CBS staffers left in the dark amid major changes
CBS is in chaos amid a massive shake up at the network’s news division that will have Gayle King crowned queen of the morning show as soon as Monday, The Post has learned.
As The Post first reported Thursday, CBS News head Susan Zirinsky has major changes in store for the morning and evening news programs, including moving “CBS This Morning” co-host Norah O’Donnell off the morning slot, in part to appease King.
O’Donnell has been offered a plum post as head of “CBS Evening News,” but none of the changes can be announced until she signs her new contract, and she has delayed the process with demands for more money, sources said.
That has CBS News staffers asking questions that can’t yet be answered, including who will be the new head of “CBS Evening News,” currently anchored by Jeff Glor, and whether the show will be moved to DC from New York under O’Donnell.
As of Friday, Glor still hasn’t been told whether he will keep his job, which sources say is now only possible if negotiations between CBS and O’Donnell break down.
That has left Glor — who first read about the changes in The Post on Thursday — at a loss about what to tell his staff, one source said.
Glor first addressed reports that he could be replaced after a regular 2:30 p.m. staff meeting on Thursday, but had nothing concrete to tell them, this person told The Post. Instead, he became “emotional” and thanked them for their work.
“The room was silent,” the source said, adding that the only person to speak up was Zirinsky when she interrupted to assure the staff that “no decision has been made.”
The uncertainty has staffers whispering in the hallways about the fate of the show, including whether they will be required to decamp for DC, sources said.
One person who appears to have more insight is O’Donnell, who brushed over The Post’s report on Friday by promising that more information will be forthcoming next week when King returns from an assignment in London.
“We are reading lots of things with great interest,” O’Donnell told viewers about the show, which she co-hosts with King and John Dickerson.
“I just want you to know we will address them on Monday, when Gayle is back here — and John as well,” she said.
The new morning show lineup will feature King alongside “CBS This Morning: Saturday” co-anchor Anthony Mason and CBS News correspondent Tony Dokoupil, The Post reported Thursday.
Dickerson is expected to go to “60 Minutes.”
O’Donnell’s supporters on Thursday refuted The Post’s report that O’Donnell has a reputation for being difficult to work with and that King — still high off her explosive interview with R&B singer R. Kelly — asked that O’Donnell be removed as part of King’s recent contract negotiations.
“If she was a man, these kind of unsupported accusations would never be reported,” O’Donnell’s agent, UTA co-president Jay Sures, said.
“Anyone who knows Jeff knows he is the type of leader and person whose primary concern has been and continues to be the well-being of his colleagues,” Glor’s agent, Olivia Metzger, said when asked about his future.
Reps for CBS and O’Donnell declined to comment.
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