Gayle King, who was the epitome of dignified restraint in her blockbuster interview with R. Kelly, has pushed out her colleague Norah O’Donnell at CBS This Morning, according to a contested report from Page Six.
Page Six claims that during new contract negotiations, which saw her $5.5m pay package doubled, King insisted she no longer have to share the morning spotlight with O’Donnell.
CBS denied to Page Six that King was behind the ouster of O’Donnell. CBS News president Susan Zirinsky called the story, “100 percent false.” She also told USA Today that “This headline is offensive.” Another source told Page Six that the two women “are close friends,” and that King attended O’Donnell’s “intimate” birthday party a few weeks.
And the fact that O’Donnell has reportedly been offered a new role taking over as anchor of CBS Evening News from Jeff Glor suggests the network are pretty far from being about to abandon one of their star names to the wolves at the behest of another. Glor will likely be offered a correspondent or weekend anchor role, a source told Page Six.
Despite CBS’s forthright defense of O’Donnell, a steady stream of negative rumors against her have been emanating from the network in recent months, and Page Six claims that O’Donnell is suspected of having helped disseminate rumors about the departure of Jeff Glor, anchor at CBS News, in what it alleges was a concerted campaign for his job.
In April, the Daily Mail reported that O’Donnell was often responsible for a “climate of fear” at CBS This Morning.
“Norah is demanding but can be so harsh in her treatment of people—particularly women—I’ve seen a lot of tears. People live in fear around Norah,” one unnamed source told The Mail.