Pandemic, rejig force NBC to cancel 3 entertainment news shows
In a massive jolt to newsroom dynamics, three popular E! Entertainment news shows, E! News, In the Room and Pop of the Morning, stand canceled. Sources say that the pandemic and an internal restructuring are the possible reasons behind this move. This means that a sizable part of the staff running these shows will either have to be laid off or given new roles.
Pop Of the Morning started airing from January 6 and became an instant favorite for celebrity news. The show covered it all, right from dealing with latest celebrity outings, relationship gossips, album releases to everything Hollywood. Hosted by Scott Tweedie and Lilliana Vazquez, this show was based out of New York but was called off on March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, In the Room was different from other shows. While others invited celebrities, the crew of this show visited the favorite places of those stars to get much more than what they wanted to share in a newsroom. This exciting program had host Jason Kennedy visiting gyms, homes, recording studios and even toured to get the celebrities sharing interesting bytes from their everyday life.
E! News is the oldest of the three. Started in 1991 as a night-time Los Angeles show, this one had hosts like Maria Menounos, Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic, who in 2019 left her role as the full-time anchor of the show. In the same year, the program was shifted to New York on a daytime slot, and was hosted by Tweedie and Vazquez.
As soon as this development surfaced, news reports dropped hints of possible reasons behind this move. Some said that in order to curtail costs in the aftermath of the pandemic, NBCUniversal merged television and streaming operations under Mark Lazarus. However, the company was hurt nonetheless after a blanket ban on public gatherings reduced their revenue by 25% in the second quarter.
Many also indicated that a probable internal reshuffle of NBCUniversal under the leadership of Lazarus, which has led to massive layoffs, might have driven this decision. However, this move will hamper only 10% of its staff strength across verticals, said a source.