Dobbs Adds ‘Early’ Shift

Apr 3, 2007  •  Post A Comment

“The Early Show” is adding some heat to its morning mix with a weekly commentary from CNN’s opinionated anchor Lou Dobbs, starting April 10.

Mr. Dobbs has redefined his role as anchor of what once was CNN’s financial show, “Moneyline,” making it a broader program and taking strong stands on issues such as outsourcing of U.S. jobs and immigration. The show has been renamed “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”

“What makes Lou stand out is that he’s not afraid to tackle the hot topics,” CBS News Morning Broadcast VP Steve Friedman said in Tuesday’s announcement. “‘The Early Show’ will surely benefit from having the unique and passionate perspective that Lou will now bring to morning television.”

Mr. Friedman told TelevisionWeek the Tuesday Dobbs segment will be modeled after the Wednesday feature “Capital Bob,” in which “Face the Nation” moderator Bob Schieffer makes a point and then is questioned by “The Early Show” co-anchors.

“He’s going to say what he wants and then we’re going to grill him,” Mr. Friedman said. “We’ll jointly pick the topics.”

This is not Mr. Dobbs’ first network morning show gig. NBC, which invested in Space.com during Mr. Dobbs’ tenure as founding CEO, made a deal that included a newsletter and radio reports from Mr. Dobbs, as well as occasional guest appearances on “Today.”

After a “Today” segment in 1999, Mr. Dobbs was reminded by CNN that he had a three-year non-compete clause that precluded such Space.com duties and he returned to CNN, where he was a founding anchor.

Mr. Dobbs is not the first CNN personality to be shared with CBS News. Globetrotting correspondent Christiane Amanpour broke the barrier as a contributing correspondent for “60 Minutes,” a role now filled by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.

On Monday, CBS News announced that Jeff Greenfield was leaving CNN after nine years to become CBS’ senior political correspondent.

(Editor: Horowitz)