TCA: 'CBS This Morning' Looking to Attract 'One Viewer at a Time'


Pasadena, Calif. — Only three days into the new program, the CBS This Morning team appeared at the TCA press tour here Wednesday via satellite and said that it’s been so far, so good on the new broadcast.

“We feel very good about this,” said anchor Charlie Rose. “Things are in place, but you grow and learn every day. We have grown to feel good about each other on the set. We’re looking to bring one viewer at a time over here. We feel good about what we can do.”

“I think the foundation is good,” anchor Gayle King added. “After the first day I felt like I could relax. We’re all getting into the groove here. There are some minor things that we want to do but that all just comes with doing it day after day.”

CBS has not been number one in the morning since the days of Captain Kangaroo, and its new strategy is to produce a morning show with blinders on, not worrying about what NBC’s Today or ABC’s Good Morning America are doing, said executive producer Chris Licht.

“What you see on day three is the beginning of that vision. We’re certainly not there yet,” Licht said, nothing that the show has cut out national weather, cooking and fashion segments. “That gives the opportunity to have more in-depth conversation.”

The anchors stressed that they weren’t trying to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, but merely build a morning show built on their own definition of the news landscape.

“We’re not trying to be different just for the sake of being different,” said anchor Erica Hill. “There’s more conversation, there’s great storytelling. The beauty of this is we can let conversations breathe a little bit more. The viewer gets a different experience at home because they are looking in more on a conversation.”

Though the program aims to put the news back in morning news, as the tagline says, the anchors stressed that that does not rule out pop culture stories, and their wish-list of guests ranges from Jay-Z and Beyonce (King), Nelson Mandela (Rose) and John Boehner (Hill). Licht also added that getting guests on their program exclusively is not as important in the beginning,

“We have already seen that the experience that someone has on this set is going to be a much different experience than the have with the other guys to the point where eventually we’ll become the place they come first,” he said.