A growing number of staffers at CBS fear ‘fame obsessed’ Norah O’Donnell will ‘tear down’ all their hard work in her bid to seize the Evening News anchor job from Jeff Glor, network sources tell DailyMail.com.
Colleagues suspect new president Susan Zirinsky is mulling over replacing Glor with CBS This Morning co-host O’Donnell, 45, who has coveted the prized TV gig since she was overlooked in 2017.
But the possible shake-up has not gone down well with some of O’Donnell’s This Morning colleagues who accuse her of sucking up to Zirinsky, undermining their efforts with bitchy comments and claiming the show’s successes for herself.
Some Evening News staff are said to be equally alarmed by O’Donnell’s perceived lobbying to have the nightly broadcast moved from New York to Washington, D.C., where she and her husband Geoff Tracy have a house and restaurant.
‘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,’ a former colleague told DailyMail.com.
‘All that just to accommodate Norah – and her giant ego.’
A CBS spokesperson says the claims are ‘grossly inaccurate’ and Norah is a ‘trusted colleague’ at the network.
They added: ‘Norah has done a terrific job on CBS This Morning, on 60 Minutes and on specials, with substantial interviews that have made international headlines.’
CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell has launched a bid to seize the Evening News anchor job from Jeff Glor, CBS sources tell DailyMail.com
Incoming President Susan Zirinsky (left) is said to be mulling over replacing Glor (right) with CBS This Morning co-host O’Donnell, 45, who has coveted the prized TV gig since she was overlooked in 2017
Some Evening News staff are alarmed by O’Donnell’s apparent lobbying to have the broadcast moved from New York to D.C., where she and her husband Geoff Tracy have a house and restaurant. A source said: ‘She floated the rumor about looking for schools in DC for her children, wanting everyone to think she was being tapped for the evening anchor job’
CBS Evening News has long trailed its rivals on ABC and NBC, and ratings have slumped slightly further since Glor took over the anchor’s chair from Scott Pelley.
However the veteran newsman, 43, has proved popular with co-workers who say he should be given longer to turn things around.
‘Norah never showed Jeff any respect – either before or after he got the anchor job,’ dished an industry insider.
‘Some of us believe Jeff was set up to fail – the sacrificial lamb to make room for Norah.’
Another CBS source told DailyMail.com: ‘We’re trying to build something back up at CBS News – Norah is trying to tear it down.’
‘Jeff is a great guy. For him it’s all about doing world class work and building a positive environment. The news team is very supportive and wants him to stay.
‘But Norah is divisive. When John Dickerson was added to the morning show last year she did her best to undermine him at every turn, she would say under her breadth ‘I wouldn’t have done it that way’.
O’Donnell did little to hide her disappointment in October 2017 when she was passed over in the search for Pelley’s replacement and Glor was picked instead to succeed the likes of Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather and Katie Couric.
‘Reposted this running photo as a reminder to myself that life is a lot like training for a road race,’ the fitness fanatic and mother-of-three lamented on Facebook the very same day.
‘Sometimes no matter how much effort you put into the goal, you fall short. There’s always another race.’
O’Donnell did little to hide her disappointment in October 2017 when Glor was picked to succeed the likes of Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather and Katie Couric. ‘Reposted this running photo (pictured) as a reminder to myself that life is a lot like training for a road race,’ the fitness fanatic and mother-of-three lamented on Facebook the very same day
She added: ‘Sometimes no matter how much effort you put into the goal, you fall short. There’s always another race’
The comment needled some colleagues, as did a 426-word posting one year later where O’Donnell crowed about winning an Emmy for a report investigation on sexual assault in the Air Force Academy.
‘This was the toughest story I covered in the last year, so I’m honored and humbled by the Academy’s Emmy distinction,’ gushed O’Donnell, with only a passing reference to a colleague, investigative producer Jennifer Janisch, half way down.
‘Her team spent months on the Air Force sex scandal story and Norah said, ‘I’m so happy I won this,’ another newsroom source told DailyMail.com. ‘With Norah it’s always all about me.’
Unimpressed coworkers say O’Donnell’s prolific postings are all part of an orchestrated campaign to build her profile and convince bosses she’s the future of the Tiffany Network she joined in 2011 as chief White House correspondent.
O’Donnell is also said to have her own publicist – PMK’s pit bull Cindi Berger – described by sources as a ‘no no’ for everyone else at CBS.
Recent Instagram posts include March 22 photos of her in a hospital bed and hooked up to machines prior to having an emergency appendix operation.
‘She did it out of fear people would think she was left out of the Mueller coverage on purpose,’ claimed the same source.
Recent Instagram posts include March 22 photos of her in a hospital bed and hooked up to machines prior to having an emergency appendix operation
‘She did it out of fear people would think she was left out of the Mueller coverage on purpose,’ claimed the same source
Zirinsky is mulling over an overhaul of the CBS news division but is yet to decide on whether Glor should stay or if O’Donnell should succeed him, according to reports.
She will also have the final call on moving it to D.C. to accommodate Georgetown University grad O’Donnell’s desire to be closer to her family rather than commute to New York.
In what insiders complained was a flagrant attempt by O’Donnell to toady up to Zirinsky, the Emmy award-winning host is reported to have given her new boss a trendy Lingua Franca sweater emblazoned with the words ‘It’s time’.
‘When she bought Susan what was probably a $400 sweater she made sure everyone knew about it,’ scoffed another CBS colleague.
‘Subtlety is not her middle name. 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.
‘She floated the rumor about looking for schools in DC for her children, wanting everyone to think she was being tapped for the evening anchor job.
‘She’s a genius at feeding rumors about herself. She’s not above calling journalists and columnists.’
CBS This Morning has been in flux since the ouster of Charlie Rose in late 2017, with newcomers Dickerson and Bianna Golodryga drafted in to make up a foursome of hosts with O’Donnell and Gayle King, who is reportedly close to signing a lucrative new contract.
Unimpressed coworkers say O’Donnell’s prolific postings are all part of an orchestrated PR campaign to build her profile and convince bosses she’s the future of the Tiffany Network she joined in 2011 as chief White House correspondent
Less than six months into her tenure, Golodryga is already on the way out according to a report Monday, with sources telling HuffPost that Zirinsky wants fewer anchors and that Golodryga would rather leave than face demotion.
O’Donnell has been a fixture on the show since 2012 and has won plaudits for her interviews with President Donald Trump, Prince Harry, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
But for all her journalistic prowess, some co-workers told DailyMail.com they would be happy to see the back of her in New York.
‘Norah adds anxiety in the newsroom. She doesn’t treat people well,’ explained one source.
Said another: ‘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.’
‘When people have complained about her to news chief Susan Zirinsky, she is known to reply, ”It’s just Norah being Norah”.
‘No one is better at self-promotion than Norah – but no one person is bigger than CBS News.’
A former colleague described O’Donnell as diligent and intelligent with the sort of ‘pit bull’ mentality needed to beat Today and GMA to the biggest scoops.
‘One thing I’ll say about Norah, she’s great at her job – but for her it’s all for one and one for one,’ the source added.
‘She has the highest expectations and is extremely rigid, from how thick she wants her apples sliced to how much peanut butter to dole out.
Yet, ratings at Good Morning have taken a dive since Rose left.
CBS This Morning was showing signs of a ratings revival under Rose and King before he was forced out amid sexual misconduct accusations in November 2017.
Since then, the perennial third place show has slumped further behind its rivals, averaging 3.2 million total viewers this season compared to 4.1 million for NBC’s Today and 4.2 million for ABC’s Good Morning America.