Nerissa Knight gets a new TV day job
04/17/12 09:08 AM
By ED BARK
Add Nerissa Knight and subtract Mia Gradney from Tribune-produced Eye Opener, the ever-changing early morning program originating entirely from CW33's Dallas studios.
Beginning Wednesday (April 18), Knight will be the full-time anchor of Eye Opener's "Need to Know" segments. The former CBS11/TXA21 anchor-reporter, dropped by the stations in December 2010 after three years, had been doing freelance reporting for CW33 and lately was filling in as one of the program's hosts.
Knight's hiring was confirmed independently. Eye Opener's executive producer, Justin Allen, has not returned an email asking for comment. And Knight declined to comment.
Eye Opener has made a number of personnel changes since the new version launched on Nov. 1 of last year after changing venues from Chicago. Two of the original hosts, Ellen Fox and Douglas Caballero, are no longer with the program. Nor are traffic reporter Toni Duclottni and now, Gradney. The three current hosts are incumbent Sean Dowling and recent additions Danielle Volmar and Oliver Tull.
Designed as a zippy alternative to the already increasingly fun-filled "serious" morning programs on rival D-FW stations, Eye Opener also airs on Tribune-owned TV outlets in Philadelphia, Miami, Houston and Portland, Oregon.
In the February "sweeps" ratings period, the program averaged 13,548 viewers in D-FW, which actually put it in range of the CBS11's terminally ratings-challenged early morning show (40,645 viewers).
Eye Opener is aimed more at younger viewers. In Friday's local Nielsen ratings, it had 3,374 in the 18-to-34 age range from 5 to 6 a.m. while CBS11's waker upper had "hashmarks" (no measurable audience) for its entire 4:30 to 7 a.m. running time.