Ousted CBS 'Early Show' Anchor Harry Smith Is 'Disappointed' He Couldn't Raise Ratings

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"It's a tough racket," he says. "There's only so much audience to go around."

CBS News anchor Harry Smith is "disappointed" that he couldn't help the Early Show much from a ratings perspective, but also told the New York Times that competition in the morning TV space is tough.

Calling rival NBC's Today "absolutely formidable" and ABC's Good Morning America, "good at what they do, too" he told the paper: "It's a tough racket. There's only so much audience to go around."

Asked if he could succeed Katie Couric on the CBS Evening News if she doesn't extend her contract that ends next year, Smith lauded her work and said: "I couldn't even think about that."

Smith admitted that he didn't ask to be replaced on the Early Show though. The show's anchor team was completely reshuffled earlier this week, with the new team starting Jan. 3.

When he was informed of a meeting with Sean McManus, the president of CBS News, "I didn't think it was going to be to talk about what color to paint the new set," Smith acknowledged in his interview with the Times. "I went for a long walk on a cold golf course last Sunday and really decided to take some stock."

He also told the Times he was proud of his morning show work and highlighted that "when you get a job like this, it's one of a handful of the best jobs on television."

Discussing his new role as an alternate anchor on several news shows, Smith said he is already scheduled to fill in for Couric for a couple of days next week.

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