Gayle King is expected to remain at the program, and will be flanked by Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil, according to two people familiar with the matter. As Variety reported in February and March, CBS News has other plans for King’s two current co-anchors, John Dickerson and Norah O’Donnell. Dickerson is widely expected to take up a role with “60 Minutes,” according to people familiar with talks, while O’Donnell has been in discussions to take over the anchor seat at “CBS Evening News.”
CBS News declined to comment on any speculation about anchor moves, a position it has maintained for several weeks. A representative for O’Donnell declined to comment.
The news unit has been in the midst of a top-to-bottom review, under President Susan Zirinsky, who took the new role in March. Many of CBS News’ flagship programs have struggled in the ratings after a series of talent switches placed new anchors at “CBS This Morning,” “CBS Evening News” and “Face the Nation.” The standout has been “60 Minutes,” which has continued to win big audiences even as it has been in the midst of a transition between executive producers.
CBS is banking on King, whose recent interviews with singer R. Kelly and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam have catapulted her into broader circles, to revive its morning program. CBS for years has lagged rivals “Today” at NBC and “Good Morning America” at ABC. “CBS This Morning,” which launched in 2012 with a narrower focus on hard news, business stories and global affairs, has been perhaps the most successful entry in the CBS early-A.M. lineup since “Captain Kangaroo.” The show has brought new ad revenue to the network and new attention to CBS News.
“CBS This Morning” ran into headwinds, however, after the ouster of Charlie Rose in 2017. Rose was accused by several women of making unwanted sexual advances, and left the program he helped build. Since that time, ratings have ebbed, and the addition of Dickerson and Bianna Golodryga to the show did not reverse the trend. Golodryga left CBS News in April after learning that she would no longer have a role on the morning program.
In Mason and Dokoupil, CBS has a veteran and a fresher face. Mason, who currently anchors the Saturday edition of “CBS This Morning,” has been with CBS News since 1986. He served as an interim anchor at “CBS Evening News” after Scott Pelley left in 2017, has served stints in London and Moscow, and has become known in recent years for his profiles of popular musicians. Doukopil joined CBS News in 2016, after logging a stint at NBC News and MSNBC. He has also worked as a writer for Newsweek and The Daily Beast and is the author of a memoir of his father’s marijuana-smuggling exploits in the 1970s and 1980s.