‘Early Show' Shakes Up Anchor Lineup

Wragge, Hill to move to anchor desk, Smith and Rodriguez to get new roles at CBS
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Updated at  4:30 p.m. ET

The Early Show co-anchors Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez and weather reporter Dave Price are leaving the show, CBS announced Tuesday.The new anchor team will be Chris Wragge and Erica Hill, who have shared the desk on CBS' Saturday-morning show; Hill is also news reader for the weekday program. Wragge has been a feature anchor at WCBS New York for years, after making the switch from sports. Jeff Glor will serve as news anchor and Marysol Castro will do weather.

The changes will take effect Jan. 3.

Executive Producer David Friedman said the talent shakeup was something of a last resort, after the program had tried new a content mix and fresh producers, and had gone HD. "This was the last thing we felt we had to take care of," he said.

Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports, said the morning 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," said McManus in a statement. "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."

Smith will be the primary substitute anchor on The Evening News With Katie Couric, Face the Nation and Sunday Morning, while continuing to report for all CBS News broadcasts, the network said.

CBS News is discussing continuing roles for Rodriguez and Price.

The Early Show has struggled against NBC's Today monolith as well as ABC's Good Morning America.

The AP first reported the story.

Friedman said the fact that Wragge, Hill and Glor had spent so much time on the program would ease the transition. "We don't need to do a whole lot of rehearsals," he said. "Even though it seems like a big, oh my God deal, that's a huge advantage for us."

Incoming weather anchor Castro, Friedman said, is a "strong, smart journalist" who knows the considerable rigors of the job from her time at GMA.

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