Norah O’Donnell surfaces in Poland nearly 20 days after Russia first invaded

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

After disappearing from the anchor desk for three days last week amid a scathing New York Post report about her alleged “toxic” behavior, “CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell reappeared on the network from Poland.

O’Donnell was notably the only major U.S. anchor not to travel to the Poland-Ukraine region in the days immediately following Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine. Both “ABC World News Tonight” anchor David Muir and “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt traveled to the region.

Muir was the first U.S. network anchor on the ground, starting on March 3, 2022, though he anchored from Poland.

Holt started anchoring from inside Ukraine on March 6, 2022.

Russian forces started attacking Ukraine Feb. 24, 2022. At the time, all major U.S. networks, including CBS, had correspondents on the ground in the region. The networks have also continued to maintain significant presence in the region.

While the attacks on Ukraine are still raging on, it’s still a bit conspicuous that O’Donnell wasn’t in the area for so long.

O’Donnell anchored what was billed as a “special edition” of “Evening” on March 14, 2022 from Medyka, Poland, with a focus on the refugees that have been spilling into the country seeking safety from their embattled cities.

She was able to do some on the ground interviews with families displaced by the attack.

Both Holt and Muir, meanwhile, are back in New York as Russian forces draw closer to Kyiv, the country’s capital.

O’Donnell was out March 2, 3 and 4, 2022. The New York Post published an article claiming she’s become known for exhibiting diva like behavior behind the scenes and that the network is looking to replace her when her contract is up in May 2022 in order to save costs on the perennial last place network newscast.

One candidate mentioned as her replacement is “CBS Mornings” co-anchor Tony Dokupil.

Initial reports coming out of unnamed sources inside the network is that O’Donnell was being kept in the U.S. in order to reduce her visibility, with Dokupil sent in as part of the network’s team, presumably an attempt to bolster his profile on air.

O’Donnell has anchored “Evening” since July 2019, with the broadcast moving to Washington, D.C. in December 2019. Despite a splashy new set and graphics as well as the purported advantage of anchoring from Washington, her ratings have continued to languish in last place.