‘Early Show’s David Friedman Gets Wake-up Call

Executive producer ousted in shakeup

CBS Early Show executive producer David Friedman will be looking for a new job, according to an internal memo. The ouster is the latest attempt by the network to resurrect a morning show that has been a distant third in the ratings for years.

Friedman’s stint at the show lasted 16 months. In that time, the NBC veteran brought in a new team of on-camera talent, but it wasn’t enough to keep heads of CBS News, David Rhodes and Jeff Fager, satisfied. Insiders at the show say Friedman's days were numbered when Rhodes sent the program’s staff a searing email in April over its lack of hard news judgment and aggressive reporting.

The memo from Rhodes and Fager said Friedman would leave the show in the coming weeks, after carrying the program through some important events, such as a town hall meeting with President Barack Obama. The network is expected to announce Friedman’s replacement in the coming days, with rumors already swirling that MSNBC’s Chris Licht might be the man for the job. The leadership reshuffle is the fifth for the show in four years.