Summarized by Kent Larsen
Can Clayson Save CBS' 'The Early Show?'
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Nearly a year after LDS TV personality Jane Clayson
debuted on CBS' "The Early Show," which replaced the failed "CBS This
Morning," the show is still trying to gain an audience. In spite of its
investment of $30 million in a Fifth Avenue studio, its former "Today"
anchor Bryant Gumbell and its "Today" producer, "The Early Show" is still
not getting ratings similar to "Today." But the Hartford Courant's Weiss
says Clayson is the show's hope.
A 1990 graduate of BYU, Clayson worked as an anchor-reporter in Salt Lake
City before becoming a reporter for ABC News in Los Angeles. There she
attracted the attention of CBS, who contacted her in the middle of 1998 as
part of its "Operation Glass Slipper," the network's attempt to find a
co-host for Gumbell on "The Early Show." In August, CBS chose her for the
spot and by November, she had debuted on the show.
While the show is struggling, Clayson is proud of its accomplishments in its
first year. Dismissing the negative reivews of the show, she says,
"Everybody's a critic, and everybody's got their own opinion," Clayson says.
"Everybody can have those expectations, but I decided I have to do my job to
the best of my ability every day. I can't let all of that bother me. If you
were to compare our show to the other two, you would see that we're very
competitive most days with most interviews and most bookings. We're under no
illusions that we're going to come in and turn this around overnight. We're
in this for the long haul."
And in some ways, Clayson is the key to the show's success. Gumbell is well
known, and has probably drawn the audience that he can draw. Clayson,
however, is still relatively unknown to her audience, so her personality and
ability could still make a difference in the show's su
CBS Morning Hopes May Rest With Her
Los Angeles Times (Hartford Courant) 3Oct00 P2
By Tara Weiss: Hartford Courant