Is watching the “Today” show part of your morning routine? How about “Good Morning America?” Or, the “The Early Show” on CBS? Fox network hopes if it is that you will consider switching the channel at 9 a.m. The network has just announced that come January it will be launching an hour-long morning news program of its own.
The program that will start as ABC’s and CBS’s morning shows end will cover “more entertainment-driven stories unless there is a major new story,” says Fox executives. Mike Jerrick and Juliet Huddy who currently serve as daytime anchors on Fox News Channel will serve as the show’s hosts. Fox News Channel reporters will be used to cover daily stories featured on the program, which currently doesn’t have a name. Managers at the network say the new show will be modeled “to a certain extent after Fox News Channel’s popular “Fox & Friends” morning program.”
On most Fox stations the new morning show will follow local news programming. Network executives say the launch of the new show is “an attempt to take advantage of the current instability in morning television.” Fox’s management is referring to the departure of Katie Couric from NBC’s “Today” show and Charlie Gibson’s recent exit from ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “That’s opportunity,” noted one Fox morning show producer. Obviously, the network is hoping viewers will be looking for something new in the morning and give their show a shot. While in most markets the new Fox program will compete against the third hour of the “Today” show, it will not engage in a face-to-face battle with ABC’s and CBS’s morning programs. Instead, in those markets it will do battle with “Live with Regis and Kelly.”
Which means if you are a fan of Geraldo Rivera’s show that currently airs in the time slot that the new FOX morning show will take over—don’t bother writing letters of complaints to the network. Executives there say they have made up their minds and are moving forward with their decision. In fact, the 25 Fox-owned stations, covering about 44 percent of the U.S. market, have already committed to airing the new program and in the coming months the network has plans to persuade other Fox affiliates to show it.