Norah O’Donnell Jumps to CBS…

Politco’s Mike Allen scoops that Norah O’Donnell is leaving NBC/MSNBC for CBS and will be their Chief White House Correspondent…

Norah O’Donnell, one of NBC’s best-known Washington bureau reporters, is moving to CBS News to be chief White House correspondent, CBS announced.

It’s a stunning shakeup for both the front row of the White House briefing room and for Washington’s intensely competitive network news bureaus.

O’Donnell was also named principal substitute anchor of “Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer.” O’Donnell joined NBC News in 1999 from Roll Call.

One of the problems of having a deep bench is keeping all your bench warmers happy and occupied. I have been waiting for O’Donnell to bolt MSNBC for a couple of years now…basically ever since she lost her MSNBC show. She’s had little to do at NBC and MSNBC other than the occasional Today/MSNBC hit and the Chris Matthews Show. Remember, this was someone who had the Pentagon beat, the White House beat, and the Capitol Hill beat at various points in her past. That’s too much firepower to be kept on the bench. Now at CBS and Chief White House Correspondent and primary sub for Face the Nation (which reduces Harry Smith’s already reduced profile even further), Norah is where she probably should have been at NBC by now but got lost in the shuffle somehow…which proves NBC News brass is not infallible (yeah, like we already didn’t know that)

There was a time when I felt NBC was grooming O’Donnell (on a slow path) to be the next Andrea Mitchell when Mitchell retires. NBC now has a “Mitchell succession plan” to worry about – it does not have a female talent operating in Washington that has Mitchell’s pedigree or is on track to follow in Mitchell’s footsteps. O’Donnell was the closest thing to Mitchell in terms of career path similarities and connections in Washington D.C.

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7 Responses to “Norah O’Donnell Jumps to CBS…”

  1. I suppose this makes her the heir to Scheiffer’s throne. I thought they were planning on giving it to John Dickerson.

    As for Harry Smith, I could see him taking over Sunday Morning or joining 60 Minutes. He was on CBS News’ new banners (that replaced Couric) so they obviously have a big role for him somewhere.

  2. terance Says:

    Great news for Norah!

  3. “Chief WH Correspondent”… well damn right she’d bolt for that. Also looks like the last-place broadcast network news outfit is pushing to move itself up a notch.

  4. Why should she replace Andrea Mitchell in the one spot for a “female talent”? We are 50% of the population after all!

  5. Wow! Good luck to her. I really did like the show she had at MSNBC.

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