The harsh economic climate for media outlets has trickled down to E!
The cable network canceled its New York-based shows E! News and Pop of the Morning, an E! spokesperson confirmed to Urban Hollywood 411 Wednesday. The short-lived celebrity interview show In the Room is also ending. The cancellations come amid a wider restructuring at parent company NBCUniversal.
E! News and Pop of the Morning launched in January 2020, after E! moved a large portion of its news operation from Los Angeles to New York. In the Room debuted in March, featuring longtime E! host Jason Kennedy interviewing celebs and taking a look inside their homes.
The E! spokesperson said the changes were “definitely because of coronavirus,” adding that the network now plans to shift its studio operations back to Los Angeles.
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In a top to bottom revamp last year, E! canceled its flagship Los Angeles-based version of E! News, which aired its final broadcast on Nov. 15, 2019. The hour-long nightly entertainment show had been on the air since 1991.
The changes were spearheaded by Tammy Filler, a veteran Today show producer, who joined E! in April 2019.
As part of the revamp, E! News was turned into a 30-minute morning show that aired from New York at 7 a.m., instead of at night. Pop of the Morning continued the day’s pop culture conversation. Both shows were hosted by Lilliana Vazquez and Scott Tweedie.
Filler made a splashy announcement in December after Vazquez and Tweedie were hired, describing them as “the perfect pair to join the news team as we continue to build our presence in New York.”
Vazquez had been a contributor on NBC’s Today and a correspondent for Access Hollywood. Tweedie was a TV presenter in Australia.
As for the status of Vazquez and Tweedie, an E! insider told Urban Hollywood 411 Wednesday that “no talent decisions have been made yet.”
Meanwhile, Variety reported today that these latest cancellations would likely lead to layoffs, although the network is said to be trying to place some staffers in other positions within the company.
Some former E! staffers told Urban Hollywood 411 last year that the channel’s shift to New York was “mind-boggling,” considering the outlet’s focus on Hollywood and celebrity coverage.