Charlie Rose, 'Intellectual Athlete,' Talks Naps and Mining Archives for New PBS Series

As the public broadcaster trots out slightly revamped news efforts, including new "PBS Newshour" co-anchors Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff, one of the busiest men in journalism tells the TCA about how he's balancing four series.
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Charlie Rose

Recently adding a fourth series to his downright intimidating roster of TV news efforts, Charlie Rose maintains that he still gets a solid seven hours of sleep every night. Talk of the veteran journalist's allotment for rest and all-around rigorous schedule dominated his morning Television Critics Association press tour, with one reporter going so far as to voice her concern for the 71-year-old's health.

But don't worry about Charlie Rose. He says he's doing just fine.

"I take two naps a day, simply because it makes me feel more efficient," Rose confessed, saying it's a habit he picked up during his law school days at Duke. "If the choice for me is 30 minutes of more preparation for an interview or a 30-minute nap, I'll take the nap. It just energizes me. … I can't wait to see the Google search for 'Charlie Rose' and 'naps.' "

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Rose, the co-anchor of CBS This Morning, host of Charlie Rose and 60 Minutes contributor, debuted Charlie Rose: The Week just last month. And he assured that the new Friday-night show is merely complementing his current efforts, not spreading him even thinner.

"When they asked me to do this, I said yes immediately," said Rose. "It would let me play a transition role in PBS on Friday night, when they go from news and Gwen Ifill to cultural programming."

Expanding his news coverage into more cultural efforts is something Rose says has interested him for some time, as he has been making use of Charlie Rose's vast interview archive. The WNET flagship has been on the air for 22 years, and the catalog of interviews will be prominently featured on The Week as the young series continues to evolve.

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"They don't have the archives that we have," Rose said of comparable broadcasts, turning his attention to the recent news of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' purchase of The Washington Post as an example. "There is no one who has talked to Jeff Bezos more than I have. We have something no one else has, and that is to look back to see if there is something that he said that will be an enhancement to the topical story today."

Rose was flanked by longtime collaborator and producer Yvette Vega, who echoed the differences in her star's many projects.

"You're using different muscles for each show," said Vega. "This is an intellectual athlete -- which makes me a very tired coach, I suppose."