The photochemical reaction of (C(5)Me(5))Rh(PMe(3))H(2) (1) in neat acetonitrile leads to formation of the C-H activation product, (C(5)Me(5))Rh(PMe(3))(CH(2)CN)H (2). Thermolysis of this product in acetonitrile or benzene leads to thermal rearrangement to the C-C activation product, (C(5)Me(5))Rh(PMe(3))(CH(3))(CN) (4). Similar results were observed for the reaction of 1 with benzonitrile. The photolysis of 1 in neat benzonitrile results in C-H activation at the ortho, meta, and para positions. Thermolysis of the mixture in neat benzonitrile results in clean conversion to the C-C activation product, (C(5)Me(5))Rh(PMe(3))(C(6)H(5))(CN) (5). DFT calculations on the acetonitrile system show the barrier to C-H activation to be 4.3 kcal mol(-1) lower than the barrier to C-C activation. A high-energy intermediate was also located and found to connect the transition states leading to C-H and C-C activation. This intermediate has an agostic hydrogen interaction with the rhodium center. Reactions of acetonitrile and benzonitrile with the fragment [Tp'Rh(CNneopentyl)] show only C-H and no C-C activation. These reactions with rhodium are compared and contrasted to related reactions with [Ni(dippe)H](2), which show only C-CN bond cleavage.