NECN, the New England cable TV network owned and operated by Comcast, is set to launch an overhauled morning show on Monday.
The new show, titled “The Morning Show on NECN,” will be hosted by Steve Aveson, a former anchor at Providence’s WPRI, and Taryn Winter Brill, a former “Good Morning America” correspondent.
“Our traditional morning news show has been an anchor at the news desk going over the morning news,” said Bill Bridgen, NECN’s general manager. “This is much more conversational, much more informal.”
NECN has invested in a brand-new set that eschews the standard news desk in favor of comfortable couches and chairs, reminiscent of network morning shows such as “Today.”
The fact that NECN’s new morning show set-up resembles network shows is not a coincidence. “The Morning Show,” with a 7 a.m. start time, will be going up against the likes of Matt and Meredith in the mornings.
“It’s really an opportunity to capture the local audience when the broadcast networks go to their national programming,” Bridgen told The Boston Globe.
NECN’s aggressive re-invention of its morning programming has led to the departures or demotions of several established anchors.
The Boston Herald points out:
Longtime Hub newsman Chet Curtis anchored his final newscast last month and will host a Sunday night public affairs program. Morning anchor Mike Nikitas has been moved to afternoon and evenings. Weekday anchor Leslie Gaydos will work as a reporter for the morning show and helm the weekend morning newscasts.
The departures include seasoned anchor R.D. Sahl, morning anchor Karen Swensen and Beth Shelburne.