Eye Web officially cuts Molinari

Former congresswoman dumped as anchor of 'Saturday Morning'

NEW YORK — CBS News has officially vetoed Susan Molinari’s career at the network.

As expected, (Daily Variety, June 23), the network announced Tuesday that the former congresswoman has been dumped as anchor of “CBS News Saturday Morning,” with her last appearance set for this weekend.

Molinari has not been offered another position at CBS News and will instead depart the network entirely “by mutual agreement,” the network said.

Molinari gave up her seat in Congress last year to take the CBS News job, a decision that stirred controversy both inside and outside the network. Hiring the former Republican representative blurred the line between politics and journalism, critics charged.

But CBS News president Andrew Heyward said he has “no regrets” about his decision to woo Molinari away from Washington.

“It doesn’t leave me with a bitter taste,” he said, conceding that he is “disappointed, and so is she that this particular assignment didn’t work out.” Still, Heyward said he believes it’s better to take chances “rather than just piddle along doing what’s been done before.”

Molinari was unavailable for comment, but issued a statement indicating she planned to continue her TV career.

“I am considering several broadcasting options, including political commentary,” she said. In the short term, Molinari has accepted a visiting fellowship at Harvard U.’s Kennedy School of Government.

“I am grateful to everyone at CBS for all they did to make me feel at home and to put the program together each week,” she added.

Heyward emphasized that he believes Molinari has qualities that could allow her to become a successful on-air personality.

“The fit just wasn’t right (at CBS News),” he said. “I don’t think this show and this format is the best way to bring out her talents.”

Heyward said a replacement for Molinari would be announced in the next few weeks, but declined to name any candidates for the job. Fill-in hosts will co-anchor “Saturday Morning” with regular host Russ Mitchell in the interim.