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CBS overhauls its morning lineup, Gayle King remains on top

Gayle King, whose interview with an explosive R. Kelly made headlines worldwide, will remain on the show.
CBS This Morning
Gayle King on the set of "CBS This Morning."Michele Crowe / CBS via Getty Images

CBS News is overhauling its lineup, starting with "CBS This Morning." Two of the show's co-hosts, Norah O'Donnell and John Dickerson may be replaced by weekend co-host Anthony Mason and CBS News correspondent Tony Dokoupil, according to several people familiar with the matter.

The future of O'Donnell and Dickerson remains unclear. O'Donnell, who has long harbored ambitions to be anchor of "CBS Evening News," is currently negotiating for that role, two sources told NBC News.

The morning co-host Gayle King, who made news of her own during a notorious interview with R. Kelly, will remain on the show, having finalized a new pay package estimated at $11 million a year, according to two sources familiar with talks.

CBS News will unveil a host of changes all at once during the network's annual presentation of its fall lineup, scheduled for May 15, a CBS insider told NBC News.

The changes come as the network's new president, Susan Zirinsky, attempts to rejuvenate the beleaguered news division, which has spent much of last year grappling with the fall-out of sexual harassment allegations that toppled some of the network's most senior executives.

Zirinsky, who stepped up in January to run the news division after 46 years with the network, has had to shrink costs while trying to win new viewers — and hang on to her key talent — in the face of salary demands.

Although neither Mason or Dokoupil is a household name just yet, the refresh is aimed at stemming a slide in ratings. Morning shows are critical to network coffers: Ad revenue at CBS declined from $4.4 billion to $4.1 billion between 2017 and 2018, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

“CBS This Morning” lost eight percent of its total audience, or 264,000 viewers, in the first four months of the year, according to television ratings firm Nielsen. Ad revenue for the morning show rose by $21 million for 2018, according to Kagan.

CBS reported its quarterly earnings after the closing bell on Thursday. Shares were down almost 1.5 percent.

Christa Robinson, a CBS spokeswoman, said: “We are not engaging in speculation.”