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Burger King's "king" getting the ax: report

Things are apparently changing at Burger King -- and the king himself is reportedly taking the fall.

According to USA Today. the fast-food chain is de-throning its "king" character as it gives its menu more fresh, healthy options.

So -- no more commercials featuring that frozen smile.

The newspaper calls Burger King's plan "the first of many steps to reinvent itself over the next year," making its advertising target Mom rather than teens, and stressing healthy items on its menu, including some new ones.

"In a new ad campaign set to air this weekend," USA Today says, "Burger King will nationally roll out the California Whopper on Monday, made with what's arguably the gastronomic trend of 2011: guacamole. In a serious image twist, the entire commercial shows only the sights and sounds of the fresh ingredients being washed, sliced and diced. There are no words, just pulsating music."

The newspaper quotes Alex Macedo, Burger King senior marketing vice president, as saying there are "no plans to bring the King back anytime soon."

Burger King has been struggling in its battle with McDonald's.

BK's same-store sales were down 6 percent in the first quarter, even as those at McDonalds rose 3 percent, USA Today says, citing consulting firm Technomic.