"Early Show" anchors Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez are out of the low-rated morning show and will be replaced effective Jan. 3 by the Saturday "Early" team of Erica Hill and Chris Wragge, the network announced Tuesday.
Morning news has long been a rare weak spot in CBS' lineup, and the overhaul is the show's most dramatic attempt to claim more of the morning audience from ABC's "Good Morning America" and NBC's leading "Today," which draws nearly twice the "Early"audience.
Smith joined the show in 2002, as did weather anchor Dave Price, who will be replaced by Marysol Castro.
CBS News said the ousted team would continue in prominent roles.
Smith will take on an expanded role as the main substitute anchor on "The Evening News with Katie Couric," "Face the Nation," and "Sunday Morning" while also reporting major news.
CBS News is discussing "prominent and ongoing roles" for Rodriguez and Price, according to a news release.
Hill and Wragge have co-anchored the Saturday edition of show since 2008. Jeff Glor will join as the broadcast's news anchor.
"We constantly focus on how to improve the broadcast, and we think we have a terrific combination in Erica, Chris, Jeff and Marysol," said Sean McManus, president of CBS news and sports, in a statement."
Hill also has been news anchor for "The Early Show" since January and has served as news anchor and correspondent for CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" and substitute anchor for Cooper and Campbell Brown.
While co-anchoring the Saturday edition and often substitute anchoring the weekday "Early Show," Wragge has also co-anchored CBS 2 News twice daily in New York, the nation's largest market, since 2006.
Morale at CBS News has been low for years as the staff endured several waves of layoffs, but "Early" especially has lagged in the competition for ratings and guests.
"The Early Show" started in 1999 with Bryant Gumbel and Jane Clayson. Rodriguez replaced Hannah Storm in January 2008.