The AP Sets Its Sights On The ‘New’ CBS News

By Alex Weprin Comment

The Associated Press’ David Bauder profiles CBS News and its president David Rhodes in the middle of an awkward phase: there are big changes afoot, but the network can’t (or won’t) officially confirm what those changes are.

As we have reported, big changes are coming to “The Early Show,” and those changes may include the addition of Charlie Rose. A new set and workspace for “Early Show” staffers is in the works at the Broadcast Center, and will likely be ready to go live towards the end of Q1 2012.

The show’s tenor is already clear. Much like the evening news, “The Early Show” has become a more serious newscast, upping the percentage of overseas and political news while leaving the makeup hints and rock concerts behind. Rhodes recalled seeing a karaoke contest on “The Early Show” shortly after he started at CBS. He wondered, “Tell me how this is news, exactly?”

On the wall of his office, Rhodes has a chart that tracks viewership of NBC’s “Today” show, ABC’s “Good Morning America” and CBS’ show. The first two are almost mirror images: when one goes up a little, the other goes down. CBS, well behind, seems immune to the others’ fluctuations.

He doesn’t see the point in trying to copy them.