CBS This Morning

CBS This Morning Information

CBS This Morning is an American morning television show broadcast on CBS from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City. The program premiered on January 9, 2012, and airs live from 7 to 9 a.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday; most affiliates in the Central and Mountain time zones air the show on tape-delay from 7 to 9 a.m. local time. Stations in the Pacific time zone receive an updated feed with an updated opening ("Good Morning to our viewers in the West") and update live reports. It is the tenth distinct program format that CBS has aired in the morning slot since 1954; it replaced The Early Show, which aired from 1999 to 2012.

CBS This Morning, which shares its title with a program that ran from 1987 to 1999, was announced on November 15, 2011 by CBS News management as a "redefining" alternative of hard news and analysis. Charlie Rose, Norah O'Donnell and Gayle King serve as weekday anchors of the program.


The original CBS This Morning made its debut on November 30, 1987, with hosts Harry Smith, former GMA news anchor Kathleen Sullivan, and Mark McEwen, a holdover from the show's infotainment-intensive predecessor The Morning Program. Sullivan was replaced by Paula Zahn on February 26, 1990. Beginning on October 26, 1992, in an effort to stop affiliates from dropping the program, CBS increased the amount of time available during the broadcast for local stations, most of which have their own early morning newscasts before the national news. Despite a far more successful team in Smith, Zahn, and McEwen, CBS This Morning remained stubbornly in third place. It was, however, far more competitive than any of its predecessors. A new set and live format introduced in October 1995 had little effect on the ratings.

Smith and Zahn left in June 1996, and CBS News correspondents Harold Dow and Erin Moriarty anchored the show for seven weeks until a new format was in place. In August 1996, the show was revamped again, as simply This Morning, with McEwen and Jane Robelot as co-hosts, news anchor Jose Diaz-Balart (succeeded by Cynthia Bowers and later Thalia Assuras, and finally Julie Chen) and Craig Allen (of WCBS radio and television stations in New York City) doing weather.

A new format was created where local stations could opt to air their own newscast from 7 am to 8 am, with inserts from the national broadcast. Then from 8 am to 9 am, affiliates air the second half of the national broadcast uninterrupted. Ratings went up slightly, and at one point the show even moved ahead of Good Morning America in 1998. But its ratings success was also brief, and it was replaced by The Early Show. Robelot left This Morning in June 1999 after it was revealed that the show would be replaced. Assuras was co-anchor and Chen newsreader for the show's remaining five months. McEwen left the show at the end of September 1999 to prepare for the launch of The Early Show and was replaced by Russ Mitchell. The original This Morning ended on October 29, 1999, after 12 years. The Early Show debuted the following Monday, November 1.

Though it had occasional peaks in ratings, The Early Show was a perennial third-place finisher behind NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America, shows known for including light stories and infotainment with their news coverage (an approach The Early Show would shy away from in its last year). On November 15, 2011, CBS News confirmed that The Early Show would be canceled, and that the news division would overhaul its morning news as of January 9, 2012. CBS News chairman Jeff Fager and president David Rhodes revealed at the November 15 announcement that the revamped and retitled program would "redefine the morning television landscape"–meaning that rather than replicate Today and GMA, the new format would feature a mix of hard news (a CBS News hallmark), analysis, and discussion.

On December 1, 2011, the title of the new show was revealed as CBS This Morning.

The executive producer of CBS This Morning is Chris Licht, who was hired by CBS in spring 2011 after serving as executive producer of MSNBC's Morning Joe. Licht's move to CBS led to speculation that Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski would follow Licht, as their contracts with MSNBC were expiring; though Scarborough and Brzezinski confirmed contemplating offers from CBS and other networks, they re-signed with MSNBC out of a belief that their interview-intensive approach could not be duplicated on broadcast television.

CBS instead tapped a trio of noted TV veterans for the weekday editions of This Morning: Early Show holdover Erica Hill, Gayle King, and Charlie Rose (Licht describes Rose, who hosted CBS's overnight program CBS News Nightwatch in the 1980s, as "an incredible interviewer").

On July 26, 2012, CBS announced that its Chief White House Correspondent Norah O'Donnell would replace Hill starting in September 2012. Hill was pulled from the program immediately after the announcement (an absence which was not explained on the broadcast), and was eventually released from her CBS contract, becoming a co-host of the weekend editions of NBC's Today four months later, in November 2012.

Licht promised an "outside the box" approach to CBS This Morning, insisting that the show would not include forced anchor banter, cooking segments, "comedic weather forecasters, [or] cheering fans on an outdoor plaza." Instead, the show begins with brief introductions and teases by Rose and O'Donnell, along with a second hour tease by King (initially introduced with the phrase "When I see you at 8 o'clock..."). This is immediately followed by the "Eye Opener" ("Your world... in 90 seconds"), a quick-cut montage of sights and sounds from the past 24 hours of news, employing no on-screen anchor and a limited voiceover from Rose. (The name is a play on CBS's eye-shaped logo, and its resulting nickname, "The Eye Network".)

The first hour of the show, co-anchored by Rose and O'Donnell, is news-intensive and includes more original journalism and analyis, with regular contributors including John Miller, Rebecca Jarvis, and Jeff Glor. (Jarvis co-anchors This Morning's Saturday edition and Glor serves as the Sunday anchor of the CBS Evening News.) King joins the show for the second hour, which currently begins with the "Eye Opener @ 8", recapping the news from the first hour, leading into a brief summary of the morning's news headlines, before shifting focus to interviews and discussion ( la Morning Joe) and lighter fare. True to Licht's "no comedic weather" promise, the show does not include any stand-alone national weather segments, although time is allotted for CBS affiliates to insert their own local weather (with national maps and forecasts provided for affiliates who do not insert their own weather updates). The first half-hour also includes a thirty-second segment following the local weather break, during which temperatures for various cities are scrolled alongside an inset advertisement. If additional weather coverage is warranted as part of a major news story, the program typically uses a meteorologist from one of CBS's owned-and-operated stations, most commonly WFOR-TV's David Bernard and WCBS-TV's Lonnie Quinn.

For stations that do not make use of the local news cutaways at 26 and 56 minutes past the hour, the program initially provided an additional segment appropriately called "The Cutaway", which features a secondary host conducting "behind-the-scenes" interviews with the hosts, reporters, and other guests. More recently, the remaining time has been filled with a taped story introduced by that day's CBS Morning News anchor.


CBS This Morning operates out of a new set in Studio 57 at the CBS Broadcast Center (so numbered for the facility's address, West 57th Street in Manhattan). The new set was planned for The Early Show before its cancellation; that program was based out of the General Motors Building during its entire run. A section of the studio's exterior, covered in white walls and adorned with the CBS Eye logo (and also bearing the message shown at right), was featured in promos for the show that aired in early December 2011.

Bits and pieces of the CBS This Morning set were revealed in pre-premiere promos and web videos, with the full set unveiled during the January 2012 premiere. Some of the set's features include:

  • Real exposed brick walls and dark hardwood flooring
  • An in-the-round anchor desk, topped in clear lucite and etched with the CBS Eye
  • Moveable monitors, allowing guests who appear via satellite to "sit" alongside their interviewers at the anchor desk
  • Various items representing CBS News's legacy (most prominently a world map from The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite)
  • An adjoining newsroom (which was not ready in time for the premiere), complete with large windows facing the street (allowing passers-by to look in)
  • A visible green room (complete with the only couch on the set), allowing viewers to catch a glimpse of behind-the-scenes action
Also included on the set, as reported by TV Guide's Stephen Battaglio, is an Oakland Athletics baseball cap; executive producer Chris Licht included it to remind his staff of Moneyball, whose central character (A's executive Billy Beane) took an outside-the-box approach that Licht hopes CBS This Morning replicates. (Licht has called the show "The Moneyball of TV," and screened the film prior to the premiere for This Morning staffers as a motivational tool.) Shortly after O'Donnell became a co-host, the program constructed a new secondary set at the network's bureau in Washington, D.C., which is often used by O'Donnell on Fridays, and by other guests and reporters as needed.

On-air staff

Weekday anchors


  • John Miller, senior correspondent
  • Jeff Glor, special correspondent
  • Don Dahler, special correspondent
  • Lee Woodruff, correspondent

Former on-air staff

Saturday edition

The Saturday edition of CBS This Morning premiered on January 14, 2012. It airs live from 7 to 9 a.m. Eastern Time, but local air times for the Saturday broadcast vary significantly from station to station, even within the same time zone. CBS News Saturday Morning previously ran from 1997 to 1999.

Like the weekend editions of the other network breakfast television shows, the program has a greater human-interest focus than its weekday counterpart, though it still concentrates primarily on the news of the day during the first half-hour. It also retains some of the common features of the morning show genre which have been removed from the weekday show, such as musical performances and food segments, and a couch moved temporarily onto the main set where the hosts introduce certain segments; likewise, it does not include some features of the weekday program including the Eye Opener. Anthony Mason serves as Saturday co-anchor of the program alongside Vinita Nair.

An exception to the usual Saturday format occurred on February 2, 2013 (the day before Super Bowl XLVII), when the weekday anchor team hosted from New Orleans. This edition was also branded "CBS This Morning" (not "CBS This Morning Saturday") and was formatted similarly to the weekday program, including the Eye Opener at the top of both hours. CBS This Morning does not produce a Sunday edition due to the continued success of CBS News Sunday Morning, which has a different format with long-form reports and in-depth interviews.

Saturday Anchors

Former On-Air Staff

International broadcasts

In Australia, a condensed edition of CBS This Morning currently airs on Network Ten Monday to Friday mornings between 5:30 and 7:00 a.m., with the Friday edition held over to the following Monday. A national weather map of Australia is inserted during local affiliate cut-aways for weather. No local news was inserted, however. Previously the program aired at 4:00 a.m., near-simultaneously with the other U.S. Big Three television networks' breakfast television programs, with Good Morning America on the Nine Network beginning at 3:30 a.m. and NBC Today airing on the Seven Network at 4:00 a.m. It is subject to preemption in regional areas for paid and religious programming.

U.S. reception

CBS This Morning was praised by Associated Press critic Frazier Moore, noting the network was differentiating itself from its competitors with its focus on hard news: "CBS This Morning has, in effect, vowed to keep the silliness to a minimum, and its first week is promising." He noted the absence of tabloid news items, saying "[what] CBS This Morning didn't have " that, too, provides a good argument for watching." Gail Shister of TV Newser gave Charlie Rose "an A for effort" for stretching past his usual slate of hard news into pop-culture stories. Shister concluded, "CBS is not reinventing morning TV. But at least they're trying, and that, in itself, is good news."


Upon the show's launch, CBS executives said they expect it will take years for a ratings turnaround. The program debuted to an average of 2.72 million viewers (1.11 million in the 25- to 54-year old demographic) in its first week. Its total viewership was 10% lower than The Early Shows during the same week in the previous year. As of April 2013, CBS This Morning remains third among the broadcast network breakfast television programs, with 3.148 million viewers, including 1.094 million in the 25- to 54-year-old demographic.

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