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Review

CBS This Morning Makes Major Changes to the Formula, But Do They Work?

Charlie Rose flanked by Gayle King (left) and Erica Hill.

The latest attempt by CBS to find a ray of sunlight in morning news makes big changes from the norm, but overall the experiment is missing the mark.

Television is all about chemistry and cohesion. CBS is in such a difficult spot as the perennial number three in the morning. Therefore, a radical change isn’t so outlandish. But in the end, morning viewers are habitual. It’s the executives who want to reinvent the wheel.

And so, CBS did. Not only is the wheel reinvented, the entire set is revamped, and the much publicized new on-air team is in place.

This is not your father’s morning news show. Gone is the quick news update each half hour and the nation’s weather forecast (they still break away for local weather).

Immediately, the viewer is greeted by the “Eye Opener,” a one-time 90-second collage of sounds and images from the day before.

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WEMP/101.9 Debuts News Format, Struggles to Find Sound

There had been plenty of rumor and speculation surrounding 101.9 since Merlin Media took over the former Rock station WRXP last month. After playing an interim mix of 1980s pop music, 101.9 FM “New” finally added the “s” to its name Monday (after a “soft launch” over the  weekend). With its new call letters WEMP, 101.9 is now New York’s only full-time FM news station, a slogan the news anchors are quick to promote.

WEMP does employ some major talent, including those who’ve called WINS and WCBS-AM home.

Reports have indicated that Merlin was gearing 101.9 toward women in the 25 to 54 age bracket, especially the younger end of that group. It doesn’t take long to see that’s definitely the case.

Anchors used the interim format as a trial period to get the kinks out. However, we’d soon learn that would not be the case.   

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