Yet again CBS News is trying to make “The Early Show” competitive with NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America.” The current on-air staff is being jettisoned and fresh faces brought in as of January 3rd.
Erica Hill and Chris Wragge (pictured) will be the new co-anchors of The Early Show. Jeff Glor has been tapped as news anchor for the show and Marysol Castro will join CBS News from ABC rival GMA as weather anchor. David Friedman will continue as Executive Producer.
“The Early Show is an important element of CBS News. 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,” said Se3an McManus, President, CBS News and Sports.
“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,” he added.
No pick slips have been handed out. Rather, the current on-air staff is being reassigned.
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 said it 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.
The latest reworking is mostly moving weekend stars at CBS News to weekday mornings. Hill and 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 previously 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 edition, Wragge has also been co-anchor of WCBS-TV New York’s “CBS 2 News” at 5:00 pm and 11:00 pm, a position he has held since 2006.
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 Tribune’s WPIX-TV New York.
The Early Show’s last complete overhaul was in October 2002, when Harry Smith was named a co-host. Maggie Rodriguez has been his female counterpart since December 2007.
RBR-TVBR observation: The question remains: Is there really a market for three competing shows of this type in the same time slot? CBS is going to continue slugging it out with Today and GMA, rather than trying something different. Will it work this time?