Ms. Lunden, who co-hosted Good Morning America from 1980 to 1997, has more recently been seen promoting Claritin and hosting the CBS reality show Wickedly Perfect.
So what exactly is Ms. Lunden’s secret plan? Still secret, said Ms. Rosenblum.
But given their respective backgrounds, one might expect a daytime show.
Prior to joining Today, Ms. Rosenblum enjoyed much success in the realm of daytime television, as a producer for such hits as the Sally Jessy Raphael Show and The Maury Show.
In fact, teaming up with Ms. Lunden will not be Ms. Rosenblum’s first time working alongside a blond-haired, charismatic TV personality named Joan. For several years, she worked as a producer for The Joan Rivers Show.
Meet Tribune Turk Sean Compton
On April 7, the Tribune Company sent out a press release announcing the addition of Marc Chase as president of Tribune Interactive—noting, along the way, in a bit of tongue-in-cheek joking that the former Clear Channel Communications executive had once been “Vocabulary Advisorist for George W. Bush,” and “President of Buying Crap” for eBay.
But for some onlookers in the radio industry it was an ostensibly straightforward press release from Tribune four days earlier that left them scratching their heads.
To wit: On April 3, executives at Tribune announced that they had hired a 34-year-old radioman named Sean Compton to head up programming for Tribune’s 23 television stations and for Superstation WGN.
“Compton was most recently head of programming for Clear Channel Communications, where he oversaw the creation and development of radio programs and features built around such high profile celebrities and entertainers as Ryan Seacrest, Whoopi Goldberg, Ty Pennington, business mogul Donald Trump, and conservative commentator, Sean Hannity,” noted the release.
Sean Hannity’s presence on that list had some scratching their heads. Wasn’t it WABC in New York that originally developed Mr. Hannity into a radio star in the mid-’90s, and Roger Ailes at Fox News who turned Mr. Hannity into a major force on television?
Mr. Compton did play an important role in re-signing Mr. Hannity to a three-year extension, which began in January 2007, on Clear Channel’s stations. But at that point, Mr. Hannity was a well-developed star.
“How Sean Compton could claim that he had any hand in the creation or development of Sean Hannity is beyond the imagination,” said one radio executive.
The other puzzling detail of the release: Why in the world would Tribune tout Mr. Compton’s role in developing Whoopi Goldberg’s show?
In May 2006, Mr. Compton and his bosses at Clear Channel signed Ms. Goldberg to a pricey deal to host a weekday morning talk show aimed at women called Wake Up With Whoopi. Some two years later, the show is widely considered a critical and financial failure.
The latest embarrassment in the saga came this past Friday. “Whoopi Goldberg ended her syndicated morning show career with some misfired fireworks,” All Access reported. “[H]er final show Friday morning (4/11) basically consisted of a three-hour rant about how much she hated doing radio.”
“Bottom line,” said the aforementioned radio exec. “How could Tribune think that this guy will turn around their TV programming when he consistently failed to pick good radio programming?”