The new year will mark a new day for CBS’ flagship breakfast program, The Early Show.

Exiting Early Show anchor Harry Smith reflected on his 17 years as a CBS Morning anchor and received a special message from Oprah Winfrey.

The good-natured Smith Smith signed off for good on Friday and was honored with a retrospective of his years at the helm of CBS’ morning show circuit, which lasted nearly 4,500 broadcasts. Between 1987 and 1996, Smith, 59, was co-anchor of CBS This Morning and returned to front the renamed Early Show in 2002.

“You hold the viewers, me being one of them, in the highest of esteem,” the Queen of Talk remarked in a segment honoring Harry.

Smith also thanked his family for putting up with his demanding schedule over the years.

In November — to much controversy — CBS announced a complete overhaul of the Early Show team. Beginning Monday, Early Show Weekend anchors Chris Wragge and Erica Hill will take over anchoring duties and Jeff Glor will be the news reader. Marysol Castro, a former weather and feature correspondent for the weekend edition of ABC’s Good Morning America, will also join the program as a meteorologist.

The new team also replaces co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez and weatherman Dave Price.

Smith will be the primary substitute for “CBS Evening News,” “Face the Nation” and “Sunday Morning.”

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