Charlie Rose says his reputation as a night owl is greatly exaggerated. The co-host of the new CBS morning program (to be renamed from The Early Show) that will launch January 9 told reporters Tuesday that he's up everyday at 5 a.m. — a little late for morning television prep, but still pretty early.
He said the executive producer of his PBS show could prove it, as she has been peppered with e-mails in the pre-dawn hours. His new job won't require much of an adjustment as some gossip columnists have speculated. "I do not have the kind of lifestyle that many people imagine me to have," Rose said.
Rose, who will continue his PBS talk show, will have to cut back on moderating conferences and panels that require him to travel. But if it's an interesting gathering or news-making interview, CBS will take the morning show on the road.
There will be more changes for CBS's other new co-host, Gayle King, who will steer the 8 a.m. hour of the new CBS program. King will give up her daily satellite radio program, which gets simulcast on the OWN cable network. "I really intend to give this the attention it deserves," said King.
King also noted that it was fair to assume that famous best friend Oprah Winfrey will occasionally appear. "If she doesn't invite her, I will," said Rose.
The new CBS show will have two holdovers from The Early Show. Erica Hill will be the third co-host, sitting along side Rose in the more news-oriented first hour, while news anchor Jeff Glor becomes a special correspondent. Saturday Early Show co-anchor Rebecca Jarvis will be business and economics correspondent while network news veteran John Miller will serve as senior correspondent.
The new program's format is still evolving, but CBS News executives are promising that it will be heavy on discussion and less dependent on the frothy elements and stunts usually associated with network morning programs (it's unlikely that you'll see karaoke contests, weddings or Halloween costumes).
But CBS News president Jeff Fager was careful not to exclude any topics. "We're not going to do cooking segments," he said. "Are we going to have great chefs on to talk about food? Yes."