CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King is having a good week. She was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame on Monday, and the New York Times published a nice profile on her that will be in its magazine this weekend.
Long known as Oprah’s best friend, even going back to her local news days as an anchor in Hartford, King has emerged as a star on morning television in recent years as the co-host of CBS This Morning, which launched nearly 7 years ago.
A good chunk of the piece talks about her career trajectory and connection to Oprah, but also about how she’s dealt with the upheaval at CBS over the past 12 months, including the abrupt exits of Les Moonves, Jeff Fager and her former CTM co-host and friend Charlie Rose. The latter left not long after the Washington Post reported on Nov. 20 of last year that eight women had accused Rose of sexual harassment at multiple networks, going back decades.
The Times’ Amy Chozick writes:
Ms. King has chided CBS and called for full transparency in its investigation into Mr. Moonves. She has said emphatically that she supports and believes his and Mr. Rose’s accusers. But Ms. King also believes that “you can hold two ideas in your head at the same time.” That is, you can believe and empathize with the women, but also think that not all men accused of wrongdoing should be banished for life.
I asked Ms. King if redemption was possible for some of the #MeToo men. “Amy, murderers are walking around,” Ms. King said flatly. “People who kill people are walking around. They might not be able to get [their] jobs back, but surely there must be room for some redemption somewhere.” She paused. “I don’t know what the answer is to that, and it might be too soon. Maybe people don’t want to hear that.”
King remains close with Rose, and has no problems saying so.
“I know there are two sides to every story, that’s what I know,” she told NYT. The day we met at Norma’s, Ms. King had just called Mr. Rose to check in after he’d had a health scare. Mr. Rose is her friend and friendship is important to Ms. King, who for most of her life was known only as the professional best friend to America’s best TV friend.
The Times reached out to Rose to see if he’d be interested in being interviewed for the story, thinking he might be game considering it was King-focused. She was right. It would be Rose’s first interview since leaving CBS and PBS last November.
He replied promptly. “Hallelujah,” he wrote, “the Sunday Times is profiling Gayle, there is a God in Heaven.” After that, Mr. Rose — who regardless of what you now think of him knows what makes a good interview — worried that whatever he said about his former co-host would sound so “over the top in unadulterated admiration” that it would be unusable. I told him to give it a try.
We met for lunch in a booth at Gabriel’s, on the Upper West Side. Over a pillowy pasta dish that the owner had chosen for us, Mr. Rose tried to explain what it was about Ms. King that he admired so much.
She loves being Gayle King and all that goes with it,” said Rose. “This isn’t a sacrifice or a drudge. Her personality, her presence, her skill, her joy of life. She knows she is one of the lucky people on this planet, as am I, who gets to do exactly what she is cut out to do.