Norah O’Donnell may be a friendly face to the millions that watch CBS This Morning, but she does not inspire the same emotion in her colleagues, who supposedly call her “fame-obsessed,” according to The Daily Mail.
“Norah adds anxiety in the newsroom. She doesn’t treat people well,” said an anonymous source.
The sentiment is allegedly echoed by many colleagues, with one noting that O’Donnell seemed to be particularly mean to women, despite her feminist statements.
“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.”
Norah co-anchors CBS This Morning with Gayle King and John Dickerson. Her former colleague, Charlie Rose, was ousted in November 2017 following allegations of sexual misconduct.
When Dickerson was brought on to replace Rose, Norah was said to constantly attempt to undermine her new co-worker, often muttering “I wouldn’t have done it that way” under her breath.
Since Rose’s departure, ratings have taken a nosedive. The show, which markets itself as having a focus on harder news, averaged 3.2 million viewers this season. Its rivals The Today Show and Good Morning America average a little over 4 million viewers each.
However, according to sources, O’Donnell still believes that she should be tapped to replace CBS Evening News anchor Jeff Glor, despite the ratings decline.
“She’s gunning for Jeff’s job and everyone knows it. From the moment he was announced as the evening news anchor she’s had her sights set on the job.”
It has long been rumored that O’Donnell was disappointed after being passed over the prestigious position when Scott Pelley stepped down in 2017. At the time, she reposted a picture of herself running on her Facebook page.
“… Life is a lot like a road race. Sometimes no matter how much effort you put into the goal, you fall short. There’s always another race,” she wrote in a post accompanying the photo. Many hypothesized that this was a veiled reference to the evening news job.
However, O’Donnell’s campaign may soon be paying off; new CBS president Susan Zirinsky is allegedly eager to make staffing change-ups and has seriously considered replacing Glor with the morning host.
Particularly distressing to the evening news team is that O’Donnell has reportedly spoken about moving the broadcast from New York to Washington D.C. In addition to being the center of American politics, D.C. is also where she and her husband Geoff Tracy own a house and restaurant. A former colleague laments that this would mean job losses for those unwilling or unable to move locations.
“If she does get the job you are talking about a lot of people who will potentially have their personal and professional lives thrown upside down.”
Complaints about the host do not find a sympathetic audience in Zirinsky. The new network head is said to shrug off criticism, replying that it is just “Norah being Norah.” Colleagues have long grumbled that O’Donnell “[toadies] up” to Zirinsky, describing a time when O’Donnell gifted her a $400 sweater.
A spokesperson for CBS refuted the gossip as “grossly inaccurate,” adding that Norah has done a “terrific” job on her various assignments, which include interviews and hosting 60 Minutes, in addition to her morning show.