It's official: Chris Cuomo's partner on the much-reported CNN morning show will be congressional correspondent Kate Bolduan (rumor has it that Erin Burnett was considered but didn't want the early-bird gig). This marks CNN's first foray since the change in leadership into what Jeff Zucker is better at than anybody else: morning television.
Though often criticized as fluffy and unserious, few newspeople work harder than the staff of a morning show. The production schedule is punishing to such a degree that it's very hard to keep a successful personality from switching to a gig that doesn't require a start at four or five in the morning. And so morning stars like Matt Lauer are offered incredible sums (a reported $25 million annually, most recently) to stay on their hot streaks for as long as possible.
Zucker pioneered the model with NBC's Today Show, making it into one of the most profitable shows in history with an annual revenue of $500 million, inspiring imitation among its competitors to the extent that when it was surpassed by GMA (long after Zucker's departure), it was believed by many that it had done so by executing Today's formula more successfully than Today had.
The man behind the camera in this case is going to be Jim Murphy, who left GMA in 2011 to start Anderson Cooper's syndicated show; earlier this year, he signed on with CNN. Murphy's resume, with the exception of the Cooper series, is very heavy on broadcast news. Zucker has said several times during press calls and in statements that he doesn't see the network's competition as the usual cable news loudmouth brigade, and with the still-untitled (CNN will make a big deal out of that announcement, too) morning show taking shape, it's clear that he's gunning for his old competitors on broadcast.
Michaela Pereira joins the network from CW affiliate KTLA in Los Angeles after a nine-year run at the station; she'll be the new program's news anchor. Murphy will act as senior executive producer, and Matt Frucci as exec producer under him. The show will be broadcast from New York, as have previous CNN morning shows. There's another rumor, by the way: where there was an Atlanta/N.Y. split before, insiders are saying that New York is becoming king.