Matt Buckler: Rumors surround CBS news anchor Norah O'Donnell




Oct. 26-These rumors were bound to start sooner or later, but the buzz surrounding CBS lead news anchor Norah O'Donnell's future is starting to get louder.

There are three good reasons why O'Donnell may be on slippery footing as the face of CBS News.

Her newscast, "The CBS Evening News," is in third place in the ratings and has been since she started in 2019.

Her contract is up next spring. And she is making $8 million a year, a figure that many executives at CBS think is too high.

That's why the New York Post is reporting that rumors of a possible anchor change have been making their way through the CBS Washington newsroom.

CBS co-president Neeraj Khemlani has denied a potential anchor switch, but that's what network executives are good at - denying rumors.

The fact that O'Donnell hasn't moved the ratings needle, however, does not work in her favor.

There is one more plot twist, according to the Post story. O'Donnell is not a popular figure in the CBS hallways - the Post says she's not nice to hair and makeup people, among others.

The bottom line is that CBS has been behind NBC and ABC in the ratings since Walter Cronkite retired. Donald Trump could be news anchor and the network would probably stay in third place.

So the network may keep trying to find the right anchor. O'Donnell does a decent job, but not a dynamic job. CBS may be looking for someone who will do both.

Manning Monday

The Manning Brothers, Peyton and Eli, have replaced Tony Romo as the flavor of the month as far as National Football League analysts are concerned.

It's taken three years, but critics are starting to notice how Romo likes to ramble occasionally without making any sense. The Mannings, on the other hand, have earned rave reviews from critics. Even the fact that one of the guests on Monday's Manningcast of the Seattle-New Orleans game on ESPN2, Marshawn Lynch, fired off a profanity, hasn't dampened the enthusiasm for the Mannings.

The Mannings are funny, they know the game, and they fulfill the No. 1 job of any analyst - telling viewers something about football that they don't know.

And they look like they're having fun doing it, which usually rubs off on the viewers.

Some of Monday's guests were great, such as Tom Brady. And some were out of place. Sue Bird, for example, added very little to the telecast, except for the fact that she left the door open for playing one more season in the WNBA.

The worst sin is that many times they are busy chatting with their guests and aren't paying attention to the game.

This is, however, an alternate telecast. Viewers can turn to ESPN, where they do pay attention to the game.

There's one problem - those announcers aren't as funny or as knowledgeable as the Mannings. That's why the Manningcasts work - you get more than you get on traditional TV.

Lemire wake-up call

If you watch MSNBC for any length of time, you're going to run into Jonathan Lemire - he is one of the network's go-to guys when it comes to analysis.

His spotlight is starting to shine a little brighter these days after being named as permanent host of "Way Too Early," MSNBC's early morning show that airs at 5 a.m.

Lemire has been hosting the show on a temporary basis after Kasie Hunt left the show. On Monday, MSNBC made the temporary move permanent.

Lemire was slightly nervous Tuesday on his first official day, but he did show a sense of humor. That's very important, especially when you start your work day at 5 a.m.

Follow Matt Buckler for more television, radio, and sports coverage on the JI's Twitter @journalinquirer, and see his articles on the Journal Inquirer Facebook page.

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