CBS Makes Over Early Show Without Maggie Rodriguez

MIAMI (CBS4) – When the New Year arrives in January, so will new faces on CBS News’ The Early Show. Effective Jan. 3, Erica Hill and Chris Wragge will be the new co-anchors, replacing Harry Smith and former CBS4 anchor Maggie Rodriguez.

Jeff Glor will serve as the broadcast’s news anchor and Marysol Castro will join CBS News as the broadcast’s weather anchor. The appointments were announced Tuesday by Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports, and David Friedman, executive producer of The Early Show.

“The Early Show” is an important element of CBS News,” said McManus. “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.”

“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.”

Erica Hill and Chris Wragge have co-anchored the Saturday Edition of “The Early Show” since 2008. Hill also has been News Anchor for morning broadcast since January of this year. She has served as news anchor and correspondent for CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360°” and substitute anchor for Cooper and Campbell Brown.

Wragge worked in sports, including a stint as a sideline reporter at events for NBC, until he made the jump to news in 2006. Beside his weekend job at CBS, he had been anchoring local news broadcasts at the network’s New York affiliate, a job he’ll give up to go national.

Jeff Glor, anchor of Saturday’s “CBS Evening News” and a reporter on “The Early Show, will take over the news reader job on the morning show.

“The Early Show” runs third in the network morning show competition. The week before last, NBC’s “Today” show averaged 5.6 million viewers each day, “GMA” had 4.6 million and “The Early Show” had 2.9 million, the Nielsen Co. said.

Rodriguez, who was born in Miami and grew up in South Florida, anchored the news at CBS4 prior to being selected to co-anchor  anchor the Saturday edition of the Early Show in 2007. She was soon promoted to anchor the weekday broadcast with Smith.

Smith had the longest tenure on “The Early Show.” He was the sole survivor from 2002 when CBS installed a four-anchor team that included Smith, Hannah Storm, Julie Chen and Rene Syler. He also hosted a previous CBS morning show from 1987 to 1996.

Smith, Rodriguez and Price will continue at CBS News in new roles.

Harry Smith will shift his focus to hard news with an expanded role as primary substitute anchor on “The Evening with Katie Couric”, “Face The Nation”, and “Sunday Morning”, while continuing to report major stories for all CBS News broadcasts.

CBS News is discussing prominent and ongoing roles for 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.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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