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Changes at 'Early Show'

September 11, 2007|From the Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Former "Good Morning America" executive producer Shelley Ross, given the reins at CBS' morning news show on Monday, says the idea of working on a third-place program "makes me break out in a rash."

Better bring the rash guard: "The Early Show" and its predecessors have spent most of a half-century behind NBC and ABC.

CBS News President Sean McManus said hiring Ross should send a signal that the network is serious about competing in the morning, particularly with a format change on the horizon. Starting January, CBS will stop allowing affiliates in 20% of the country to preempt much of the national show for local news.

Ross revived ABC's "Good Morning America" behind Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer after a low point in 1999 and stayed until 2004, when her tough management style wore thin and she was replaced.

Steve Friedman, hired in March 2006 to oversee "The Early Show," is out.

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