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Charlie Rose to Undergo Heart Surgery, Take Break From ‘CBS This Morning’

CBS This Morning” anchor Charlie Rose will undergo heart surgery on Thursday, forcing him to take a break from the show for at least a few weeks to recuperate.

Rose, 75, said in a note to CBS News staffers that the surgery was a voluntary decision to replace an artificial aorta valve that he first had installed 15 years ago. Rose said he expected to be back at work in March.

“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,” Rose wrote.

CBS News said Rose’s place at the “CBS This Morning” anchor desk with Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King will be filled by a rotating group of CBS News staffers, including Josh Elliott and Anthony Mason, who are regular substitute anchors for the show.

Rose has been a pillar of the anchor team that has turned “CBS This Morning” into a growth story for the network since 2012 after years of CBS lagging NBC and ABC in the morning news race. “CBS This Morning” is highly regarded for its focus on hard news and analysis compared to the higher volume of celebrity and lifestyle fare served up on “Today” and “Good Morning America.”

Rose is also a contributor to CBS’ “60 Minutes.” Outside of CBS, he has hosted the nightly interview program “The Charlie Rose Show” for PBS since 1991; the hourlong program also airs on Bloomberg Television. Rose is known for his skill as a interviewer and ability to zero in on the heart of any story. He earned a Peabody Award for his headline-making sit-down with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in September 2013.

Off camera, Rose is a ubiquitous presence in New York’s media and social scene. He frequently moderates panels and conducts Q&As of newsmakers at various venues.

On Wednesday, “CBS This Morning” anchors revealed the news of Rose’s heart surgery to viewers. O’Donnell said Rose told her he was “optimistic and excited about this tune-up.”

Here is Rose’s full note to CBS News staffers:

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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