John Dickerson Named New ‘Face the Nation’ Moderator

By Chris Ariens 

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Bob Schieffer said he will “answer the burning question: who is going to take my place?” on this morning’s “Face the Nation.”

Schieffer, who has hosted the show for 24 years, announced Wednesday he’ll be retiring from CBS News this summer. Frontrunners include “CBS This Morning” co-host Norah O’Donnell, who  is a longtime Washington correspondent. She would be the first woman to host a Sunday morning public affairs show since Christiane Amanpour‘s short run on “This Week” in 2010-2011.

Schieffer’s first guest this morning was Secretary of State John Kerry, who, before answering Schieffer’s first question, began this way: “Let me just begin by publicly congratulating you on 46 extraordinary years and it is a pleasure to be on with you and it is really an amazing career.”

We’ll update when the announcement comes.


Update, 10:55amET: CBS News political director John Dickerson will be the new host of “Face the Nation.” Dickerson, who has been on the show 83 times, is the son of the late Nancy Dickerson, the first female correspondent in the CBS News Washington bureau.

“Bob, I am honored and really excited,” said Dickerson. “Mom would have been excited too.”

In a 2009 interview with TVNewser, Dickerson, who spent the early part of his career as a print journalist, talked about his mother’s influence. “I don’t think she ever saw me on TV. The fact that I ended up in her business and at her network adds extra poignancy to the moment,” he said.

“‘Face the Nation’ is going to be in good hands,” said Schieffer. Dickerson takes over this summer.

Here’s CBS’s release:

John Dickerson has been named the next anchor of FACE THE NATION, the number one Sunday morning public affairs program. David Rhodes, President of CBS News announced Dickerson will assume the new role when Bob Schieffer retires from FACE THE NATION this summer.

“John is first and foremost a reporter—and that’s what he’ll be as anchor of Face the Nation,” said Rhodes. “His work in the studio will always be informed by what he’s learned in Iowa, in New Hampshire, on Capitol Hill—anywhere there’s news. He has earned the respect of newsmakers across the political spectrum. With all our correspondents John will present comprehensive coverage on all our platforms.”

Schieffer said on today’s broadcast, “My friend CBS News Political Director John Dickerson—who has been on this broadcast 83 times and he sure has the right bloodlines. His Mother Nancy Dickerson was the first female correspondent in the CBS News Washington bureau.”

Dickerson said, “I’m thrilled. I have watched Bob my whole professional life not just as a viewer but as a daily reporter who also covered the Hill. I’m honored to carry on his tradition on Face the Nation.”

Dickerson has been Political Director for CBS News since 2011, working with Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief Christopher Isham in guiding the news division’s coverage of politics. “John has become integral to our reporting on politics and is a great colleague to everyone in the Washington newsroom,” said Isham.

Dickerson has had 83 appearances on FACE THE NATION. A native Washingtonian, Dickerson is the son of the late Nancy Dickerson, a pioneering newswoman who became CBS News’ first female correspondent in 1960. She was an Associate Producer on the very first FACE THE NATION broadcast. He is the author of “On Her Trail,” (Simon and Schuster) about his mother, who joined the network in 1954.

Dickerson began working at CBS News in April 2009 as an on-air political analyst. He contributes across all CBS News broadcasts and platforms, including CBSN, the first digital streaming news network. He was a part of the network’s 2012 Presidential campaign coverage, as well as its 2014 mid-term elections coverage.

Dickerson has been a reporter in Washington for almost 20 years covering the White House, Congress and Economics, including most recently for Slate, and from 1993 to 2005 at Time magazine. During his last four years at the magazine, he was White House correspondent covering the presidency of George W. Bush. He authored a long-form series on presidential attributes, which won the Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency.

Dickerson graduated with distinction from the University of Virginia with a degree in English and a specialty in American Studies.