THE TV COLUMN
'Early Show' anchors are out as CBS shuffles its morning lineup
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
With CBS chief executive wife Julie Chen safely ensconced in CBS's new daytime gabfest "The Talk," CBS News got the all-clear to announce, just in time for the holiday season, that it was giving other members of "The Early Show" on-air team the old heave ho-ho-ho.
Gone, as of Jan. 3, will be anchors Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez and weatherman Dave Price. The network wants you to know, however, that they will continue to be employed on air by CBS News - just elsewhere.
The only surviving member of the show's team, news reader Erica Hill, will take over as a co-anchor, to be joined by Chris Wragge, effective Jan. 3. In one of those incredible coincidences that make covering TV so paranormal, Hill and Wragge have been co-anchoring the Saturday edition of "The Early Show" since 2008.
Also joining the show: news reader Jeff Glor and weatherperson Marysol Castro.
Glor has anchored the Saturday edition of the "CBS Evening News" since last year. And Castro was weather and feature correspondent for ABC News's weekend edition of "Good Morning America" from 2004 until this year.
Meanwhile, whither goest Smith - the sole survivor (until now) of the team that CBS News seated on the show in 2002, a team that also included "Chenbot," Hannah Storm and Rene Syler?
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 said in Tuesday morning's announcement.
Meanwhile, the news division said it is discussing "prominent and ongoing roles" for Rodriguez and 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," Sean McManus, president of CBS News and CBS Sports, said in a statement.
When Chen became den mother of "The Talk," which premiered in October, she said she would mostly work as a "consultant" for "The Early Show," doing taped pieces.
Winners & losers
Thanksgiving week was a ratings cornucopia for the Palin family, "Dirty Dancing's" Baby and zombies. Here's a look at the week's winners and losers: