NEW YORK (TheWrap) - CBS News veteran Harry Smith is leaving the network to join NBC, six months after CBS replaced his “Early Show” team.
NBC said a formal announcement of Smith’s hiring will come Monday. Smith, who joined CBS in 1986, will head to a new primetime newsmagazine show with Brian Williams, according to media reports.
CBS announced in November that it would replace Smith, Maggie Rodriguez and Dave Price on the morning show, which lags behind “Today” and “Good Morning America.” The new team of Erica Hill, Chris Wragge and Maggie Castro took over at the start of the year.
CBS News President David Rhodes announced Smith’s departure in a memo to staff:
“Harry Smith has been a fixture here at CBS News for a generation — he joined us in Dallas in 1986 — but today he’s decided to move on.
“Until late last year Harry anchored the ‘Early Show,’ where for years he took us through breaking news events from the war in Iraq to the tsunami in Sri Lanka to Columbine and Oklahoma City. Harry conducted news-making interviews with the biggest names in politics and entertainment.
“During the course of his career here, Harry sat down with six presidents, from Barack Obama back to Richard Nixon. In my own recent time at CBS News I enjoyed working with Harry as he reported from Egypt, Libya, Malta, and Japan. Frankly, we may have enjoyed all those assignments more than he did — he’s seen a lot of airport departure lounges over his career and especially in the last four months.
“If you saw Harry’s piece closing the ‘CBS Evening News’ the first Monday after the Japanese tsunami, you know what great work he is capable of.”
“I want to thank Harry for his extraordinary contribution to CBS over 25 years.”