CBS This Morning made its debut in November 30, 1987, with hosts Harry Smith, former GMA news anchor Kathleen Sullivan, and Morning Program holdover Mark McEwen. Sullivan would be replaced by Paula Zahn on February 26, 1990. Beginning October 26, 1991, in an effort to stop affiliates from dropping the program, CBS allowed more participation from local stations. (Most affiliates have their own early morning newscast, which precedes the national news.) Despite a far more successful pairing in Smith, Zahn, and McEwen, CBS This Morning remained stubbornly in third place, and a brand new set and live format introduced in October of 1995 proved less helpful. In August of 1996, the show was revamped again, as simply This Morning. McEwen again remained on the show replacing Smith as co-anchor in 1996, sharing the job with Jane Robelot, who replaced Zahn, and anchor Jose Diaz-Balart (succeeded by Cynthia Bowers and later Thalia Assuras, both anchors of the Morning News). Also, a new system was created where many of the local stations air their own newscast from 7 to 8 AM, with inserts from the national broadcast. Then from 8 to 9 AM, affiliates air the second-half of the national broadcast uninterrupted. Ratings went up slightly, and at one point the show even moved ahead of Good Morning America in 1998. But it was also a brief ratings success, and This Morning became the predecessor to The Early Show.
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