It’s only a week since the turmoil and scandal that led to the abrupt resignation of Rob Morrison at WCBS.
But now that Morrison is no longer part of Channel 2, management must start the process of deciding who will sit next to Mary Calvi.
FishbowlNY explores a handful of possibles, and a few less likely, morning anchor candidates. Then you can weigh-in with our poll to select your choice after the jump.
Starting with internal choices: Chris Wragge, the 6 p.m. and WLNY 9 p.m. anchor has already shown his muscle in the morning as a main fill-in. Wragge told FishbowlNY upon his full-time return to WCBS in late 2011 that “I’m just going to do whatever the hell they want me to do.” If the stint on CBS’ Early Show weekdays and weekdays didn’t solidify your position, just watch him on WLNY at 9 p.m. He strikes that perfect balance between hard news and personality-driven features. His “You Have to See This” is a great example of an anchor blowing off some steam in a good way. Mornings play well into another of Wragge’s strengths–quick banter with on-air talent.
Don Dahler has also been used in mornings since Morrison’s departure. Dahler, who regularly anchors weekends, seems at his best when he solos an evening newscast. He is even more in his element when on the reporter beat. Still, his weekend morning experience and overall talent could be enough to give him the nod, especially if they want Wragge to remain at night.
There is some definite buzz for Cindy Hsu. The veteran WCBS anchor is certainly ready for the promotion to weekdays. She has proved her morning mettle, but it’s still a rarity to find two women “manning” the desk. That would shake things up. However, WCBS anchor combinations all feature a man and woman. Plus, John Elliott would be the lone male presence on the broadcast. So as intriguing and worthy as Hsu is, she faces an uphill battle.
Speaking of Elliott, why not? Probably because of the lacking of serious news experience (although he had some reporting for MSNBC). But beyond that he’s not so far fetched. He has the morning show personality from the weather center. And since last year has been honing his skills further as co-host of WLNY’s The Couch. He would probably have to relinquish the weather duties. WCBS can call on Elise Finch, a slight loss in the personality department. Of course, who isn’t compared to Elliott.
Even more of an effort to shake things up, and less likely is Ashley Morrison, Rob’s wife. She has peripherally been part of the CBS 2 This Morning show, as CBS MoneyWatch anchor. There in lies the problem. While she is a professional broadcaster with her business segments, it could be considered a knock to anyone who is directly part of WCBS.
One other person to mention is Otis Livingston. He filled in for several months before Dahler took the weekend last year. Livingston didn’t embarrass in his dual role. It’s always fun to see someone spread their wings in a different on-air capacity. Given his main duties as lead sports anchor, hard to imagine that either side wants to have a repeat performance, even short term. WCBS is deep enough to keep Livingston at night.
As deep as the station is, there is always room for non-WCBS talent. How about Dave Price, recently exiled from WNYW? That would be more stunning than Ang Lee beating Steven Spielberg at the Oscars. Price’s seven months alongside Rosanna Scotto at Channel 5 make us remember those grade school report cards,”doesn’t work well with others,” and likely not the “just add water and mix” chemistry needed.