Ugly Stepchild of News Division Loses Its Only Permanent Anchor -- and Ira Joe, We Hardly Knew Ye
It's not enough that the "Saturday Early Show" on CBS is in the ratings basement, which is in keeping with its weekday brethren.
The show's Web site is buried well within CBS News.com, no surprise given that the news division regards it as both an afterthought and pit stop for its anchors.
In the last year or so, Russ Mitchell (who needs his Web site bio updated) and Tracy Smith, the most recent anchors have decamped to other duties in the news division. Indeed, they are worthy of bigger and better things. But the network kind of forgot, or chose to forget, to replace Mitchell.
After a succession of guest anchors, WCBS-TV's Chris Wragge has more or less stepped into that breach, but has not been named a permanent host.
Smith was replaced in June by Maggie Rodriguez, who will now get to watch the program, as she ascends to the weekday "Early Show" to take over for the departing Hannah Storm next month.
No word on who gets Rodriguez' slot.
Then there is the curious tale of the Saturday Early Show's venerable weather reporter, Ira Joe Fisher (above), who has apparently been booted from the show, although if you drill down to the Web site, you still see him listed as being part of the team, which he has been since the show's inception in 1999.
Fisher is apparently still on the payroll, though now he is only heard doing commercial voiceovers on the weekday "Early Show."
Despite Fisher's banishment (which has irked more than a few readers of this blog), new weather guy Lonnie Quinn, also from WCBS, has not been formally anointed.
The suits at West 57th St. are extremely bullish about Quinn, whose arrival pushed WCBS weekday weather guy John Bolaris to weekends.
Bolaris took that hint, and will return to Philadelphia, where he had last worked before New York, to be the chief meteorologist at the local Fox station.