Wragge and Hill’s growth as a team has been evident on Saturday mornings, and they’ve proven adept at shifting between hard news and lighter fare, McManus said.
“They’re uniquely suited to each other and to the morning show genre,” he said.
Friedman said it’s an advantage for CBS that its regular viewers know each of the new personalities, except for weather forecaster Castro.
“You’re not introducing somebody to the morning genre that has never been in the morning genre,” he said. “That is a little bit tougher.” That’s likely a reference to the other recent morning transition, where George Stephanopoulos replaced Diane Sawyer as a co-host at “Good Morning America” late last year.
“It’s hard to fault CBS for looking to shake things up,” said David Bianculli, a veteran television critic and now a media professor at Rowan University in New Jersey. “I have a lot of respect for Harry Smith, but for a long time, this has not been working on a daily basis.”
The suddenness of the “bloodbath” was surprising, Bianculli said.
“Anything that’s done this quickly smells of desperation,” he said.
CBS News said it is discussing future roles at the network with Rodriquez and Price. Price has filmed human interest reports along with doing the weather on “The Early Show.” Earlier this month, producers dropped him off in Alaska with only $50 and a phone and challenged him to earn his way back to New York City.
CBS is owned by CBS Corp.
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