“CBS This Morning” host Gayle King described how they’ve had “some issues” at the network, but said they are working to “start a new chapter” at the troubled news division.
King, who relaunched the show in late May with a new team, said, “The beauty of is that we all know each other, we have all worked together before, we’ve had some issues at CBS, that’s no secret, there were some issues there and we are working through the issues, we are turning the page and starting a new chapter.”
She added, “People come up to me … and say ‘I’m so sorry’ but I never felt ashamed or embarrassed to be working at CBS. My team is all about getting up and just doing your job, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Referring to Susan Zirinsky, the president and senior executive producer of CBS News, who took over on March 1, “She’s our badass new boss, the first female president of CBS News, she’s 5 feet nothing, and she’s just a badass visionary and she’s righting the ship.”
Speaking with MediaLink Chairman Michael Kassan at Cannes, King did not refer to her colleague Norah O’Donnell, who The Post reported she had a tense relationship with behind the scenes. Both have publicly denied this.
Of her own career, King admitted that her infamous interview with R. Kelly was a “huge, huge, huge” moment for her. She said, “He kind of had a little breakdown, but I didn’t want to give him a reason to leave the room. I was trying to save the interview … and sat there quietly looking down at his chair, and then at him to let him know I wasn’t getting up and leaving.
“In the middle of him screaming and spitting, I was like, ‘Great, I’m covered in spit,’ but didn’t want to make a move.
“At the time I didn’t feel afraid, he was angry at me, but I didn’t feel he was going to hurt me … but I thought he might hit me accidentally. I was afraid about that.
But after seeing the now-famous picture of Kelly ranting and raving at her afterward, “That was kind of a holy s–t moment … It was only after I saw that picture I thought that was kind of menacing.”
She added she still doesn’t feel like a famous person, despite her new $11 million dealwith CBS News and her close friendship with Oprah Winfrey.
“My son, who is now 32, said when he was 6, ‘I don’t want you to be as famous as Auntie O, I like the way it is now, slightly rich and slightly famous,’” King said. “And I kind of see myself in that lens, slightly rich and slightly famous. Which means you get to go to all the cool stuff, but you don’t have the burden of, ‘I have arrived everyone, say hello.’ I don’t feel that. I am just as excited to be there as you are.”
Photo Credit: Time Magazine