The CBS News shake-up is now official. This morning, the network announced that:
— Norah O’Donnell (shown here in the old days, with Charlie Rose and Gayle King) will lead the evening newscast, replacing Jeff Glor. She starts this summer as anchor and managing editor, moving the operation from New York to Washington, D.C.
— King is now clearly the senior figure in the morning, with both of her co-hosts leaving. One was John Dickson, who becomes a “60 Minutes” correspondent; the other was O’Donnell. The new look – with Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil taking their spots – starts May 20.
Among other things, that reflects the enormous changes in Susan Zirinsky’s lifetime.
Writer-producer James Brooks became fascinated with Zirinsky’s stories about her life at CBS. He wrote the Oscar-nominated “Broadcast News” (1987), about an intense young woman in a male-dominated news division. Holly Hunter even job-shadowed her, before playing the role.
And now? Zirinsky became president of the news division in January and has moved quickly.
King has gone far from the days when she was known mostly as “Oprah’s best friend,” overshadowed at work by Rose. Rose was ousted amid accusation of sexual abuse; the old-boys networks at CBS now has Zirinsky, O’Donnell and King at the top.