CBS morning program ‘CBS This Morning’ will address news reports of a coming anchor shakeup during Monday’s broadcast.
During Friday morning’s edition of CBS This Morning, co-anchor Norah O’Donnell said they would address news about the show itself when all of the main three anchors were back at the desk on Monday morning.
O’Donnell was the only member of the normal trifecta on Friday’s broadcast. She began the show by mentioning that her normal co-anchors, John Dickerson and Gayle King, were both on assignment. King, she said, was in London working on “a very special project,” most likely a planned May 17 special on Prince Harry’s family the network has been planning.
“We are reading lots of things with great interest,” she said after the program’s trademark “Eye-Opener,” a fast-paced video composed of clips of top stories and overnight developments. “I just want you to know we will address them on Monday, when Gayle is back here and John as well.”
O’Donnell was joined by Anthony Mason, the co-anchor of CBS This Morning Saturday, and Vladimir Duthiers, a network correspondent and co-anchor of the network’s streaming product, CBSN.
Rumors of coming shakeup circulate Thursday
PageSix.com published a report Thursday afternoon claiming that O’Donnell was soon leaving the morning program to replace Jeff Glor as anchor of the CBS Evening News. Rumors of that change have been tossed around for a couple of months now.
But the new twist was that the change was prompted by a demand from King, who just renewed her contract for roughly double her previous salary. The report claimed O’Donnell was “toxic” and “difficult” to work with, according to anonymous CBS staffers. Some claimed bad blood between King and O’Donnell, which has not appeared to be the case on camera, although such hostilities don’t always appear obvious on the air.
The report also went into detail about a possible shuffle that will impact several of the network’s broadcasts.
Supposedly, O’Donnell’s reassignment to the CBS Evening News means that Glor will likely be offered a big correspondent position or a weekend anchor gig.
But along with O’Donnell, Dickerson will also be leaving the morning show, the report claimed. Staffers suggested Dickerson is likely bound for a political coverage role on 60 Minutes.
That would mean that Mason, in turn, would move to the weekday edition of CBS This Morning from the Saturday morning version, the report said.
And CBS News correspondent Tony Dokoupil will take the third seat at the morning table, according to Page Six.
CBS News president denies backstage drama
CBS News President Susan Zirinsky blasted the Page Six report, calling the headline that claimed King had “pushed out” O’Donnell to be “offensive and 100 percent false.”
Meanwhile, some staffers have denied reports of “bad blood” between King and O’Donnell, pointing out that next week, King will be honored with a Matrix Award and that O’Donnell will be the presenter.
And there’s also this recent report in which Dickerson and O’Donnell praised King as “the heart” of the show. Not exactly fighting words to be heard in that interview.
Personally, I don’t think O’Donnell’s rumored departure has anything to do with King. I’d be surprised by that, in fact. I think it has everything to do with trying to boost ratings of the evening newscast, which has been languish
But I guess we’ll get a better idea on Monday.