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Jane Pauley Will Succeed Charles Osgood as ‘CBS Sunday Morning’ Anchor

Jane Pauley CBS Sunday Morning
Will Ragozzino/BFAnyc.com/REX/Shutterstock

Nearly 30 years after she left NBC’s “Today,” Jane Pauley will return to a morning news anchor slot as the successor to Charles Osgood on “CBS Sunday Morning.”

Pauley has been a contributor to the show since 2014. “CBS Sunday Morning” typically airs long-form feature reporting in a signature style, a mix of lifestyle and personality features as well as in-depth takes on cultural trends and innovations in medicine, business, and science. The show was created for CBS News by Robert Northshield and host Charles Kuralt in 1979. Charles Osgood, who has anchored the program since 1994, said on the Aug. 28 broadcast that he intended to step down as anchor after 22 years.

Pauley is set to formally take over anchor duties on the Oct. 9 broadcast. She will be only the third anchor of the show to date.

Pauley has been cited in CBS News circles as a potential replacement for Osgood, 83, since word surfaced in January that he and CBS had begun discussions about when he might step down. The network confirmed her as Osgood’s successor at the end of today’s broadcast of the show, which saluted Osgood’s long run on the show.

CBS has reason to consider any change to “Sunday Morning” carefully. “CBS This Morning” provides a lead-in to “Face The Nation,” the Sunday-morning public-affairs program that is the network news unit’s entry in the ongoing TV-news battle to win the attention of senior government officials and influencers. It has a relatively new host at its helm as well: John Dickerson, who has been in place there for more than a year after succeeding Bob Schieffer. What’s more, there is new competition for CBS’ Sunday-morning slate. NBC earlier this year launched a retooled  Sunday version of “Today,” in which host Willie Geist often gets to offer his viewpoint on some of the news of the day and explore longer-term reportage. Ironically, Geist’s father, Bill, has been a long-time “Sunday Morning” correspondent for CBS.

In Pauley, CBS has found a TV-news veteran who has cut a very noticeable path over the years. Before joining CBS News, Pauley was a familiar face thanks to her run from 1976 to 1989 as co-anchor of ‘Today” and her time as an anchor of “Dateline NBC.” She also hosted a syndicated daytime talk show, “The Jane Pauley Show” in 2004. She is married to Garry Trudeau, the creator of the satirical comic strip “Doonesbury.”

“We first got to know Jane when we did a story about her on ‘Sunday Morning’,” said Rand Morrison, the show’s executive producer, in a statement. “Our viewers immediately responded by suggesting she belonged on ‘Sunday Morning’ permanently. And — as is so often the case, they were right.  She’s a dedicated, experienced broadcast journalist. But — every bit as important — she’s a delight to work with.  A worthy successor — and a perfect fit.” A spokeswoman for CBS News said Pauley was not available for comment.

Speaking recently at a ceremony celebrating Emmy Awards for news and documentary programs, Pauley praised Osgood’s tenure on the show. “What will ‘Sunday Morning’ be without his ‘presence?’ His calm demeanor? His civility? His curiosity? His delight? Charlie and his bow ties are just part of the rhythm of people’s lives.”

Pauley is not likely to wear a bow tie, but she will become part of a new CBS Sunday-morning routine.