New CBS Television Stations topper John Severino is shaking things up at the Eye’s West and East Coast flagships.
At KCBS, Severino — who also serves as G.M. of the troubled Los Angeles station — will soon unveil a new fall lineup that makes several dramatic sked changes, including:
- Moving war-horse gameshow “The Price is Right” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, where it will battle “Oprah,” “Rosie O’Donnell” and repeats of “Judge Judy.” Change will take place Sept. 13.
- Shifting “The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather” back to 6:30 p.m., the same slot where Rather’s ABC and NBC network news competish now airs. With more available aud at 6:30 p.m., the move is good news for Rather, whose national ratings have been suffering in recent months.
- Expanding KCBS’ 4:30 p.m. news to an hour so that it airs from 4-5 p.m., the same as newscasts on KABC and KNBC.
- Skedding the new “Dr. Joy Browne Show” weekdays at 10 a.m. following “Martha Stewart Living.”
As expected, Severino Thursday also announced the hiring of CBS Sports exec Tony Petitti to head up WCBS in Gotham (Daily Variety, Aug. 19.)
In addition, Severino is restructuring several positions at the CBS Television Stations division.
The job of veepee of programming and scheduling for the stations division is being eliminated, resulting in the departure of Ben Zurier from that position. His duties will be combined into a new position, yet to be filled, which will also oversee marketing and promotion.
As for the changes at KCBS, Severino told Daily Variety that the move of “Price” is meant to position the station as a clear non-talk alternative at 3 p.m.
“It’s our highest-rated show in daytime,” he said of the Bob Barker hour. “I think we can get some traction there.”
Barker has agreed to cut a series of promos hyping the move which, in the two weeks leading up to the shift, will air before and after each day’s seg. KCBS also plans to run crawls during “Price” reminding viewers of the pending change.
Meanwhile, Severino acknowledged that Petitti might not be a conventional choice to top WCBS. Still, he believes the CBS Sports exec has certain skills vital to being a good exec.
“A lot of people have the mental capability for these jobs, but those leadership skills are unique. Only the best have them,” he said.