“They are begging Oprah to fill in,” said a TV insider. “Not full time . . . But they are hoping she’ll do one day, two days, one hour, fill in ’til Christmas. Anything.”
Reports have said a rotating cast of CBS News talent will step in. But the network’s not exactly known for its deep bench of stars compared to rivals NBC and ABC. Suggested Rose replacements on Twitter have so far included Tony Dokoupil and Bianna Golodryga. Little-known Jeff Glor was just tapped to take over “CBS Evening News.”
Winfrey joined CBS’ “60 Minutes” in September, and she is best friends with “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King. An insider said of the strategy to land Winfrey: “Unless you get a superstar [on the show], it’s always going to be, ‘Charlie’s missing.’”
King mentioned Winfrey on the show Tuesday, saying of Rose: “I really am still reeling. I got an hour and 42 minutes of sleep last night. Both my son and my daughter called me. Oprah called me and said, ‘Are you OK?’ I am not OK.”
A CBS rep declined to comment, and King did not get back to us. A rep for Winfrey said Tuesday that the star had not been officially asked to be on the show as of Tuesday.
CBS wooed Winfrey for five years before she recently agreed to join “60 Minutes.”
Meanwhile, perhaps kicking himself with Rose’s departure is Josh Elliott — the former “Good Morning America” host who might have been Rose’s heir apparent, but bizarrely flamed out at CBS earlier this year.
Meanwhile, without Rose, King hosts “CBS This Morning” with Norah O’Donnell, and female anchor duos are having a moment on morning TV. Lori Stokes was named co-host of Fox 5’s “Good Day New York” with Rosanna Scotto after Greg Kelly exited in September, and NBC’s “Today With Kathie Lee and Hoda” has been on a ratings roll.
SOURCE: Page Six – Ian Mohr