Norah O’Donnell, 40, co-hosts “CBS This Morning” with Gayle King and Charlie Rose. She was born in Washington and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Georgetown. She now lives in New York with her husband, Washington restaurateur Geoff Tracy, and their three children.
What time do you have to wake up every day?
It depends on how much I’ve had to drink the night before. [Laughs.] I’m just kidding! Don’t print that!
That is definitely going in. No, but, really, when do you get up?
Usually around 4, sometimes earlier. It really is the hardest thing about this job, the alarm clock. I grew up loving sleep. The O’Donnells are known for their sleep habits. My husband can attest to that.
What distinguishes “CBS This Morning” from the other morning shows?
When they reenvisioned “CBS This Morning,” they said: Let’s do this in line with the values of CBS News, which are original reporting and great storytelling. Let’s stop trying to be someone else; let’s just do what CBS does best. With our show we say, The news is back in the morning, and we mean it. We will spend more time on a segment than anybody else.
Can you say something bad about your morning competition that will help start a feud?
No! [Laughs.] I’m not saying anything bad about our competition because, one, you never know if I’ll end up working there. Kidding, kidding. But two, look, everybody works so hard on a morning show. It’s really hard to put together two hours of live television, and the hours are brutal. I really respect our competitors, and I know them well, and they’re really good people.
You’ve been a guest host of “Face the Nation.” Is that a job you’d like to take over permanently?
I think Sunday mornings are a gem. And the great thing is that Bob Schieffer has brought “Face the Nation” to number one. So, do I love appearing on that show as a guest? Yes. Do I love filling in for Bob? Yes. Do I think he’s going to do that show for a long time? Yes. You don’t leave something that you’re number one at.
Are there stories that you have to do that you just really would rather pass on?
Not really. That’s the beauty of our show. If we don’t want to do something, we say something, and actually they listen. We’ve turned down major celebrity interviews because we’re like, “What’s the story?” We have to have a news peg. There has to be some value.
What’s your favorite restaurant in D.C. that isn’t owned by your husband?
Please. Honestly, the only place we eat is Chef Geoff’s.
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