A Ray of Hope in the Morning

I was pleasantly surprised to read that my favorite morning news show, CBS This Morning is kicking some serious butt.

I’ve been attracted to the morning show ever since CBS completely changed the format in 2011 and added the distinguished Charlie Rose as their anchor. Rose is flanked by longtime Washington insider, Norah O’Donnell, and Oprah’s BFF, Gayle King, who also happens to be a formidable interviewer.

What makes CBS This Morning different, and far better, than it’s network rivals is its intense focus on news (at least for the first half hour). So, while GMA is reporting on Kelly’s new co-host and The Today Show cast is busy making each other laugh, Rose & Co. are taking care of business.

The program begins with a snapshot of the lead news stories of the day called, “Your world in 90 seconds.” If I have time for nothing else, I know I can count on that first minute-and-a-half to bring me up-to-speed.

Typically, I watch 15 minutes or so of CBS This Morning. Then I check my feeds from The Skimm, BBC America, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age and Adweek. With that kind of download, I’m locked and loaded with the information I need to counsel clients, suggest new ideas for my firm and be prepared to discuss just about any topic of the day at a new business meeting.

According to Adweek, I’m not the only one who’s discovered this gem in a sea of superficiality in the morning. Check these facts:

  • Rose & Co. are delivering the biggest viewership for CBS morning shows in 30 years.
  • It’s the only one of the three major network morning shows to grow viewership in the past five years.
  • It’s the only morning show to have gained viewers with both the coveted 25-54 age demographic AND with women. ABC and NBC plummeted by an average of 25 percent with the same cohorts.

CBS This Morning is an oasis in the desert. Its remarkable success gives me hope there’s a growing number of Americans who prefer smart, hard news to start their days (as opposed to the pablum served up by NBC and ABC or the polarizing content found on Fox and MSNBC).

One final point: CBS This Morning has also attracted 10 new, blue chip advertisers this year. As CBS-TV President of Sales, Jo Ann Ross summarized: “Every category is now interested. They know they are getting an educated and intelligent audience.”

Here’s hoping the powers-that-be at CBS continue to double down and invest in a traditional medium that’s keeping pace with anything digital has to offer.

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4 thoughts on “A Ray of Hope in the Morning

  1. CBS’ morning news shows have been the class operation for a long time, but no one watched in the years since Diane Sawyer left. It’s good to see viewers are realizing it too, now that the others are nearly complete excrement (“When In the World Does Matt Lauer’s Contract End?”)

    That said, NPR is my true love goddess and companion when it comes to being media-connected.

  2. Yup. I forgot to mention NPR. It’s the only thing I listen to on my drive to and from the hellish NJT train station. I must find time to catch more of Vice on HBO

  3. I also like Vice on HBO with a quick update on what’s going on in the world. I too listen to NPR. I don’t watch any mainstream news.

  4. I listen to NPR/WNYC in the morning and it gives me literally EVERYTHING I need to know for the day. They often include hashtags, too, so listeners can chime in via Twitter.