CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell’s pay package got slashed by more than half this spring amid a brutal round of cost cuts at the third-place network, the New York Post is reporting. According to insiders, CBS News re-signed the 48-year-old anchor in April with a yearly salary of $3.8 million — down from the previous $8 million — following reports that the network had been casting around for a replacement as O’Donnell’s ratings continue to sag.
CBS News made it official Monday morning: CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell has signed a new long-term deal with the network. CBS News and Stations co-president Neeraj Khemlani and O’Donnell announced the deal to CBS staff Monday morning on the daily editorial call.
CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell is in third place in the ratings, but sources at the network gripe that she’s got a first-class attitude — even as she faces getting sidelined by her sharp-elbowed, bean-counting boss. Speculation that her days are numbered has surged since the onset of the Russia-Ukraine war. O’Donnell is the only evening TV news anchor who isn’t in Eastern Europe, which has taken a toll on ratings.
Brian Williams doesn’t want to anchor the CBS Evening News. Just years ago, in 2015, the notion that Williams would be rebuffing an offer to helm one of the big three nightly news programs would have been unfathomable. But the tide has since turned. CBS News President and Co-Head Neeraj Khemlani recently tried to recruit Williams for the network’s flagship evening news program. Two sources said that Khemlani, who assumed his role less than a year ago and has been working to poach talent, tried at least twice. But it was to no avail.
ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir again finished the season on top in total viewers and the key demographic, averaging 8.74 million total viewers. NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt averaged 7.32 million and CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell posted 5.4 million. But all the network evening newscasts saw their viewership drop in 2020-21 versus a year earlier.
Jay Shaylor, the executive producer of CBS Evening News, will step down from his post, one of the first significant rearrangements of top producers at the news division since it was placed under the aegis of new top executives.
The Norah O’Donnell-anchored newscast originates from Washington and a technical problem Tuesday meant the feed to stations in the East and Midwest failed. Instead of O’Donnell’s newscast, stations there showed a feed of the CBSN streaming service. The broadcast ran at its traditional times in the Mountain and Western time zones.
WGCL Atlanta anchors Rick Folbaum and Shon Gables will anchor CBS Evening News this weekend. Folbaum anchors Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET and Gables anchors Sunday 6 p.m. The national newscast will originate from the CBS46 Studios in Atlanta. The CBS News Broadcast Center in New York is closed due to the coronavirus. For the first time, the newscast will be produced remotely with producers and writers based out of New York.
Ratings for the new CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell are still underwater, but they may have finally hit bottom. In its first week broadcasting from D.C., the show’s total viewers jumped to 5.9 million, down 8% from a year earlier. It has since hovered in the 5.8 million range. That’s still third place, but better than the nightly average of 5.5 million viewers in the fourth quarter overall, according to Nielsen.
Norah O’Donnell slid into the CBS Evening News anchor chair on July 15, shifting from her spot at CBS This Morning. Now, she’s ready for another shift, as CBS News prepares to relocate its evening newscast to Washington. The D.C.-based newscast debuts the first week of December. Here she talks about the Beltway relocation, her run so far on Evening News and what’s next for the broadcast.
Norah O’Donnell and Susan Zirinsky are out to remake CBS’s flagship newscast at a time when journalism is under seige. (Photo: Celeste Sloman for Variety)
She is leaving the Big Apple next month and taking her children and the CBS Evening News to Washington where CBS is working on a “state-of-the-art” studio that sources say is still under construction, with the electrical work yet to be finished.
The first is the appointment of a new anchor, Norah O’Donnell, who takes over Monday at the start of what promises to be a busy midsummer week. The second comes in November, when the CBS Evening News leaves New York for Washington, D.C.
With Norah O’Donnell taking over the anchor chair on Monday, new female leadership at CBS News aims to revive the kind of trust once enjoyed by stalwarts such as Walter Cronkite.
In less than a month, Norah O’Donnell will start delivering the headlines at CBS Evening News – and, most likely, start generating a few of her own. CBS News plans to launch a re-tooled CBS Evening News anchored by O’Donnell on July 15, part of the network’s ambitious plans to overhaul its morning and evening standbys and get more competitive with rivals. O’Donnell will play an instrumental role in a big bet by the network, which plans to move her and the broadcast to Washington from New York City in the fall.
The network’s announcement comes as Jeff Glor wraps up his 18-month run as CBS Evening News anchor after Friday night’s telecast.
Jeff Glor, who has been the face of CBS Evening News since late 2017, has told staff he will step down as anchor of the evening newscast after Friday’s program, according to three people familiar with the matter. Norah O’Donnell won’t take over until this summer. Glor is currently in discussions about taking a new role at CBS News.
Susan Zirinsky has overhauled the news division’s programming slate and is shipping Cronkite and Rather’s show to D.C. Some staffers wonder if it’s “a move that’s being made out of convenience for the anchor.” But Zirinsky counters, “There’s a huge opportunity right now. I can’t let it go.”
CBS News president and senior executive producer Susan Zirinsky on Monday unveiled a new weekday anchor lineup, naming Norah O’Donnell anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News and Gayle King, Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil co-hosts of CBS This Morning.
CBS News correspondent Nikki Battiste has over the last several months reported out a group of harrowing stories for CBS Evening News about a problem that has affected millions and is only now coming to greater light. Since last summer she kept tabs on legal probes into the behavior of Catholic clergy, and resulting investigations. When CBS News executives became aware of the reporter’s line on the story, they worked to broaden its exposure.
CBS News is considering making significant changes to its flagship CBS Evening News, according to four people with knowledge of the talks, part of a top-down look at the news division by incoming president Susan Zirinsky. Executives are considering putting CBS This Morning anchor Norah O’Donnell in the lead role of its evening news, these people said, as well as moving the broadcast to Washington, instead of its longtime roost in New York City.
The network on Wednesday appointed the 42-year-old Glor to a job that has been held by Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Bob Schieffer, Katie Couric and, most recently, Scott Pelley.
CBS News announced Scott Pelley’s move from the CBS Evening News to 60 Minutes and said that Anthony Mason, CBS News senior national correspondent and frequent evening-news fill-in anchor, will be taking over for Pelley as anchor of the newscast, for now.
CBS is retooling its weekend evening news broadcast in an effort to align its TV and broadband operations more closely and cut some of the costs from a show that is routinely preempted by sports coverage and other weekend programming.
ABC’s David Muir and NBC’s Brian Williams-less newscasts are currently battling for first place, but CBS is gaining on its rivals with a 21% jump in ratings over the past four years.
A journalist is not a spokesman, and a spokesman is not a journalist, but on the CBS Evening News Tuesday night, the twain did indeed meet — and it was the same person. It was just the latest example of the revolving door between network news operations and political flacks, an unfortunate and incestuous tradition that goes back decades.
The first woman chosen to solely anchor a network evening newscast left on a high note Thursday evening, interviewing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and leading the broadcast with an exclusive 60 Minutes investigation on new doping accusations against cyclist Lance Armstrong.
Katie Couric’s last night on the CBS Evening News will be May 19. She made the announcement on Friday’s broadcast. Substitute anchors are likely to rotate in the chair until Scott Pelley takes over as the permanent anchor on June 6.