NBC didn’t spill any secrets about the unnamed hourlong prime time news program that Brian Williams is developing when it announced today that former CBS News anchor Harry Smith will join the team as “one of the correspondents.” The show’s exact format is still a mystery, although NBC News president Steve Capus says that Smith’s “vast experience, covering everything from interviews with world leaders to wars and natural disasters, makes him a perfect fit for this new broadcast,” which will also feature NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC anchors and correspondents. NBC’s praise must be refreshing for Smith to hear. In January, CBS pared back his role at The Early Show. CBS put Chris Wragge and Erica Hill in as anchors, replacing Smith and Maggie Rodriguez, in an effort to narrow the ratings gap with NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America. Smith had hosted CBS’s This Morning from 1987 to 1996 and hosted The Early Show since 2002. In a memo to staffers last week, CBS News president David Rhodes called Smith “a fixture here at CBS News for a generation” who had made “an extraordinary contribution.”
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