When Charlie Rose was chosen as the host of CBS This Morning, Jeff Fager, then chairman of CBS News, convened a conference call with the general managers of more than 50 CBS affiliates to tell them the news.
“There was silence,” Fager said, before one asked what kind of research had been done on Rose as the choice for what had become a revolving door morning show.
“There was no research for this,” Fager said. “Charlie was just right.”
Fager honored his friend and colleague this afternoon as Rose was presented the 2016 Fred Friendly First Amendment Award.
Fager has tapped Rose for a number of jobs at CBS News over the years: the overnight show Nightwatch in the ’80s, then Rose became “the backbone of 60 Minutes II” in the late ’90s, before being selected as co-anchor of CBS This Morning in 2011. Each time, Rose refused to give up his eponymous PBS talk show. “The last time they didn’t even ask,” Rose joked.
“I get to sit with two remarkable women every morning,” Rose said of Norah O’Donnell, who was in attendance today, and Gayle King, who is on assignment at the White House. “No one appreciates strong women like I do,” said Rose, who also singled out Yvette Vega who has been the producer of Rose’s PBS show for nearly 25 years.
Rose says he wakes up every day wondering “what new adventure awaits me this morning.”
“I sit here in New York City, but my respect is for those people who are somewhere far away telling the stories that are essential for us to know,” said Rose.
Of young journalists just starting out, Rose said “I envy them. They have more tools and technology, and we understand more today.”
“I can’t think of a better way to spend life than in journalism,” he said of the much-maligned profession.
Among the tvnewsers we spotted: Late Show with Stephen Colbert ep Chris Licht, who was Rose’s first ep on CTM, CBS News anchors/correspondents Jeff Glor, Michelle Miller, and Elaine Quijano, CBS News president David Rhodes, CBS This Morning ep Ryan Kadro, 48 Hours ep Susan Zirinsky, and CBS Evening News ep Steve Capus; from Fox News, Geraldo Rivera and Bill Hemmer; and from NBC News, Today show ep Don Nash and co-ep Tom Mazzarelli.
“To be in the same sentence as Fred Friendly is a big honor for me,” said Rose of the one-time CBS News president who died 1998 and whose name lives on, in partnership with Quinnipiac University, in the Fred Friendly First Amendment Award. Rose is its 23rd recipient.