir2L Media, a new-media production and consulting company.)
Co-anchor Hannah Storm left Early Show in December. In January, the program was relaunched with a new set, graphics package and anchor as Maggie Rodriguez officially joined the show. The January overhaul also jettisoned a long-standing affiliate agreement that allowed 43 stations encompassing about 23% of the country to insert local content into the first hour of the show.
Ross came to CBS News after a long tenure at ABC News, where she steered Primetime and then Good Morning America out of the ratings doldrums. She left ABC News in 2006 after a raft of human-resources complaints there, according to ABC News sources.
McManus said of Ross when he hired her: “Shelley has not only fought the fight in morning news, but, most important, she has achieved success. She has an amazing understanding of the morning audience and the unique genre that is morning news.”
NY and LA have not stopped talking about the entire
Ross story from start to finish. It actually drew
attention to CBS and the Early Show. Word on the street is that most industry insiders give kudos to the press for finally printing the reality of the "Shelley Spectacle." Now that it's out and everyone has had a chance to vent after decades of pent up contempt, Shelley's summarized as a 55 year old, morning tequila swigging, ranting, vindictive, witch
with judgment as bad as her behavior. After the gawking and laughing are over, she rates only a "yawn."
A. Fontaine - 3/9/2008 9:24:00 PM EDT
There was a cumulative sense of hostility that percolated throughout the industry in regards to working with Ross.
In the final analysis, Ross' liabilities far outweighed any assets she may have been able to contribute. People have been wondering why this took so long to come to the surface. Now that it has, often in raw form, there is sense of relief and a desire to forward divested of the burden that working with Ross brought.
Barbara Handel - 3/7/2008 12:52:00 AM EST
PL Noga - 3/6/2008 3:12:00 PM EST
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