CBS hires Lou Dobbs for morning commentary

Gail Shister
The Philadelphia Inquirer (MCT)

Already seen seven nights a week at 6 on CNN's "Lou Dobbs Tonight," big Lou will add CBS's "The Early Show" to his portfolio, the Eye announced Tuesday.

Dobbs will do live, weekly commentaries on the set between 7 and 8 a.m. Topics will include his hot-button troika: immigration, public education and free trade.

"I think it will be fun," says Dobbs, 61, who has a one-year deal. "I'm doing what I love to do. They want me to express my views. As you know, I'm never reticent to do that."

Steve Friedman, head of CBS's morning news broadcasts, says he reached out to Dobbs after ABC announced in January that it had signed CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck as a contributor to "Good Morning America."

"I basically said, `I wonder if Lou Dobbs would be interested?'" Friedman says. "Lou and I have known each other for years. They talked to us. We talked to them. We made the deal."

While there's no corporate synergy here - Time Warner owns CNN, Viacom pulls the strings at CBS - Dobbs' crossover is not without precedent. CNN poster boy Anderson Cooper does at least five pieces a year for CBS's "60 Minutes."

Ever the statesman, Friedman can't resist taking a shot at No. 2 "GMA" and Beck, who has yet to make an appearance since his Jan. 9 hiring, according to an ABC rep.

"I don't believe in amorphous signings," Friedman says. "If you're in the family, you can't come on occasionally. You have to have a regular spot."

Says ABC's equally politic Jeffrey Schneider: "I don't believe in punching down to engage the head of the third- place morning show."

Dobbs says his Tuesday commentaries will be at least a minute in length, followed by chats with anchors Harry Smith, Hannah Storm, Julie Chen and Russ Mitchell. (Note to CBS: Rene Syler, who got the boot Dec. 1, is still listed as a coanchor on your Web site.)

Friedman doesn't expect Dobbs to be all-immigration- all-the-time.

"We want a wide, varied Lou. He can talk about money, politics and other issues. Quite frankly, now that we're into 14-year presidential campaigns, he can talk about that, too."

For Friedman, it's a win-win for both sides.

"We're his morning job. His night job remains the same. He gets to look at a new audience. We get to use his persona to attract a new audience. He's great TV."

For Dobbs, there's no downside, either. "I'm working with good people and talking to more viewers in a different platform. It's as good as it gets."

Well, except for the hours.

Not exactly a morning person, Dobbs, who lives on a 300-acre horse farm in North Jersey, will stay overnight in New York on Mondays so he won't have to commute. (We're guessing Dobbs won't pick up the tab.)

"Lou get up early?" Friedman says with a laugh. "I don't think he's up at 3:45, jogging around Manhattan."

"If you define grouchy as not talking to me before I've had my morning coffee, then I'm grouchy," Dobbs says. "Fortunately, my wife's always nice enough to bring me a cup."



This just in - CNN is changing its breakfast blend. The O'Briens, Soledad and Miles (no relation), are out as co-anchors of "American Morning," reports.

Both are expected to stay at CNN. Their replacements will be CNN's John Roberts, 50, a Canadian CBS alum, and Nepal-born Kiran Chetry, 32, recently hired from Fox News Channel.

Soledad, 40, and Miles, 47, debuted on "Morning" in June 2005. According to buzz in the biz, the change is being made because Don Imus' MSNBC simulcast is fast closing in on "Morning" in the 7-to-10 a.m. weekday ratings.

Neither O'Brien returned calls to their cell phones Tuesday.



Bad News Monday in TV land.

Three ratings-challenged series - all freshmen - got the hook: David E. Kelley's "The Wedding Bells" on Fox, ABC's "Six Degrees," and NBC's "The Black Donnellys."



David Arquette will direct big sister Patricia Arquette on next Wednesday's episode of NBC's "Medium." It marks the first time the Arquette sibs have worked together as director/actor.

In the episode, "1-900-LUCKY," her brother Michael's (Ryan Hurst) job as a phone psychic leads him to visit a client in Arizona whose husband has been murdered. To the surprise of Allison (Arquette), Michael's trip plays a large role in her own investigation.





How the Template for Modern Combat Journalism Developed

The superbly researched Journalism and the Russo-Japanese War tells readers how Japan pioneered modern techniques of propaganda and censorship in the Russo-Japanese War.


From Horrifying Comedy to Darkly Funny Horror: Bob Clark Films

What if I told you that the director of one of the most heartwarming and beloved Christmas movies of all time is the same director as probably the most terrifying and disturbing yuletide horror films of all time?


The 50 Best Songs of 2007

Journey back 13 years to a stellar year for Rihanna, M.I.A., Arcade Fire, and Kanye West. From hip-hop to indie rock and everywhere in between, PopMatters picks the best 50 songs of 2007.


'Modern' Is the Pinnacle of Post-Comeback Buzzcocks' Records

Presented as part of the new Buzzcocks' box-set, Sell You Everything, Modern showed a band that wasn't interested in just repeating itself or playing to nostalgia.


​Nearly 50 and Nearly Unplugged: 'ChangesNowBowie' Is a Glimpse Into a Brilliant Mind

Nine tracks, recorded by the BBC in 1996 show David Bowie in a relaxed and playful mood. ChangesNowBowie is a glimpse into a brilliant mind.


Reaching for the Sky: An Interview with Singer-Songwriter Bruce Sudano

How did Bruce Sudano become a superhero? PopMatters has the answer as Sudano celebrates the release of Spirals and reflects on his career from Brooklyn Dreams to Broadway.


Inventions Conjure Mystery and Hope with the Intensely Creative 'Continuous Portrait'

Instrumental duo Matthew Robert Cooper (Eluvium) and Mark T. Smith (Explosions in the Sky) release their first album in five years as Inventions. Continuous Portrait is both sonically thrilling and oddly soothing.


Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch Are 'Live at the Village Vanguard' to Raise Money for Musicians

Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch release a live recording from a 2018 show to raise money for a good cause: other jazz musicians.


Lady Gaga's 'Chromatica' Hides Its True Intentions Behind Dancefloor Exuberance

Lady Gaga's Chromatica is the most lively and consistent record she's made since Born This Way, embracing everything great about her dance-pop early days and giving it a fresh twist.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Street Art As Sprayed Solidarity: Global Corona Graffiti

COVID-19-related street art functions as a vehicle for political critique and social engagement. It offers a form of global solidarity in a time of crisis.


Gretchen Peters Honors Mickey Newbury With "The Sailor" and New Album (premiere + interview)

Gretchen Peters' latest album, The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury, celebrates one of American songwriting's most underappreciated artists. Hear Peters' new single "The Sailor" as she talks about her latest project.


Okkyung Lee Goes From Classical to Noise on the Stellar 'Yeo-Neun'

Cellist Okkyung Lee walks a fine line between classical and noise on the splendid, minimalist excursion Yeo-Neun.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.