Rather radio gig to Smith

'Early Show' co-anchor takes to the air for Rather

CBS News’ “The Early Show” co-anchor Harry Smith is taking Dan Rather’s spot as host of a daily radio feature fed to more than 300 stations nationwide.

Appointment to host the feature, traditionally led by the anchor of the “Evening News,” heightened speculation the 53-year-old Smith could figure into the “Evening News” sweepstakes when interim anchor Bob Schieffer steps down.

Schieffer begins what insiders expect to be a three-month stint at the top of the newscast as the network finalizes plans for a remake of the program.

Radio feature, formerly known as “Dan Rather Reporting,” will become “Harry Smith Reporting” starting today. Smith had extensive experience in radio, including stations in Denver and Cincinnati, before moving to network TV, and has occasionally filled in for Rather on the radio spot.

Rather has written and taped the feature for 24 years, beginning when he took over “Evening News” anchor duties in 1981. But Rather’s new role as correspondent for “60 Minutes” will take him out of the daily news grind and put him on the road, so taping the daily segment would not be feasible.

Schieffer passed on the job in part because he expects his tenure in the chair to be temporary and he wants to stay involved with “Face the Nation.”

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