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July 30, 2015

Charlie Rose and Gayle King to Host 'The Early Show'

by Catherine Lawson, posted Nov 11th 2011 7:40AM
Gayle KingLast December there was a veritable bloodbath over at CBS when 'The Early Show' axed anchors Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez, plus meteorologist Dave Price, in a major reshuffle of CBS News on-air talent. Now it's been reported that early 2012 will see the show receive another makeover including a new set, maybe a new name, and two new hosts: PBS veteran Charlie Rose and Oprah's BFF Gayle King.

According to 'The New York Times' CBS will announce the planned revamp in New York on Tuesday. The network is expected to reveal a shift in direction away from the coffee klatch feel of most morning talk shows and towards a focus on hard news with the panel format of shows like MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' and ABC's 'The View.'

Current co-host Chris Wragge will reportedly lose his job in the reshuffle, but Erica Hill and Jeff Glor will keep theirs. Hill -- who was promoted when Smith et al. were fired -- will anchor the 7-8AM hour with '60 Minutes' contributor Rose. Meanwhile King will take on the 8--9AM slot with the aid of featured correspondents and contributors.

In a statement Thursday Wragge said, "CBS has been my home since 2004 and will be for the foreseeable future in whatever capacity they want. I am loyal and grateful to CBS."

Insiders say that Rose will keep his night-time PBS interview show, with 'The New York Post' reporting that losing it would be a dealbreaker for him. But Rose's friends do apparently have some concerns that his new work hours could be challenging. The 'Post' quotes one as saying "Charlie's never woken up before 10AM. He's one of New York's great night owls." Meanwhile, a CBS executive joked to the 'Times,' "Is there a curfew for morning TV anchors? We won't have one."

Although King may seem an unlikely choice at first, she does have solid live TV and morning show chops: She currently hosts two shows on Oprah's OWN network -- 'The Gayle King Show' and 'Ask Oprah's All Stars' -- and she's been a regular 'Morning Joe' contributor. The new head of the 'Early Show,' who's leading it through the new changes, is none other than 'Morning Joe' creator Joe Licht who, the 'Post' says, "sees Gayle as a Mika [Brzezinski] for Charlie [Rose], who would be the Joe [Scarborough]."

Don't expect any 'Early Show' japery with the new format. In a clear dig at the antics of 'Today' co-hosts Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford, an insider told the 'Times': "We're not going to be sipping chardonnay and dressing up in costumes. There are really serious issues that morning shows should be talking about right now."

When Smith and the others were axed back in December 2010, CBS News President Sean McManus said "This new team brings vibrancy, intelligence and warmth that I think America will grow to love." However, ratings have remained disappointing, and an 'Early Show' source told the 'Times' that CBS is trying something totally new precisely because of its failure to overtake 'Today' and 'GMA.'

Tell us: Would you watch Charlie Rose and Gayle King on 'The Early Show?'

Follow Catherine on Twitter: @TVClaw.

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