Erica Hill will join NBC’s Weekend Today as co-anchor alongside Lester Holt, news anchor Jenna Wolfe, and meteorologist Dylan Dreyer beginning Sunday, NBC News president Steve Capus said today. Hill also has been named an NBC News national correspondent, and she will report for Today, NBC Nightly News and MSNBC. “Erica’s extraordinary track record as a journalist has proven that she can cover everything from hard news to pop culture with ease and professionalism,” he said. Wolfe is expanding her role to Saturday’s and Sunday’s broadcasts, and Dreyer will also contribute to MSNBC. The move comes a couple of weeks after reports surfaced that Hill, the former CBS Morning Show co-host, was coming aboard at NBC. She was replaced by Norah O’Donnell over the summer at CBS as the last member of the team remaining after the network’s revamp of the show. She previously worked on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360.
NBC and CBS won’t confirm, but if true it’s the latest stop for Erica Hill, who was replaced on CBS Morning Show over the summer by Norah O’Donnell. Hill would join Today‘s weekend show as co-host alongside Lester Holt, who currently anchors the show solo Saturdays and co-hosts with Jenna Wolfe on Sundays. Hill joined CBS as co-host of The Early Show in 2010 after a stint as news reader and correspondent on Anderson Cooper 360 at CNN. CBS retooled Early Show this year and hired Charlie Rose and Gayle King to co-anchor alongside Hill, who was the only member left of the previous incarnation of the show.
The only face on CBS This Morning from CBS’ previous morning program, Erica Hill, is now gone. CBS News has named its Chief White House Correspondent Norah O’Donnell co-host of CBS This Morning. O’Donnell, who was once considered a possible successor to Meredith Vieira on Today, will join co-hosts Charlie Rose and Gayle King beginning this fall. The news comes after O’Donnell recently substituted for Hill, sitting next to Rose and King on the CBS morning program. Here’s what O’Donnell said about her guest stint on the show just last week: “I told Erica Hill who is letting me fill in for her, I promised not to leave too many crumbs in her keyboard; I won’t mess up her office too much.” Ironic, huh?
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Change in the weather at CBS: At today’s CBS This Morning TCA panel, executive producer Chris Licht talked about why the new morning competitor has eliminated that longtime staple of morning TV: national weather reports. While the show builds four local weather segments into each program, Licht, also VP of news programming, said local audiences identify with their local news personalities. He said the show does not want to introduce a “cliché weather guy.” However, “when weather is news on a national level, we will absolutely cover it,” the executive said, Appearing via satellite with the program’s co-hosts — Charlie Rose, Erica Hill and Gayle King — Licht also fielded questions about why CBS continues to try to compete in the morning talk program arena when the network has found little success against NBC’s behemoth Today and ABC’s Good Morning America. “It is the daypart that has the most upside, the most opportunity to make a lot of money,” Licht said. “To not try would be very foolish.” The question was asked: How much money? “A lot. I mean, not ’60 Minutes’ money, but a lot,” Licht replied.
Those with long memories will recall that this was the name the network used for its morning show in 1987, when it featured Harry Smith, Kathleen Sullivan, and Mark McEwan. That moniker lasted until 1999. Interesting that there’s no mention of the name’s heritage in CBS’ announcement regarding the program that will replace The Early Show:
CBS News has named its new morning broadcast CBS THIS MORNING. The broadcast, hosted by Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Erica Hill, will premiere on Monday, Jan. 9 (7:00-9:00AM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Chris Licht, Vice President, Programming, CBS News, is the Executive Producer of CBS THIS MORNING.
John Miller will join the broadcast as Senior Correspondent; Rebecca Jarvis will serve as Business and Economics Correspondent; and Jeff Glor will serve as Special Correspondent
CBS made it official today that it will launch a new morning program hosted by Charlie Rose, Gayle King and current Early Show co-host Erica Hill. It will debut January 9, 2012 and run weekdays from 7-9 AM. CBS News’ VP Programming Chris Licht will executive produce. There’s still no word on whether it is keeping its The Early Show name, but the new incarnation is departing its current digs at the General Motors Building for a new studio on the ground floor of the CBS Broadcast Center in Manhattan.
CBS News will redefine the morning landscape with the debut of a new morning program, announced CBS News Chairman and 60 MINUTES Executive Producer Jeff Fager and David Rhodes, President, CBS News. The broadcast, which will launch on Monday, Jan. 9, 2012, will air from 7:00-9:00 AM and will be hosted by Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Erica Hill. Chris Licht has been named Executive Producer of the new broadcast. He will continue as Vice President, Programming, overseeing CBS News broadcasts and the development of new opportunities across all platforms. John Miller will join the broadcast as Senior Correspondent, Rebecca Jarvis will serve as Business and Economics Correspondent and Jeff Glor will serve as Special Correspondent.
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.”
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.”
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.