Fox To Launch New Morning Show

Fox is taking the first steps toward launching a national morning news and entertainment program, green-lighting a one-hour show for its 25 owned-and-operated stations. The live show will launch in January in the 9-10 a.m. slot (in most markets), and follow local programming that the O&Os already offer.

The unnamed show, a joint venture between Fox Television Stations and syndicator Twentieth Television, will be hosted by Mike Jerrick and Juliet Huddy, both of Fox News Channel's "DaySide."

A Twentieth representative said it has not been decided whether the show will be made available to Fox affiliates or stations outside the O&O fold. The show will reach 44 percent of the country.

"The timing is perfect for us to launch this program, as the morning news blocks on our Fox stations are stronger than they've ever been," said Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy. "That strength, coupled with the changing face of the morning news landscape, convinced us that the time to take advantage of this opportunity is now."



The venture draws from three units under News Corp. executive Roger Ailes' control: the stations group, Twentieth, and FNC.

Both NBC, with Katie Couric moving to CBS, and ABC, with Charlie Gibson moving to the evening news, are revamping their morning programs.

In a DVR world, News Corp. has repeatedly signaled its intention to invest heavily in sports and news programming--which viewers prefer to view live--and charge advertisers more. "To the degree that there is some potential degradation in CPMs for entertainment (due to ad-skipping), you're likely to see a corollary increase in CPMs in live news and live sports programming," News Corp. President-COO Peter Chernin said last month.

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