Another summer day, another shake-up in morning television.
This time, it’s “CBS This Morning” that’s announcing a major change: Erica Hill is out, and Norah O’Donnell is in.
CBS made the surprise announcement Thursday morning. The press release from CBS News said O’Donnell, currently chief White House correspondent for the network (since June 2011), will join surviving co-hosts Charlie Rose and Gayle King on the CBS morning show this fall.
Erica Hill’s name was not mentioned in the release until the fifth paragraph.
“Erica Hill, who served as a co-host of CBS THIS MORNING [CBS puts its show titles in all caps in its press releases] and helped with its successful launch, is in discussions regarding a new role,” the press release stated.
Hill, 36, lasted a little over half a year on the revamped CBS morning show that launched with great fanfare last January from newly built studios in New York. Among the three headliners on the show, Hill was the sole carry-over from the show’s previous incarnation, having been on that show since 2010.
Unlike the recent shake-up at “The Today Show” on NBC, in which Ann Curry, 56, was replaced by the much-younger Savannah Guthrie, 40, O’Donnell is 38, two years older than Hill.
Though the CBS News release didn’t go into the reasons behind the change in on-air talent on its morning show, ratings are almost certainly the culprit here. As it happens, weekly ratings for the network morning shows come out every Thursday, and the numbers out just now reveal “CBS This Morning” still mired in third place with roughly the same viewership it had before its widely publicized revamp last winter.
Adding to the turmoil: ABC’s surging “Good Morning America” once again beat the once-unbeatable leader in the time period, NBC’s “Today” show, in the latest ratings report.
Here’s how the daily average audiences added up for all three shows for the week of Monday, July 16, through Friday, July 20: “GMA,” 4.598 million; “Today,” 4.019 million; and “CBS This Morning,” 2.341 million.