We have a major network news exodus: Norah O'Donnell is bolting from NBC for CBS as chief White House correspondent. I sure didn't see this coming, and I wonder how surprised NBC was? O'Donnell has been a rising star there for years, and she is in fact very good. Why would NBC let her go? Why would she go? The answer usually has to do with "$," and CBS did appear to hand her the keys to the kingdom, including being Bob Schieffer's substitute on "Face the Nation."
Which is another way of saying: O'Donnell will be the next anchor of "Face the Nation."
I'm sure there'll be some speculation about her leaving because she didn't get the "Today" gig that went to Ann Curry, or the possibly more important gig that went to Savanah Guthrie (the 9 a.m. anchor). But I don't see it. She was never a contender for "Today," despite her prominent role at MSNBC, and her one-time co-anchoring chores at 9 a.m.
Here's the CBS release:
O'Donnell will also become the principal substitute anchor for FACE THE NATION, the growing Sunday morning public affairs broadcast anchored by CBS News' Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer, and will report for all CBS News broadcasts, including occasionally for 60 MINUTES. "It's very exciting for all of us at CBS News to have Norah on our team," said [Jeffrey] Fager. "She's an accomplished reporter with extensive experience and she will be terrific as our Chief White House Correspondent." "Norah's experience on Washington's top beats—at the White House, on Capitol Hill, and at the Pentagon—will make her a great addition to our growing Washington bureau," said [David] Rhodes. "At the White House, on the campaign trail with the President, at the Conventions and into Election Night, we will be even more competitive in our reporting with Norah on board." "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said O'Donnell. "I'm thrilled to cover the White House for CBS News. It is an honor and a privilege to join the great journalists at this legendary network."