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NEW YORK – It’s official: Charlie Rose and Gayle King will join the CBS News morning program The Early Show on Jan. 9. The long rumored news was announced Tuesday as the anchors and CBS News executives gathered for a press conference at the networks West. 57th Street headquarters.
Rose will anchor the 7 a.m. hour, which in the morning news template contains the hard news, while King will join the show in the 8 a.m. hour. Chris Licht has been tapped as executive producer.
It will be the second significant on-air change for Early in as many years. Last January, Chris Wragge and Jeff Glor joined Erica Hill on Early after Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez were taken off of the show. A longtime CBS News anchor, Smith is now a correspondent for NBC News’ Rock Center.
Hill, 35, will stay on and will co-anchor the 7 a.m. hour with Rose, who turns 70 in January.
The announcement was made by CBS News chairman Jeff Fager and CBS News president David Rhodes, who since taking over last February have stressed the news division’s legacy as the home of iconic journalist Edward R. Murrow and a tradition of original reporting exemplified on Sunday program 60 Minutes. Fager is the executive producer of 60 Minutes.
Rose has had a long-running relationship with CBS News. He joined 60 Minutes II as a correspondent in 1999 and still does occasional pieces for 60 Minutes. He will continue to host his nightly PBS interview show, which is required viewing for a small but elite audience of influencers.
The show will move from its studio near Manhattan’s Plaza Hotel into a new studio in the broadcast center where there will be no street-side windows, a staple of morning television pioneered by the Today show.
Early is a distant third in the morning news wars. For the first six weeks of the season, the CBS morning show is averaging 2.4 million viewers with 1 million in the 25-54 demographic that news programs target. Those mark season-to-season declines of six percent and eight percent, respectively.
Today continues to chug along at No. 1, where it has been for nearly 16 years, averaging 5.2 million viewers (from 7-9 a.m.) with 2.3 million in the demo. And ABC’s Good Morning America has pulled closer to Today this season, averaging 4.7 million viewers with 1.8 million in the demo for gains of 13 percent among total viewers and the demo.