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A final 'Early Show' for anchor Harry Smith

A final 'Early Show' for anchor Harry Smith

December 31st, 2010 by FRAZIER MOORE, AP Television Writer in News

NEW YORK (AP) - Harry Smith finished 2010 by ending his run on CBS' "Early Show" after two stints at the morning anchor desk that totaled 17 years.

In a brief look back before his Friday signoff, Smith described his chief emotion as "one of gratitude, absolute gratitude" for his estimated 4,500 broadcasts. He also thanked his family for putting up with his demanding, wee-hours schedule.

From the archives, Smith was shown, with only slightly more hair on his head, on the 1987 premiere of "CBS This Morning."

And in a taped tribute, Oprah Winfrey told him, "You hold the viewers, me being one of them, in the highest of esteem."

"The Early Show" consistently trails its rivals, ratings champ "Today" on NBC and ABC's "Good Morning America." Last month CBS announced a complete host turnover, replacing Smith and co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez, as well as weathercaster Dave Price.

The new team starts Monday. It consists of former Saturday "Early Show" anchors Chris Wragge and Erica Hill, as well as weathercaster Marysol Castro, formerly of the "Good Morning America" weekend edition, plus CBS News correspondent Jeff Glor as news reader.

The easygoing Smith, 59, served as co-anchor of "CBS This Morning" from 1987 to 1996, then, after leaving for hosting duties at the A&E network, returned to CBS News in 2002 on the renamed "Early Show."

He will stay at the network as a correspondent and substitute anchor for other newscasts. His parting message to "Early Show" viewers was a reminder that he would be subbing for Katie Couric on Friday's "CBS Evening News."

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