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Norah O'Donnell Goes Solo at CBS

New Evening News anchor follows Cronkite's path

The CBS EVENING NEWS WITH NORAH O'DONNELL (6:30-7:00 PM, ET) debuts Monday, July 15 on the CBS Television Network and on CBSN, CBS News' 24/7 streaming news service.

Michele Crowe/CBS via Getty Images

Twenty-four hours into trading her cohost seat at CBS This Morning for the anchor chair of the CBS Evening News, Norah O'Donnell was following in the legendary Walter Cronkite's footsteps, literally.

O'Donnell, who is just the third woman to solo anchor a network news show, was on the ground at Kennedy Space Center in Florida this week to cover events surrounding the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Cronkite covered the launch itself in 1969.

O'Donnell's news background — 20 years as a journalist covering Congress, the White House and the Pentagon, plus seven years at CBS This Morning — has prepared her well for the anchor role, she says. And it does not mean she'll stop reporting.

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At the Space Center she interviewed Caroline Kennedy, whose father, President John F. Kennedy, challenged the country to send a man to the moon, and Amazon billionaire and space entrepreneur Jeff Bezos, who supports a new moon mission.

The daughter of a U.S. Army doctor, mother of three preteens, and wife of Washington, D.C., restaurant owner and chef Geoff Tracy says, “I do think that each of us brings a perspective to our jobs, where we came from and who we are."

O'Donnell's Evening News, she tells us, “will deal with breaking news and that urgency but will also explore real issues of humanity, the things that connect us. ... I hope the stories we cover will address our common humanity: Veterans, families with children with special needs, families who are struggling with their kids and their screen time. That is one of the big issues in my household right now.”

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