So what are we to make of Jonathan Wald, Piers Morgan and Morgan’s agent John Ferriter lunching together at Michael’s, the Manhattan eatery that doubles as a negotiating salon for New York’s media class?
Wald has been on the short list to executive produce Morgan’s upcoming CNN program. Sources say no deal has been signed. And CNN did not respond to inquiries on Friday. But new CNN/U.S. chief Ken Jautz met with prospective candidates last week. At the time, Jautz said he’d like to get someone in quickly so that the nuts and bolts of the show can begin to be hammered out. Morgan’s show premieres in January.
The list of producers vetted includes veterans of late night and daytime television. Among them: Todd Yasui, the former senior VP of late-night at Fox, who last week sealed a deal to produce the upcoming Jamie Foxx sketch comedy show set to bow next year on Fox; and Corin Nelson, a former producer on Rosie O’Donnell, Tyra Banks and Chelsea Latley. Corin recently signed on to helm Sony Pictures Television’s pilot with Dr. Mehmet Oz’s wife, Lisa.
Wald, however, would bring considerable hard news experience to the job. A former executive at CNBC, he oversaw an expansion of the network’s dayside program during the financial crisis resulting in impressive ratings growth. His career at NBC News also included stints at Today and Nightly News during the Tom Brokaw era. He’s currently on the adjunct faculty at the journalism school at Columbia University.