VIDEO: Harry Smith Says Goodbye to CBS' 'Early Show' With Tribute From Oprah Winfrey

Harry Smith - 2010
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The ousted co-host reflects on his career after doing about 4,500 episodes of the morning show.

Harry Smith said goodbye to his role as co-host of CBS' The Early Show on Friday morning, with the likes of Oprah Winfrey paying tribute in a taped video message.

 “You have been a great steward holding the space for the morning audience,” Winfrey said, noting how “gracious and generous” Smith was during a previous interview with Winfrey at her farm.  “And what I love most about you is I can feel that you hold the viewers, me being one of them, in the highest of esteem.”

Smith was one of several Early Show personalities ousted last month as CBS News looks to give the third-place morning program a face-lift. He has done about 4,500 episodes of the morning show -- “give or take a few hundred” -- since his first episode, which aired Nov. 30, 1987.

On Friday, he reflected on what has been one of his favorite parts of the gig.

“Covering news stories, I think every time you have the opportunity to get out of the building and go to where the news really is, is one of the greatest gifts of this job,” he said.

He also thanked his family for their support over the years.

“My long-suffering family – many a holiday, many a vacation, many a trip we were supposed to take has been cut short because of news and events and what have you, and they’ve been the stalwart foundation on which I’ve been able to do all of this,” he said.

Watch video of Smith’s goodbye below.