CBS: ‘Face The Nation’ To Go One-Hour Permanently, Mason Joins Jarvis on ‘CBS This Morning’

By Alex Weprin Comment

During its panel at the Television Critics Association Summer press tour, CBS News announced that its Sunday public affairs show “Face the Nation” would become an hour-long program, permanently. The show has been an hour-long since April of this year, and was announced at the time as something of a test.

There is an asterisk to the announcement however, as “Face” will still be rated as two separate half-hours, as the second half-hour is not available in the entire country, and even then is sometimes aired at a much later time than the first half-hour. The first half-hour of most programs rate much higher than the second half-hour, and that is the case with “Face” too.

During the session, CBS News president David Rhodes said that once NFL obligations are complete (in other words, next year), CBS will move to get “Face” rated as a full-hour.

As B&C’s Andrea Morabito notes, CBS also announced that Anthony Mason will become the full-time co-anchor of “CBS This Morning” on Saturdays, joining Rebecca Jarvis.

THR also has quotes from CBS News chairman Jeff Fager (seen above accepting a TCA Award on behalf of “60 Minutes”) and “CTM” EP Chris Licht:

“We weren’t always first, but we were accurate and comprehensive,” said Fager, referring to the news division’s reporting on the Aurora, Colo., shooting and the Supreme Court decision on President Obama’s healthcare law.

CBS has not seen significant ratings gains since it bowed its morning show in January. But CBS News is sticking to its knitting. “We never want to pander to an audience,” said Fager.

“We don’t want to just get a get because it’s today’s tabloid story.” “I’m never going to get a phone call from Jeff or David saying: ‘Why don’t you have this thing that ABC has?” said Chris Licht, executive producer of CBS This Morning.

To which Rhodes added: “Because it’s probably not true.”