TV Anchors, Please Take Note: ‘CBS Evening News,’ Live, on Boat

Norah O”Donnell is taking the venerable “CBS Evening News” out of its usual dock in Washington, D.C. and steering it into more challenging waters.

O’Donnell will anchor both the Thursday and Friday broadcast’s of the evening-news program live from the U.S.S Nimitz, a U.S. aircraft carrier which has been operating in the South China Sea. She will report on China’s close relationship with Russia, and the growing tensions between the U.S. and China over Ukraine, Taiwan, and the Chinese spy balloon — all as part of offering perspective and an examination of national-security developments woven around the first anniversary of Russia’s incursion against Ukraine.  A team of CBS News correspondents will also offer context and reporting around the war.

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Evening-news anchors journey regularly to so-called “hot spots” where events of national or international importance are taking place, but it is rare for one to hold forth from a carrier on a mission.

Other evening-news programs have broken out of the shows’ usual anchor-behind-a desk format. Lester Holt took over a helicopter borrowed from Philadelphia NBC outlet WCAU in 2015 and delivered a broadcast of “NBC Nightly News” while bobbing above the site of an Amtrak derailment outside the city. It wasn’t easy. Papers were strewn all over the cockpit, Holt told Variety that year, and he even had to do some work helping to guide cameras.

O’Donnell has other reasons to bring “CBS Evening News” out to sea. She is also on an assignment for “60 Minutes” for an upcoming story on the United States Navy.

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