CNN planning to enter morning news fray

CNN is likely to spend big bucks to boost its morning audience, analysts are predicting. Stacey Lynn Koerner, senior vice president of research at Initiative Media in New York, told today’s (Monday) New York Daily News, that the cable network’s decision to air the program from new studios on the street level of the Time-Life Building in New York is probably well founded. “You can build excitement about your brand on the street,” she said. “It’s like everything else, the content has to follow. It’s just one more bell or whistle, and it’s expensive.” CNN programs, for the most part, originate in Atlanta. The network has also reportedly agreed to pay Paula Zahn about $2 million a year to host the program. A male co-host (Jack Ford’s name is prominently mentioned in reports about the new program) is likely to receive a similar fee. The program will air opposite NBC’s Today show, the current network morning leader, which is seen in about 6 million homes. Currently, CNN draws about 200,000.