Can Susan Zirinsky save CBS News’ ratings?

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

CBS News president Susan Zirinsky is the subject of a Vanity Fair article on whether the longtime journalist can turn things around at the network’s storied news division.

Despite a lustrous past that includes the names of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite — as well as popular entertainment programming — CBS News remains stuck in a distant third in most timeslots.

Zirinsky made headlines with her decision to shake up the network’s morning and evening news talent, which included moving Jeff Glor off the “CBS Evening News” anchor desk in favor of “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Norah O’Donnell.

She then rebuilt “This Morning” around Gayle King, the only member of two of the network’s most prominent shows to remain in place after the dust up.

“I wouldn’t put something on the air that I didn’t think was going to work,” said Zirinsky in the Vanity Fair piece.

However, both of these shows’ ratings show the changes haven’t attracted significantly better numbers yet.

O’Donnell’s debut week on “CBS Evening News” posted modest growth over its previous month of fill-in anchors, while “CBS This Morning” painfully dipped 21% with its new team’s debut.

CBS, and many analysts will point out, perhaps fairly, that ratings fluctuations aren’t uncommon after talent shakeups.

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