CBS This Morning is getting another shakeup, the first under new CBS News co-presidents Neeraj Khemlani and Wendy McMahon, and under new executive producer Shawna Thomas.
The latest tweak to the morning show will see co-anchor Anthony Mason depart to become a culture correspondent for CBS News, with his seat at the table taken by former NFL player and Good Morning Football and NFL Today analyst Nate Burleson. Burleson was a guest anchor on the program in May, while Dkoupil was on paternity leave.
Burleson also signed an overall deal with ViacomCBS, which will see him continue as an anlsyst on NFL Today and NFL Network, as well as “select yearly appearances on Nickelodeon in a variety of capacities,” per the company. Burleson was a part of the on-air team for the NFL Wild Card game that Nickelodeon aired early this year.
“He is a gifted broadcaster, interviewer, storyteller, writer, poet and an exceptionally thoughtful voice in conversations around the social issues of our time which transcend news, sports and entertainment genres,” Khemlani wrote in a memo to staff Wednesday morning. “There is no doubt that Nate’s experiences and broader interests in news, sports and entertainment will be an exciting addition to the table with Gayle and Tony as we continue to evolve the format of the broadcast to double down on news, original reporting, great storytelling and a broad range of feature pieces that appeal to viewers across the country.”
As for Mason, Khemlani wrote that he “is committed to covering culture – both in terms of how it defines the atmosphere of the country and how culture changes it. He believes fiercely that art and music are integral to our culture, not merely odd indulgences. They frequently define our time in very real ways. We want to enable him to do more culture reporting on a regular basis across our morning programs and develop ideas for our digital platforms where he can do the kinds of stories that he says, ‘will be as daring as the art and music that we cover.’”
The morning show last shook up its anchor desk in 2019, when Mason and Tony Dokoupil joined Gayle King as co-anchors on the program. They replaced John Dickerson, who went on to 60 Minutes, and Norah O’Donnell, who took over the CBS Evening News. Since the program was rebooted in 2012, it has also counted Erica Hill and Bianna Golodryga as anchors, as well as Charlie Rose, who was fired in 2017 over sexual misconduct claims.
Its next chapter will also see it leave the CBS Broadcast Center on the west side of Manhattan to move to Times Square, where it will occupy a studio in ViacomCBS’ corporate headquarters. It is, in fact, the same studio that CBS News to cover the election last year, and which previously housed MTV’s TRL.
Burleson, meanwhile, becomes the second NFL player to segue into a career on a network morning show. ABC’s Good Morning America has found ratings success with Michael Strahan on its anchor team, alongside Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos.