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CBS News Overhauls "The Early Show"

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

NEW YORK -- CBS News is completely overhauling "The Early Show" broadcast team.

Co-anchors Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez are out, along with weather forecaster Dave Price. The news of the shuffle came Tuesday from a person with knowledge of the discussions who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak on personnel issues.

The morning news show's new anchor team will be Chris Wragge and Erica Hill, who have worked together anchoring CBS' Saturday-morning show. Hill is also the current news reader for the weekday version.

Jeff Glor, anchor of Saturday's "CBS Evening News" and a reporter on "The Early Show, will take over the news reader job on the morning show. Marysol Castro, formerly of ABC's "Good Morning America" weekend edition, will do the weather.

"The Early Show" runs third in the network morning show competition. The week before last, NBC's "Today" show averaged 5.6 million viewers each day, "GMA" had 4.6 million and "The Early Show" had 2.9 million, the Nielsen Co. said.

The new team will start on Jan. 3. It marks the second big change to a morning team in a year, after ABC installed George Stephanopoulos as a co-anchor with Robin Roberts and added news reader JuJu Chang.

Smith had the longest tenure on "The Early Show." He was the sole survivor from 2002 when CBS installed a four-anchor team that included Smith, Hannah Storm, Julie Chen and Rene Skyler. He also hosted a previous CBS morning show from 1987 to 1996.

Wragge worked in sports, including a stint as a sideline reporter at events for NBC, until he made the jump to news in 2006. Beside his weekend job at CBS, he had been anchoring local news broadcasts at the network's New York affiliate, a job he'll give up to go national.
Hill, who came to CBS from CNN, briefly filled in for Rodriguez last year when Rodriguez was on maternity leave.

Price had strayed beyond the weather for other stories at "The Early Show." Most recently, the show left him in Alaska with $50 and challenged him to earn money for a return trip to New York, filming his adventures along the way.

The following press release was issued by CBS News shortly after this AP report:

Effective Jan. 3, Erica Hill and Chris Wragge will be the new co-anchors of CBS News’ THE EARLY SHOW. Jeff Glor will serve as the broadcast’s news anchor and Marysol Castro will join CBS News as the broadcast’s weather anchor. The appointments were announced today by Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports, and David Friedman, executive producer of THE EARLY SHOW.

“THE EARLY SHOW is an important element of CBS News,” said McManus. “We constantly focus on how to improve the broadcast, and we think we have a terrific combination in Erica, Chris, Jeff and Marysol. In the year since David has taken the helm, he has produced some outstanding programming and shown a deep, thoughtful understanding of morning television. This new team brings vibrancy, intelligence and warmth that I think America will grow to love.”

“Erica, Chris, Jeff and Marysol are four accomplished broadcasters who already have proven track records and loyal followings. Together, they're going to be even stronger,” said Friedman. “This group is the perfect combination of intelligence and personality for morning television, and I’m excited to give viewers the opportunity to welcome them into their homes each morning.”

Erica Hill and Chris Wragge have co-anchored the Saturday Edition of THE EARLY SHOW since 2008. Hill also has been News Anchor for THE EARLY SHOW since January of this year. She has served as news anchor and correspondent for CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360°” and substitute anchor for Cooper and Campbell Brown.

While co-anchoring the Saturday edition of THE EARLY SHOW with Hill since 2008 and frequently substitute anchoring the weekday EARLY SHOW, Wragge has also been co-anchor of CBS 2 News at 5:00 PM and 11:00 PM in New York, the nation’s largest market, a position he has held since 2006.

Jeff Glor has anchored the Saturday edition of the CBS EVENING NEWS and been a National Correspondent reporting for all CBS News broadcasts since 2009. He has also been a substitute anchor for the CBS EVENING NEWS since March 2007.

Marysol Castro served as the weather and feature correspondent of ABC News’ weekend edition of “Good Morning America” from 2004 to 2010. Before joining ABC News, Castro served as a general assignment reporter for WPIX-TV in New York.

The current cast of THE EARLY SHOW will continue at CBS News in new roles.

Harry Smith will shift his focus to hard news with an expanded role as primary substitute anchor on THE EVENING NEWS WITH KATIE COURIC, FACE THE NATION and SUNDAY MORNING, while continuing to report major stories for all CBS News broadcasts.

CBS News is discussing prominent and ongoing roles for Maggie Rodriguez and Dave Price. “We appreciate Harry, Maggie and Dave’s countless contributions to THE EARLY SHOW and are looking forward to the contributions they each will continue to make at CBS News,” said McManus.


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