Jane Pauley slides into the CBS Sunday Morning host chair Oct. 9 and noted on CBS This Morning Friday that she’s the first non-Charles to host the show. Yes, Charles Kuralt helmed it starting in 1979, and Charles Osgood of course succeeded him in 1994.
Pauley will share a piece on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Sunday’s show. She’s been a contributor since 2014 and a substitute host, too. That, and keeping busy with Sunday Morning segments (besides the Bader Ginsburg story, she’s working on a Sarah Jessica Parker one), has kept the new-job jitters in check. “For 2 ½ years, this is where I’ve worked and what I’ve done,” Pauley tells B&C.
It was 40 years ago, almost to the day, that she started at Today alongside Tom Brokaw — Oct. 11, 1976. The almost 26-year-old greeted viewers with the following: “Every story I’ve seen begins by noting that a year and a half ago, Jane Pauley was a second string news reader in Indianapolis. That’s fact. Maybe you’re wondering how I got here, and maybe I am too.”
Introducing Pauley to viewers, Brokaw described his new co-anchor as bright, energetic, enterprising and “just incidentally, pretty as well.”
Back to 2016. Pauley does not envision big changes coming to Sunday Morning and says Osgood will remain a valued friend, though sounding board duties for stories and ideas go to exec producer Rand Morrison. “I expect to say hi to Charlie as often as I can,” she says.
She’s looking forward to jumping into the role and having it become second nature. “The sooner I learn to trust my own voice and instincts,” Pauley says, “the better.”
The host will never be as big as CBS Sunday Morning itself, she stresses. “I’m not unaware of the importance of this broadcast to its viewers,” Pauley says, “and to the people here at CBS News.”