Business

A CBS News anchor shake-up could be in the works

Posted February 21, 2019 1:41 a.m. EST

— A version of this article first appeared in the "Reliable Sources" newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

Glor out, O'Donnell in?

My sources are affirming what Variety's Brian Steinberg reported earlier in the day: "CBS News is considering making significant changes to its flagship 'CBS Evening News.'"

Susan Zirinsky, the incoming president of the news division, is considering replacing Jeff Glor with "CBS This Morning" co-anchor Norah O'Donnell. In one scenario, O'Donnell would anchor the broadcast from DC, where her husband owns restaurants and her family has roots. "There are serious discussions about moving staff to Washington to accommodate her," one CBS staffer told me.

Steinberg said none of the 6:30 plans are definitive: "There is no guarantee they will come to fruition." And Page Six added that "O'Donnell has not yet been offered the gig." But CBS executives are seeking to do something to improve "Evening News" ratings.

>> One complicating factor, I'm told: Zirinsky needs Gayle King to extend her morning show contract before moving O'Donnell off the A.M. shift, lest she jeopardize the morning show...

>> Yashar Ali tweeted that Z "met with senior staff of CBS Evening News" after these stories started percolating on Wednesday, and said Glor "was the anchor of the broadcast, to not pay attention to articles, and that she was proud of the show..."

>> The network also sought to shore up Glor's role by sending out a press release on Wednesday that said Glor would lead CBS coverage of the next US-North Korea summit from Vietnam...

>> CBS is declining to comment on all of this... Remember, Zirinsky doesn't officially take the job until March 1...

Kadro to Quibi

Speaking of CBS, the morning show still needs a new executive producer. The most recent E.P., Ryan Kadro, left the network several weeks ago. "But he isn't leaving the news business," Steinberg reported. Kadro is "set to join Quibi, the company led by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman that is devoted to short-form content. Kadro is expected to oversee news programming for the subscription-based service, according to a person familiar with the matter, and to have some involvement with music and sports content as well..."

Trump's attacks keep coming

Several members of the media were shoved and assaulted at President Trump's campaign rally in El Paso, Texas, last week. But even as some supporters appear to take cues from Trump's anti-media rhetoric, the president isn't changing his tune. On Wednesday he said "The Press" -- a catchall term for tens of thousands of people -- is "totally out of control." And he singled out the NYT for its recent reporting about him, calling the newspaper "a true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!"

Then we all found out about this...

Yet another threat against journalists

A Coast Guard lieutenant who was arrested last Friday on gun and drug charges "allegedly wanted to conduct a mass killing" who "had a hit list that included prominent Democratic politicians as well as several journalists from CNN and MSNBC," CNN's Mary Kay Mallonee and Caroline Kelly report.

The people on his list included CNN's Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo and Van Jones and MSNBC's Chris Hayes, Ari Melber and Joe Scarborough.

"We are all safe. And we thank the Coast Guard and law enforcement for stopping this in time," Lemon said on "CNN Tonight." But "we need to talk about WHY. Once again, critics of the president are being targeted with violence... These things don't happen in a vacuum. The president's words matter. Just look at the suspect's list of targets."

>> Hayes tweeted: "Just a crazed right-wing nut with an enormous cache of weapons and a hit list of media personalities and prominent Democrats..."

Sulzberger's message

Now back to Trump's newest "enemy" tweet. A.G. Sulzberger responded by saying "the phrase 'enemy of the people' is not just false, it's dangerous. It has an ugly history of being wielded by dictators and tyrants who sought to control public information..." And "there are mounting signs that this incendiary rhetoric is encouraging threats and violence against journalists at home and abroad."

Thursday's NY Daily News has Sulzberger v. Trump on the cover, saying, "The News stands with The Times."

Zuckerberg's Thursday meeting

"Mark Zuckerberg is finally coming face to face with a top UK official who'd like to regulate Facebook," Hadas Gold reports. "After avoiding multiple requests to testify in front of a UK parliamentary committee, the FB CEO is set to meet Thursday with Jeremy Wright, the UK secretary for digital, culture, media and sport." More here...

FOR THE RECORD

-- February going out like a lion? "Justice Department preparing for Mueller report as early as next week..." (CNN)

-- Michael Cohen will testify publicly next Wednesday... Annie Karni tweeted that Cohen's testimony will turn the "Trump-Kim Summit into a split-screen event..." (CNN)

-- Sam Thielman spoke with Jason Leopold about BuzzFeed's disputed Michael Cohen story and much more... (CJR)

-- Read more of Wednesday's "Reliable Sources" newsletter... And subscribe here to receive future editions in your inbox...

-- James Wolcott, who joined Vanity Fair in 1983, says his time at the mag has to come to an end... (Twitter)

-- Carol Rosenberg has taken a buyout from McClatchy... And now she's joining the NYT to continue covering Gitmo... Her work will continue to be partially underwritten by the Pulitzer Center... (NYT)