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NAB: CBS Affiliates Board Sees Some Improvement in AM

Complete Coverage: 2012 NAB Show

As was expected, CBS' struggles in morning news were discussed and dissected at the CBS affiliates board meeting in Las Vegas April 16. The board sees hints of improvement in the long-struggling morning franchise, and said it heard all the right messages from the network news execs. But CBS This Morning's turnaround will take years to get significant traction.  

"We knew it would be a slow build," said Wayne Daugherty, chairman of the CBS affiliates board and COO and executive VP of Raycom. "Basically they are starting over with that show."  

Scott Pelley and CBS Evening News, Daugherty said, are performing very well.

The network updated the affiliates board on its efforts to sustain its dominance in prime, which includes keeping a fresh supply of programming in the pipeline to offset some of the more mature dramas. The affiliates body will see the development slate at the CBS upfront presentation next month in New York.

Affiliate relations president Diana Wilkin and CBS News president David Rhodes were among the network representatives speaking at the meeting.

Daugherty said the relationship with CBS News has been positive. "They're very involved with us and very accessible to us," he said. "They're open to any questions and suggestions we might have."

All in all, Daugherty said the meeting was free of drama; when a network supplies its affiliates with such strong primetime, complaints are usually at a minimum on the affiliate side. "It was a good dialogue -- a very open conversation," he said.