Canadian-born Pat Kiernan has been the morning anchor at NY1 since he joined the cable channel in 1997. But as much high visibility as the gig offers, it is nothing like what happens tomorrow.
Kiernan gets his first chance to sit alongside Kelly Ripa on Live. For the veteran anchor, he has made his desire to participate clear.
“I have long had an interest in co-hosting the show when Regis [Philbin] was there, if he went away,” Kiernan tells FishbowlNY. “But the opportunity never came about.”
Once Philbin retired from the show in November, Kiernan stepped-up pursuit of securing a co-host shift ”in both my interviews and with my agent.”
Two weeks ago, Kiernan’s open campaigning finally paid off with the call he’s wanted for years—a slot opposite Ripa, whom he’s never met.
“I’m excited to see how it clicks with Kelly,” Kiernan says.
Kiernan, 43, hopes that the one appearance will lead to additional days on the popular morning show. He’d also jump at the job on a full-time basis.
“There’s no dissatisfaction with my current job, but this is one of those great jobs in television that it would be a privilege to do occasionally or a privilege to do regularly,” Kiernan admits.
However, Kiernan plans to make the most of tomorrow’s opportunity. At the moment, Kiernan does not have any other appearances scheduled.
Despite only having a cable audience, Kiernan has established a New York City following. As for viewers from the other 49 states, that’s another matter entirely. Kiernan lacks the cache that the usual TV/movie stars and comedians bring to Live.
“I think it’s probably a liability,” Kiernan jokes. “…I can not compete with Nick Lachey, who’s starting this week as the co-host, or Martin Short, who’s finishing the week as a co-host. I’ve got to bring something else to the table.”
For Kiernan, it’s all about remaining true to himself.
“What I bring is an understanding of the kind of news that people want to hear in the morning, and how they want to hear it,” Kiernan says.
While Live is lighter fare than Kiernan handles on a daily basis at NY1, he says the same sensibilities apply.
“People have been out of the loop all night. Maybe they’ve been getting their kids ready for school, and here’s finally at 9 o’clock an hour where they can sit down and get plugged in,” Kiernan says. “That’s a skill that I’ve developed over 15 years.”
For almost as long, Kiernan has made it appointment TV each day watching his future, temporary on-air partner.
“Lunch break, if news permits is around 9 o’clock,” Kiernan says. “It’s a big thrill to have a chance to sit next to [Ripa].”