Why isn’t Norah O’Donnell anchoring more special reports from D.C. about stuff that happens there?

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As part of its much ballyhooed overhaul of “CBS Evening News,” the network also announced that moving the show to Washington, D.C., would put anchor Norah O’Donnell at the center of today’s political crossfire.

  • However, since “Evening News” moved to D.C. Dc. 2, 2019, O’Donnell has only periodically showed up on the network’s special reports involving impeachment hearings, which are obviously key newsworthy events happening nearby the new studio and her office.
  • O’Donnell wasn’t on air Friday, Dec. 13 when the Judiciary Committee voted to move forward with an impeachment — a predicted but still key event.
  • She did anchor a special report the day after her D.C. “Evening” debut.
  • Instead, Major Garrett anchored the coverage from New York.
  • It does not appear O’Donnell is out Dec. 13 as Garrett mentioned she would have more coverage on that night’s “Evening.”
  • On CBS and NBC, it’s traditional that the anchor of the flagship evening newscast handles special reports when available, but especial ones that take plus during the day.
  • ABC is the notable exception because of a contract stipulation with “GMA” anchor George Stephanopoulos that gave him the title of “chief anchor” and makes him the face of most special reports, though “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir (and others) has done them as well when Stephanopoulos isn’t available.
  • Many of the special reports start at around 8 or 9 a.m. eastern, which is early in the workday for most evening network anchors.
  • However, given that most of these hearings have been pre-scheduled, it seems like planning ahead to have the anchors available early would have been relatively simple to figure out.
  • Why CBS isn’t giving O’Donnell more air time at this critical time when she’s trying to build a reputation as an anchor with Washington, D.C. connections and sources.
  • It’s also a bit odd to anchor coverage from New York, even though ABC and NBC did. However, neither of those networks base their flagship newscast out of D.C., something CBS has been heavily promoting, so it seems that using the Washington bureau would make more sense.
  • Of course, it’s possible that O’Donnell has personal appointments or other commitments that were scheduled well in advance that are preventing her from appearing on these reports.