Charlie Rose to Have Heart Surgery

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Charlie Rose

The 'CBS This Morning' host plans to return in March.

Charlie Rose announced Wednesday on CBS This Morning that he will undergo heart surgery Thursday. He will be out until March, though it's not known exactly when he will return. Anthony Mason and Josh Elliott are expected to fill in while Rose is out.

Rose, 75, had the original aortic valve replacement surgery at Weill Cornell hospital in New York. Then in 2006, he was in Syria to interview President Bashar Assad when he experienced shortness of breath. He was flown to Paris where he underwent emergency surgery on his mitral valve at the Georges Pompidou European Hospital. 

The mitral valve connects the upper left chamber with the main pumping chamber of the heart. Rose did not say where he is having his upcoming heart surgery. He appeared in a 2011 ABC News special hosted by Barbara Walters, in which she talked about her own valve replacement surgery at New York-Presbyterian hospital. 

CBS This Morning is pulling in the biggest audience in the morning on CBS in 20 years, making it an anomaly among its competition. And so it is a priority for CBS News executives to keep the show's anchor team of Rose, Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell together. King signed a new deal last year and O'Donnell is likely to be negotiating a contract extension this summer. Rose was expected to enter contract talks early this year.  

Rose's full statement:

Almost 15 years ago skilled surgeons replaced my aorta valve with a new replacement valve. It has served me well enabling me to live the vigorous, full, complete life you are all so familiar with. No one loves life more than I do.

To continue to live this amazing life so full of challenges and friends, including so many of you in the audience, I have chosen to replace the valve with a new one. The timing is my choice.

So tomorrow, I will undergo surgery which will keep me at the hospital for a few days and then resting for a couple of weeks. I look forward to seeing you in March. In the meantime you are in great hands with my remarkable colleagues, Norah and Gayle backed by the best morning team anywhere.

I can’t wait to be back completely rested with my heart recharged, my passion for the work ahead purposeful and my joy at life’s pleasures high.Until then, stay close. 

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