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By: Evelyn Reed
EVERY NOW AND THEN things seem almost too good to believe: “I mean,” Gayle King says with a laugh, “talk about a dream job! I have to pinch myself every now and then and just go, ‘Really?’ ”
Really. In early January, King joined Charlie Rose and Erica Hill as co-anchor of the newly revamped CBS This Morning. Of course, King is no stranger to TV; she began her career in television, first hired as an anchor in 1981, and when she hasn’t been on TV, she’s been watching it. “I’m a news junkie,” she says. “My TV is seldom off. I wake up and the first thing I reach for is my remote … in the case that I didn’t fall asleep with it already on,” she laughs.
She’s been happily hosting The Gayle King Show on OWN since early 2011 and was surprised when she was approached by Chris Licht, CBS This Morning’s executive producer and vice president of programming for CBS News. “I wasn’t looking for another job,” she says. “But the more I heard, the more I went ‘wow.’ And we’re talking about CBS and all that comes with it and all that it represents! That’s ginormous in my life. To be a part of the team is really an honor.”
As for the show itself; “We’re hoping for a show that has its own identity,” says Licht. “Something that’s different in the morning and still on brand with CBS News—something that the division can be proud of but also be engaging to viewers. I think Gayle, Erica and Charlie can provide television that people won’t be seeing anywhere else.”
And King, 56, still can’t contain her excitement about working with Charlie Rose (“Talk about legendary and iconic!”) and her new spot on the air. “This isn’t something that a lot of people have had a chance to do,” she says.
“I’m very nervous, but I’m nervous in a way that has to do with the great respect for what we’re going to do. I’m under no illusions that it’s going to be easy and this is not something I’m taking lightly,” she says. “But I couldn’t be more thrilled to have this chance.”