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The Morning Show Wars

Floyd Landis Says ‘Today’ Breached Interview Agreement; GMAers Furious

> Update: 4:34pm: “I find it interesting in light of Mr. Landis’ situation that he would question anyone’s integrity right now,” an NBC Newser responds…

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Left to right: Landis on CBS, NBC, and ABC.

There’s no war like a morning show war. As noted on Sunday, Floyd Landis was booked on all the morning shows this A.M. A Disney tipster says “a carefully orchestrated and agreed-upon schedule was set up” in advance. GMA’s Robin Roberts flew to Los Angeles for the first live interview with Landis and his wife. NBC’s Today Show pre-taped their interview. According to a rep for Landis, NBC was supposed to air the tape AFTER GMA’s live interview. But Today decided to run Matt Lauer‘s interview ahead of ABC’s live turn.

A publicist for Landis forwarded this statement, attributed to the American cyclist: “I’m disappointed that NBC’s The Today Show chose the tact of pre-empting the live segment we offered Good Morning America and ABC. In a gesture of courtesy, we said we would pre-tape NBC’s segment with Matt Lauer only if it ran after GMA, who provided us the original opportunity. It’s unfortunate they breeched our agreement, which questions NBC’s integrity.”

‘Today’ Increases Advantage Over GMA

New senior EP Jim Murphy says the people at GMA have an “excellent chance of being competitive.” But it’ll be an uphill battle, Gail Shister reports: “Since Katie Couric‘s last broadcast (May 31), Today has actually increased its advantage over ABC’s GMA, to 20 percent from 17 percent, according to Nielsen Media Research. With Matt Lauer and a rotating cast of brunettes, Today has averaged 5.335 million total viewers to 4.451 million for GMA, now coanchored by Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts.” Here’s the story…

ABC & CBS Giving ‘Today’ A Free Pass?

“Never before has there been such upheaval in morning television,” J. Max Robins begins in his latest B&C column. “With two of the three players in the throes of major change, the high-stakes game of network morning shows is as close to a free-for-all as it has ever been. Why, then, are ABC and CBS sleeping through this long-awaited opportunity to unseat morning leader NBC?”

He thinkd ABC is taking a “seemingly lackadaisical approach to GMA,” and CBS “has the resources to relaunch only one show this fall,” the Evening News. Here’s the full analysis…

Today Beats GMA On Softball Field

Morning show softball: The Today Show defeated rival Good Morning America 17-13 this afternoon. I’ll resist the urge to make a comment about the ratings war…

Not A “GMA Exclusive”

NBC’s Today, July 25:
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ABC’s GMA, July 26:
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Was Good Morning America kidding when it used the “Exclusive” label this morning? They said their interview with Lebanon’s President Emile Lahoud was an exclusive, but Ann Curry interviewed him yesterday for Today. If 24 hours passes, does that make it an exclusive?…

> Update: 12:17pm: “GMA always has their own definition of exclusive — their Taylor Hicks American Idol exclusive concert a couple of weeks ago was already done on Today a few weeks before,” an insider says…

GMA To Name Ex-CBS Evening News Producer Jim Murphy As Senior EP

Broadcasting & Cable reports that Good Morning America will name ex-CBS Evening News executive producer Jim Murphy as senior exec producer:

ABC will also likely hire an executive producer to work under Murphy. ABC has been looking to fill the GMA job since outgoing executive producer Ben Sherwood revealed in June he would leave the show to return home to Los Angeles.

Fox To Launch New Live Morning Show

Just in:

NEW YORK — (BUSINESS WIRE) — July 18, 2006 — Fox Television Stations and Twentieth Television announced today the launch of a new, live, national morning program, scheduled to begin airing in January 2007. The new show will originate from New York and will air on all the owned-and-operated Fox affiliates.

Hosted by Mike Jerrick and Juliet Huddy of FOX News Channel’s “DaySide,” the show will be live from 9-10 a.m., in most markets, and feature entertainment and general interest programming. Both anchors will continue their “DaySide” duties until Fall 2006.

The full release:

Read more

A Tale Of Two Morning-Show Alums

A few days ago, an e-mailer asked: “Is it not lost on anyone else that Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson have had the same job for the last 15 years, however, she’s perky and her news chops are questioned, while he’s given a pass even though he couldn’t bring in the viewers while she did?”

It’s not lost on the AP’s David Bauder. In a story describing how Charles Gibson will say goodbye to GMA and anchor WNT full-time at the end of this month, he says “Gibson — by dint of age, gender or what-have-you — can expect to retain immunity from the ‘gravitas’ question inflicted on [Katie] Couric, his fellow morning-show alumnus, as each of them graduates to the more ‘serious’ evening shift.”

A Change Will Do You Good

The changes in morning news, starting with Katie Couric‘s departure last week, could “realign viewer loyalties and usher in a new era of morning stars,” USAT’s Peter Johnson writes.

In the words of outgoing GMA EP Ben Sherwood: “A lot of viewers are going to be up for grabs.” And CBSer Steve Friedman “says he loves to see shake-ups at rival shops give viewers a reason to change channels.” “When you’re in our position, it’s a golden opportunity,” Friedman says. “Status quo is bad for us.”

“This Decade Has No Such Identifier…”

“Everyone who has ever been in morning television loves it. It’s hard to escape,” new CBS News VP Steve Friedman tells the AP.

“Morning shows in the 1980s were marked by traveling to different locations, and the 1990s was the decade of street-side studios that drew in onlookers. This decade has no such identifier, said Friedman, who expressed confidence in McManus’ ability to rebuild CBS News.”

What identifier might he bring to CBS?…

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