CBS' "The Early Show" will install a new anchor team this January as part of an overhaul, announced Tuesday, that was surprising for its sheer scale.
Leaving the show will be Harry Smith, one of TV's best-known anchors and an on-and-off CBS morning fixture going back more than 20 years. Also out: co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez and weatherman Dave Price, who came to "The Early Show" in 2003 after building a following at WNYW/5. All three are expected to remain with the network, while Smith will remain primary substitute anchor on "The Evening News with Katie Couric," "Face the Nation" and "Sunday Morning."
The new co-anchor team, starting Jan. 3, will be Erica Hill and Chris Wragge (former WCBS/2 sports anchor), the anchors of "Early's" Saturday edition. Jeff Glor will be news anchor, and Marysol Castro was named weather anchor. Castro has been at "Good Morning America's" weekend edition since 2004 and before that was with WPIX/11.
"Obviously if things were quote unquote working we wouldn't make changes," executive producer David Friedman told the Hollywood Reporter Tuesday.
He added that when he arrived at the program 11 months ago, he "looked at many different aspects of the show and tried to figure out what needed to be changed."
"Early Show" has been an also-ran in the three-network morning race for a decade, while its Smith-anchored predecessor, "CBS This Morning," never made significant gains on "Today" or "Good Morning America" either.