Norah O'Donnell Expected to Leave 'CBS This Morning' for 'Evening News'
Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil will join Gayle King on the morning show.
Norah O'Donnell is expected to leave CBS This Morning, network sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil are expected to join Gayle King at the anchor desk, while John Dickerson will transition to 60 Minutes. The nearly complete anchor overhaul of the morning show has been a matter of intense discussion since Susan Zirinsky was named president of CBS News last January.
Sources cautioned that not all the deals are finalized. But the impending anchor shuffle comes as the network is closing a contract extension with King, who has emerged as a powerful force within CBS News and on the show. She had a hand in tapping Diana Miller as the show's executive producer. Miller was promoted from senior producer on April 4. That announcement came one day after anchor Bianna Golodryga opted to leave CBS News rather than be demoted as co-anchor of CBS This Morning — a position Zirinsky's predecessor, David Rhodes, put Golodryga in only last fall.
Mason, the network's senior national correspondent and host of the Saturday iteration of CBS This Morning, is well-known to the show's audience and has an established rapport with King.
King has emerged as the linchpin on CBS This Morning, which suffered a ratings slide after the ouster of Charlie Rose in 2017. And her new deal is said to be close to double her current $5.5 million annually. Sources tell THR that ABC News expressed interest in King, but the network recently renewed the contracts of Good Morning America anchors Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos. And there was no obvious place for King at ABC.
Meanwhile, O'Donnell is expected to move to the CBS Evening News with the show possibly relocating to Washington. O'Donnell was rumored to be in line for the Evening News job before, but Rhodes instead tapped Jeff Glor.
It's unclear what would happen to Glor if O'Donnell ends up on the Evening News. Glor was a frequent fill-in anchor on CBS This Morning before being tapped in late 2017 for the evening job, replacing Scott Pelley, who went back to 60 Minutes full time. The CBS Evening News has been a perennial third behind ABC's World News and NBC's Nightly News, but it has lost more viewers in the past year.
PageSix reported the moves earlier today, asserting that King "demanded" that O'Donnell leave CBS This Morning. Sources at CBS News strongly disputed this portion of the story. And a network spokesperson issued a statement from Zirinsky disputing the headline "Gayle King Pushes Out Norah O'Donnell at CBS This Morning."
"This headline is offensive and 100 percent false," said Zirinksy in a statement.
An official announcement is expected soon, well before the network's upfront presentation on May 15. So expect the new morning team to be trotted out for media buyers at CBS' annual Carnegie Hall pitch.