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Adding CBS Local Duty A Good Move for Chris Wragge

Good move by CBS/WCBS anchor Chris Wragge adding 6 p.m. on WCBS to his continuing Early Show duties, a move announced August 18. It’s no secret CBS is looking at reworking its morning show again - and while there is no guarantee Wragge wouldn’t be part of a new team on that show - the WCBS move makes sense for the well-liked anchor.

Wragge used to host the 5 and 11 p.m. newscasts at the local New York affiliate (while also subbing on Early). He was then given a full-time shot at the morning show by Sean McManus, who at the time ran both sports and news for CBS (Wragge is a long time sports guy, and still does work for CBS Sports).

But McManus now is out of the news side and just concentrating on sports, and CBS News exec David Rhodes recently said making The Early Show more competitive is a big focus for the next year. That means changes of some sort are coming at some point.

The favorite speculation of course is CBS will eventually make a big play for MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and perhaps Mika Brzezinski. While it’s still fantasy football at this point, CBS’s hiring of their executive producer Chris Licht kept it humming. MSNBC president Phil Griffin recently told me that his morning team is “going to be here for a while,” but also acknowledged about CBS, “Regardless, when his contract comes up, maybe he goes over there.”

So it makes sense for everyone to have Wragge - known internally as a great team player and hard worker - back on WCBS as well. And as a McManus guy, he’ll also continue to work in the sports division. He recently told TVNewser when asked about doing football on CBS from time to time: “Sean McManus hired me for this job and I feel loyalty to him as well. So if he calls, I’m there.”