CBS News political director John Dickerson will be the new host of Face the Nation when longtime anchor Bob Schieffer retires in early summer.
The 78-year-old Schieffer announced the choice of Dickerson, 47, the son of the late, legendary CBS journalist Nancy Dickerson, a former producer on Face, during Sunday’s program.
The surprise is that while many predicted that Schieffer’s designated substitute for the past four years, Norah O’Donnell, would be the choice—in the tradition of groundbreaking female broadcasters like Dickerson’s mother—CBS News President David Rhodes went with another white middle-aged male.
“John is first and foremost a reporter—and that’s what he’ll be as anchor of Face the Nation,” Rhodes said in a statement provided by CBS News. “His work in the studio will always be informed by what he’s learned in Iowa, in New Hampshire, on Capitol Hill—anywhere there’s news. He has earned the respect of newsmakers across the political spectrum. With all our correspondents John will present comprehensive coverage on all our platforms.”
On Sunday’s broadcast, Schieffer said that Dickerson “has been on this broadcast 83 times. ….We are just so proud... It underlines what I've said before—that I find myself working with the children of my colleagues."
Schieffer added that Dickerson “sure has the right bloodlines. His mother Nancy Dickerson was the first female correspondent in the CBS News Washington bureau.”
Dickerson said, “I’m thrilled. I have watched Bob my whole professional life not just as a viewer but as a daily reporter who also covered the Hill. I’m honored to carry on his tradition on Face the Nation.”
Dickerson, a socially-connected former Time magazine Washington correspondent who spent his childhood at the famous Merrywood estate in McLean, Va., appeared with Schieffer at the anchor desk. “I’m humbled and really excited” to accept the job, he said. “My mom would have been excited too.”