Watching CBS News This Morning on Monday, December 4, Norah O’Connell and Gayle King were joined for the week by frequent contributor Bianna Golodryga, who was the chief reporter in the announcement of the suspension, and later firing, of that program’s Charlie Rose in November 2017, and also detailed the firing a week later of NBC’s TODAY show anchor Matt Lauer. Both men subsequently apologized for sexually inappropriate behavior.
The first story on the 4 December morning news was about the Mueller probe into Russian interference in US politics, as reported by Margaret Brennan, who shares the White House beat with chief White House correspondent Major Garrett. Then justice correspondent Paula Reid reported on a guy removed from that investigation.
Chief Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes spoke about the tax bill the Senate passed, with reporter Juliana Goldman noting what was necessary to be reconciled between the House and Senate versions. Business analyst Jill Schlesinger broke down the possible impact of the legislation.
Jericka Duncan reported on the possible CVS/Aetna merger. After the local news break, Meg Oliver talked about the return of a runaway teen to her family.
There wasn’t a single male reporter until about 40 minutes in, when Ben Tracy, foreign correspondent, described preparations in case of a war with North Korea. I’m not sure this was just a happy accident.
With the two high-visibility morning-show men brought down by complaints of sexual impropriety, I wonder if CBS News was making a statement about how capable their women on-air talent is.
CNN noticed that It’s all women this week on ‘Today’ and ‘CBS This Morning’.
I had watched The TODAY show on NBC way back in the days of Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters in the late 1960s; to Tom Brokaw and Jane Pauley, the current host of CBS News Sunday Morning; to Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric.
I didn’t quit watching until Ann Curry, promoted from being the long-time newsreader, was forced out in 2012, with what was generally understood to be the acquiescence of Lauer, who, was at his firing, the longest-serving TODAY host ever, with 20 years service. He won’t get paid rest of $20 million contract.
Curry, meanwhile, is getting a new gig on PBS. And speaking of PBS, it announced ‘Amanpour’ as interim replacement for Charlie Rose on its late night schedule, Christiane Amanpour’s existing program on CNN International.
Who might replace Lauer on TODAY’s first two hours? It’s unlikely to be Megyn Kell, now on the show’s third hour, who came over from FOX News, another network rocked by a sexual harassment scandal against former host Bill O’Reilly, and earlier, the former Fox News chairman, the late Roger Ailes.
It is likely that model of older, established male and younger, generally pretty, female co-host is going to get shaken up on the morning news programs. Of course, some folks will complain about the “feminiazation” of the time slot, which early on was, with the exception of the “weather girl”, “men’s work.”