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Morning shows already facing tough time amid firings

December 8, 2017

Two of the biggest network morning news shows lost veteran anchors in recent weeks when sex harassment allegations felled Matt Lauer, of “Today” on NBC, and Charlie Rose, of “CBS This Morning.” The unplanned exits leave the networks the chance to rethink their shows — vital to their bottom lines — but they come at a precarious time for the institution of the morning broadcast.

Viewers are facing a widening array of media choices when they wake up. The nonstop drama of political news in the Trump era and the jaw-dropping #MeToo movement — and sometimes their intersection — are driving audiences to a variety of nonbroadcast news outlets, severely diminishing the audience for the three big shows.

Over the past four years, the big three broadcast network morning shows have lost a collective 1.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen statistics, dropping from 12 million in 2014 to 10.8 million as of last month.

Image: ABC's "Good Morning America" - 2017

From left, Michael Strahan, Robin Roberts, Lara Spencer, actress Margot Robbie and George Stephanopoulos appear on the Good Morning America show on Nov. 30, 2017 in New York.