Charlie Rose, one of three hosts of “CBS This Morning,” is gone due to charges of sexual harassment. While Rose was credited with an improvement in its ratings, the program was still dead last among the three major network morning programs. CBS’s (NYSE: CBS) problems may get worse.
According to Nielsen data for the week ended November 13, ABC’s Good Morning America was in first place, followed by NBC’s Today. ABC had an average of 4.3 million views to NBC’s 4.2 million and CBS’s 3.7 million. Among a demographic group very important to advertisers, NBC had the lead. Its viewership among adults 25 to 54 years old was 1.5 million for the week, compared to ABC at 1.3 million and 1 million at CBS.
The three morning TV shows are estimated to be the largest profit centers at the three networks. Each brings in hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising a year. Their ratings are critical to the financial health of each network
Rose has been essential to “CBS This Morning” as its ratings have steadily risen since he joined the show in 2012.
The morning spot is so absolutely critical there are rumors CBS will do nearly anything to bolster ratings. According to the New York Post, that may include TV talk superstar Oprah Winfrey. The paper reports:
“CBS This Morning” wants Oprah Winfrey to save the day and fill in for Charlie Rose after he was axed due to a shocking sexual-harassment scandal, sources exclusively tell Page Six.
“They are begging Oprah to fill in,” said a TV insider. “Not full time . . . But they are hoping she’ll do one day, two days, one hour, fill in till Christmas. Anything.”
Rose has left CBS flat footed, desperate to replace him with a TV household name.