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Report: CBS ‘Early Show’ Revamp Plan With Charlie Rose And Gayle King Makes Competitors Smile

Folks at ABC are “doing a happy dance” over word that CBS is about to remake The Early Show into a Morning Joe-like ensemble gabfest with Charlie Rose and Gayle King joining current co-hosts Erica Hill and Jeff Glor, The New York Times says. The plan indicates that the network is abandoning any hope of overtaking ABC’s Good Morning America or NBC’s Today in the ratings, and are settling instead for the cachet of being a hard-news alternative — which appeals to CBS’ older demo. CBS hasn’t decided whether to stick with the Early Show name, and it seems there’s no role for another co-host, Chris Wragge. The revamped show would have a regular group of contributors with Rose guiding things at 7 AM, and King taking charge at 8. CBS execs can’t be pleased with the way The Times framed their plans: The paper says that the industry’s view ranges “from skeptical to downright dismissive” and describes Rose as “a mainstay on the Manhattan cocktail party circuit.”

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What Will Harry Smith Do At NBC’s Mysterious Primetime Newscast?

NBC didn’t spill any secrets about the unnamed hourlong prime time news program that Brian Williams is developing when it announced today that former CBS News anchor Harry Smith will join the team as “one of the correspondents.” The show’s exact format is still a mystery, although NBC News president Steve Capus says that Smith’s “vast experience, covering everything from interviews with world leaders to wars and natural disasters, makes him a perfect fit for this new broadcast,” which will also feature NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC anchors and correspondents. NBC’s praise must be refreshing for Smith to hear. In January, CBS pared back his role at The Early Show. CBS put Chris Wragge and Erica Hill in as anchors, replacing Smith and Maggie Rodriguez, in an effort to narrow the ratings gap with NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America. Smith had hosted CBS’s This Morning from 1987 to 1996 and hosted The Early Show since 2002.  In a memo to staffers last week, CBS News president David Rhodes called Smith ”a fixture here at CBS News for a generation” who had made “an extraordinary contribution.”

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Anchor Shakeup On CBS’ ‘The Early Show’

Nellie Andreeva

Erica Hill’s star is rising fast at CBS. In an overhaul of the anchor team at The Early Show, which has been trailing the morning program competition, co-anchors Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez and weather anchor Dave Price are out. Hill, who joined The Early Show 10 months ago as news anchor of the weekday program and co-anchor of the weekend edition with Chris Wragge, will now co-anchor the weekday Early Show along with Wragge. Marysol Castro, formerly of ABC’s Good Morning America weekend edition, has been tapped as the new weather anchor, while Jeff Glor will serve as news anchor. The changes will go in effect on Jan. 3. “The Early Show is an important element of CBS News,” CBS News and Sports president McManus said. “We constantly focus on how to improve the broadcast, and we think we have a terrific combination in Erica, Chris, Jeff and Marysol.” According to CBS News’ release, Smith and Price, who had been anchoring The Early Show since 2002, and Rodriguez, who replaced Hannah Storm in 2008, will stay with CBS News in a different capacities.

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