Battle of Morning News, WLNY Debuts on The Couch

The calendar says July, and next week is the Baseball All-Star Game. But don’t be fooled. Today was opening day!

A confluence of events created a trio of local morning changes.

The biggest is at independent station WLNY 10/55, now under the auspices of WCBS, which makes its first foray into daytime news.

Live from the Couch brings WCBS morning weathercaster John Elliott and sports anchor Lisa Kerney to the sofa with TV newcomer Carolina Bermudez.

The program is a mix of news, lifestyle and entertainment features. However, the accent is definitely on the lighter fare. There is the typical news and weather update on the half-hour.

Despite he fact that Bermudez comes to WLNY from her time as news reader on WHTZ/Z100, every aspect of the show is shared. Although Elliott goes to his other “day job” with the forecast.

The Couch also uses WCBS reporters, including Kathryn Brown, live with the Con Ed dispute, and Alex Denis at Coney Island.

After being nailed to the couch for the first 40 minutes, the hosts finally showed another part of the studio. In this case it was the perfunctory cooking segment.

Perhaps the entire show could be summed up from one portion–a “man on the street” question: “What’s your guilty pleasure?”

As for reporting, Katie McGee handles the health stories on The Couch.

But if you need more Ann Mercogliano in your day, this is definitely the place to be. She is “the” reporter handling everything from hard news to entertainment to the off-beat, sometimes all in the same broadcast.

In just the first broadcast, Mercogliano took to the streets of Manhattan for TomKat divorce reaction. The versatile reporter then did a fun story about an alarm that has to be shut from a keypad in another room (right). She even attempted a nap on camera for story sake.  Mercogliano, who worked on WNBC’s soon-to-be-defunct New York Live, is clearly in her element.

But for the broadcast to succeed, it needs more than Mercogliano.

Elliott seems the most assured of the group. His exuberant personality on the WCBS newscasts makes a good fit on WLNY. Bermudez is learning her way through the nuisances of TV, but she brings talent from radio and happily appears to be right at home on the screen.

Kerney appeared nervous at times, trying to find a moment to speak. The entire program and talent are a work in progress, but Kerney may have the biggest hill to climb.

With many viewers on vacation this week, it’s likely WLNY, not to mention Dave Price debuting on WNYW, and early morning changes to WPIX were done this week as a “soft launch,” allowing chemistry to build and kinks to be ironed out under less scrutiny.