David Friedman will step down as the executive producer of
CBS' The Early Show after 16 months on the job.
CBS News chairman Jeff Fager and president David Rhodes said
in an internal email Monday that Friedman will leave the broadcast in the
coming weeks and that they will announce a new EP within a few days.
They added in the statement that "David is a strong producer
who has worked very hard and we intend to help him find the right place at CBS
The morning show has struggled to climb out of third place in
the ratings even after a new anchor lineup of Erica Hill, Chris Wragge and
Marysol Castro was added in January.
Monday's announcement follows months of sweeping changes at
the news division, starting with the ouster of Early Show anchors Harry Smith, Maggie Rodriguez and Dave Price in
November, to the installation of Fager and Rhodes in February, to the planned
departure of Katie Couric from the CBS
Evening News and the naming of 60
Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley to replace her.
It also comes the same day that Meredith Vieira announced
her departure from NBC's Today show.
There are also industry rumors that MSNBC co-hosts Mike Brzezinski and Joe
Scarborough, of Morning Joe, could be
headed to CBS. NBC News President Steve Capus dismissed the speculation
regarding the Morning Joe anchors at
a Today press conference Monday.
The full memo from Fager and Rhodes below:
As all of you know,
since we took over CBS News, we have been asking for a change in direction at
The Early Show, and not the kind of show that David Friedman was hired to
run. With that in mind we have agreed with David that he should be able
to move on and he will be leaving the broadcast in the coming weeks.
David is a strong
producer who has worked very hard and we intend to help him find the right
place at CBS or elsewhere.
He will get us through
some important Early Show events before leaving including this week's town hall
with President Obama, and the one that will follow with Republican leaders.
We will be announcing
the new leadership at The Early Show within a few days and David has agreed to
help with that transition.