NorahO’Donnell is under threat of losing her top position at CBS Evening News. The Post learned this from the Post. The Post also discovered that cost-cutting executives at the broadcasting giant are quietly searching for a replacement due to sagging ratings.
The 47-year-old news anchor — who muscled her way into the evening slot in 2019 as she fled a reportedly strained relationship with co-host Gayle King on “CBS This Morning” — now stands vulnerable to the network’s bean counters as her ratings have stayed stubbornly stuck in third place, according to sources close to the situation.
Insiders also pointed out O’Donnell’s hefty salary package, which is around $8 million per year and a 3-year contract due to expire in spring. After CBS spent millions on moving the evening broadcast from New York City , O’Donnell, her husband, Geoff Tracy, as well as their three children, she faces a possible heave ho.
Indeed. Sources say that Neeraj Khemlani, a former executive at Hearst, was tapped to take over as the head of CBS News . He is also looking to bring “CBS Evening News” back to New York.
Khemlani denied a potential move or anchor shakeup, telling The Post: “There are no plans to move the Evening News from Washington. Norah’s presence in Washington has elevated the CBS Evening News’ coverage on all fronts – politics, breaking news, to big interviews including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen just last week. Her reporting on the military and domestic abuse has won awards and changed policies in Washington. The program has gained a lot of audience share and is making news. “
But behind the scenes, The Post has learned that Khemlani has hired management consultants to find ways to trim fat as parent company ViacomCBS continues to digest the 2019 merger of CBS and Viacom, and potentially make the company more attractive for a sale, the sources said.
“Neeraj has been charged with cutting costs and increasing profits. An insider said that he doesn’t understand why the “Evening News” is located in DC. With rumors of major changes swirling, Khemlani (who along with McMahon officially took over Zirinsky’s reins in August) stopped by The Post two weeks ago. According to insiders, the meeting was more like a meet and greet than a formal state of union. Sources said that O’Donnell’s future role as anchor was not discussed by the new boss.
“A world where Norah O’Donnell is the anchor of the show from DC, I don’t think so,” said an insider. The network should reduce her salary by half or hire someone who is less expensive. “