It’s Pink Slips Before The Holidays For The CBS EARLY SHOW Anchors

It looks like the CBS EARLY SHOW anchors got a big lump of coal for Christmas this year. CBS axed the veteran anchor Harry Smith, as well as Maggie Rodriquez and weatherman Dave Price in favor of Erica Hill and Chris Wragge. Erica Hill has been a rising star in recent years, who was a bright spot over at CNN, as well as helping out the weekend edition of the EARLY SHOW on Saturday morning while Maggie Rodriquez was on maternity leave as well. It’s not hard to see how Erica Hill will be a far better presence on the show than Harry Smith. She’s intelligent, sexy, warm and funny. She’s simply magnetic. Harry Smith is certainly an intelligent and credible newsman, but he’s about as exciting as watching paint dry. He brings just about zero charisma to the screen compared to the infectious personality of Erica Hill.

Dave Price’s star has been falling for a while. A few years ago he lost out to comic Drew Carey to take over hosting THE PRICE IS RIGHT after longtime host Bob Barker annnounced his retirement from that gig. Yet, Price seemed like a fairly popular presence on the CBS EARLY SHOW, so his termination is a bit of a surprise. And Maggie Rodriquez is a likable presence as well. Not a bad personality either.

But, CBS is hoping to shuffle a few chairs on the deck and shore up their news ratings. Long held whispers are that down the road Katie Couric may be the next in line to be axed when her contract is up because of her soft ratings once CBS finds a suitable replacement.

Katie Couric’s contract has so far cost CBS not only $60 million dollars, but has also resulted in the worst CBS evening news ratings in 20 years, despite critical acclaim for her and team for excellent reporting. That puts CBS in a real quandary. Couric and her team are quality journalists, but viewers just don’t care to watch her and prefer the other network’s news instead. Almost with certainty, this will be her very last year. CBS probably considers her five year deal with the network a real ratings disaster.

It’s somewhat hard to put a finger on why Katie Couric has been such a ratings failure for CBS, but part of the reason might be that some folks simply don’t like her personality. Another problem might be that many of the shows on the CBS network draw bigger numbers among politically conservative Americans, and Katie Couric might be viewed as being too politically liberal for their tastes after some milestone news coverage events such as the Sarah Palin interview after John McCain chose her as his 2008 running mate. Regardless, CBS has lost so much of it’s evening news audience that rebuilding the ratings will be a difficult and uphill climb task.

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  • Betsy

    I think Harry Smith is this television generations Walter Cronkite!!! I will miss his warm and trusting presence in the morning. Been a loyal viewer for many many years,,,guess i will go see what i have been missing on NBC.

    • C B Cunningham

      I think Harry Smith, Maggie Rodriquez, And Dave Price are much much better on the CBS Morning News than Erica Hill and the others on this morning show. Why can’t you pick these people that the Seniors like watching the best. CBS some times change and shouldn’t change. Besides what is wrong with Walter Cronkite. We are loyal to Harry Smith and Maggie and Dave. You sure don’t know how to pick them anymore.

  • Misty

    I noticed tension on the screen between Erica Hill and Maggie Rodriquez after Maggie came back from maternity leave. Guess women just have a sixth sense about this kind of thing…..sorry to see the old anchors go but still prefer CBS to the OVERPAID AND OVERATED NBC anchors.

  • BARB

    Well, I’ll never watch it again….Chris Wragge…GIVE ME A BREAK!!!

  • Lflammini

    Big mistake…I will no longer be watching the early show….msnbc here I come

  • Cara825

    I think Harry Smith is intelligent and very witty…The guests seem to enjoy him a lot. I really don’t see anything special about Erica. I’m going to check out Nbc too.

  • BSForSure

    Great team, poor programming. Too bad the players have to take the fall for the producers!

  • DRA

    This must have been coming down the pike for a while now. Notice how Julie Chen was tossed a life boat named The Talk. Harry Smith is great at delivering the news but he isn’t a dynamic morning personality. CBS would do well to replace Couric with Harry Smith.

  • SRS

    Erica Hill is sexy, warm & funny? She’s a fast talking, cynical entertainment reporter whose journalism credentials don’t come close to Harry Smith or Maggie Rodriguez. I saw it coming when she became the news reader in place of veteran newsman Russ Mitchell. I’ll pass on news light, try ABC or MSNBC, and hope that Harry Smith finds a home on another television station sooner than later.

    • Slln_lash

      I agree, and Chris Wragg is Mr White bread. Harry is a serious news guy with a lot of warmth and intelligence. Dave Price is the best. I’ll never watch again

  • Earthwatersoul

    Oh no….my favorite way to start a day! Love CBS…Dave is so creative and energized, Maggie charming and warm and Harry like the guy next door…what are thy thinking…no one asked me, so who are these folks they get reviews from…good luck to all of you my “morning coffee freinds”

  • Asopshir

    Harry and Maggie were the “A-Team.” Their departure is a shocker to my family.

  • Acampagnola

    I think CBS made a mistake with Erica Hill, Ms Castro and Chris Wrragge. Maggie was better than Erica and Chris is not as good as Harry Smith. Harry was a veteran anchor and Chris would be good as a fill in. Dave Price is definitely missed. CBS really made a big mistake. I don’t watch NBC or ABC and now I say goodbye to CBS.

  • Mary D.

    PERSONALITY…….shame on your programmers!!!…….an Austinite in Texas

  • B Faircloth

    Really disappointed with the release of Harry, Maggie, and Dave. They worked well together and did such a great job. I am not impressed with the new crew and will be changing to another network. Harry did such a great job with the news and interviews, Maggie was such a great addition to the team with her enthusiam and great talent, and Dave was truly fun to watch with the weather and his endless trips. WHAT A MISTAKE!!!!

  • Shanghey

    The CBS Early Show is not the same without Harry, Maggie and Dave. They are truly great Journalists that I miss on the show. Erica talks over every person she interviews and bulldozes over her counterparts. The respect of the news casters is no longer present among the current staff. Some change is not good, CBS. Now you have all newbes that lack the finesse and professionalism of Harry, Maggie and Dave. Shame on you!

  • jovita

    change is good!!!!!

  • Ebruzzese

    Erica remind’s me of Katie Curic, Phony. Bet your ratings have really dropped. Harry
    and Dave were the reason I watched CBS. They are terrific. Maggie, I don’t miss. What were the excutive’s thinking? Maybe it is they who should have been terminated. If they’re smart,they will bring Harry and Dave back. If not, I hope Harry and Dave will find another network who can appreciate them. You’ve lost me as a viewer.

  • Have you lost your mind. You Terminated the wrong people. You dont every pick the best News people like Harry Smith and his news partner were the best morning show ever.