The CBS Evening News broadcast on January 6 sets off gossip about Norah O’Donnell’s future

The anniversary of the January 6 Capitol riots sets in motion new conspiracy theories – about Norah O’Donnell’s anchorage on “CBS Evening News”.

Last week, the network in third place “CBS Mornings” co-host Tony Dokoupil flew to Washington from New York to anchor a special report at. 9 on last January’s upheaval at the Capitol.

That set the tongue in motion at CBS, where some employees said it looked like a possible trial period at O’Donnell’s job as CBS News co-president Neeraj Khemlani looks for ways to reduce network costs.

As reported by The Post, 47-year-old O’Donnell, who is rumored to be pulling a $ 8 million salary, has recently faced speculation that her plum job could be in jeopardy as she renegotiates her contract to anchor news broadcast in third place.

Norah O'Donnell
CBS staffers swirled about Norah O’Donnell’s future as an anchor for the “Evening News” following the network broadcast on the anniversary of the Capitol riot.
CBS via Getty Images

In fact, an insider told On The Money that Khemlani has talked about the coveted anchor chair for 40-year-old Dokoupil, who earns about $ 2 million to host “CBS Mornings” alongside Gayle King and Nate Burleson – and told him that he must first become “more experienced.”

Tony Dokoopil
Tony Dokoupil has emerged as a potential replacement for O’Donnell if she does not re-sign her contract.
Michele Crowe / CBS

“This is an example of Neeraj trying to support Dokoupil and grow him into the role,” the source said.

A CBS News representative declined to comment on the talk, but pointed to O’Donnell’s ratings, which have improved, though they are still lagging behind NBC’s “Nightly News with Lester Holt” and ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir.”

“‘Evening News’ is experiencing the narrowest demo gap with NBC in 27 years,” the representative said.

But a CBS insider noted that the network can pay Dokoupil much less for being in third place. The person added that Dokoupil’s presence in DC seemed strange when O’Donnell, the network’s managing editor, was already there – not to mention a number of other DC-based journalists who might have anchored the show.

“Why would they send Dokoupil?” said the insider. “Wasn’t that the whole reason for moving Norah to DC?”

Norah O'Donnell
The network named O’Donnell the anchor of “CBS Evening News” in 2019 and spent millions renewing and relocating the show from New York to DC.
CBS via Getty Images

In 2019, Khemlani’s predecessor Susan Zirinsky spent millions of dollars on a “Evening News” move to DC from New York.

Dokoupil, who hosted last week’s special report outside the U.S. capital building, looked nervous, wearing an oversized parka and squeezing his unloved hands periodically while asking questions to CBS News White House correspondent Nancy Cordes and Justice and Homeland Security correspondent Jeff Pegues.

O’Donnell, who hosted “Evening News” from the same venue later in the evening, performed more in his proper element and confidently led the live broadcast at 6 p.m. 18.30.

But there is still time, and insiders say they expect to see Dokoupil take on more special reports in the coming months.

Major Garrett
Major Garrett kept ratings steady as he directed O’Donnell’s show last month.
CBS via Getty Images

O’Donnell might also want to take care of Major Garrett, who filled out for her this Christmas week. According to Nielsen, Garrett, who joined CBS News from Fox News in 2012, had an average of 5.1 million viewers and 891,000 viewers ages 25 to 54 in the week of December 27th.

It is flat in the total number of viewers and an increase of 4.6% for adults aged 25 to 54 from what the newscast had on average when O’Donnell anchored two weeks earlier.

After the holiday downturn, O’Donnell’s viewership rose in the week of January 3 to 5.7 million viewers in total and 1 million viewers aged 25 to 54 years.


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