CBS News insiders slammed the struggling network over its tone-deaf decision to cut short coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in order to air episodes of “Let’s Make a Deal” and “The Price Is Right.”
Like its rivals, CBS started TV coverage of the funeral at 5:30 a.m., but co-hosts Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell wrapped up the network’s reporting on the historic funeral at 10 a.m., cutting to programming that included the pre-taped game shows.
Meanwhile, NBC News, ABC News, CNN, BBC and others caught the procession to St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, which wrapped up around noon.
“This is appalling. I’m speechless,” said one CBS insider. “This is history. This is a huge event. If you have a legitimate news division and you want to grow and show yourself as being legit, you have to cover history.”
“This is the decline of CBS. The network is waving the white flag,” the source added. “Even [upstart network] NewsNation covered it!”
Viewers also took to Twitter to call out the decision.
“CBS said the Queen’s funeral is NOT more important than The Price is Right,” tweeted one user, along with a GIF of reality star Nene Leaks snapping.
“NBC and ABC are preempting all of their morning programming from 530 am to noon ET for the Queen’s funeral. CBS is going ahead with the season premiere of Price Is Right.” wrote another.
“RIP Queen Elizabeth II Cable news is covering her death, as is ABC and NBC, while CBS is airing a rerun of ‘Let’s Make A Deal,’” tweeted a user.
While CBS News did cut its TV broadcast of the funeral, coverage continued on its streaming services Paramount+ and CBS News Streaming Network. Viewers on the West Coast saw King continue her TV coverage live from London for “CBS Mornings” before getting an episode of “The Price Is Right.” East Coast viewers saw back-to-back episodes of “Let’s Make a Deal” and “The Price Is Right.”
Insiders guessed that CBS made a business decision to keep with its regularly scheduled programming in order to hold on to advertising dollars versus airing one uninterrupted, commercial-free special report.
“The news division offered continuous coverage beginning at 5:30am for the duration of the events to our broadcast and streaming outlets,” a CBS spokesperson told The Post.
The network, which continues to slim down budgets under co-presidents Neeraj Khemlani and Wendy McMahon, has been undergoing a restructuring amid tanking morale. Sources griped to The Post that the sharp-elbowed Khemlani has “cut the network to the bone,” pressing employees to “do more with less” money.
Although Khemlani has wielded the ax over the past year, one source blamed CBS CEO George Cheeks, who has ultimate say over programming.
“It’s like ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ commercials are more important than journalism,” the source said. “It shows Cheeks’ priority is business over news. CBS just lost the respect of the news gods.”
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