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The Watchman: Pauley Back to Hosting; Brokaw Enjoys Toasting

Today show pair from the days of yore is back in the spotlight again. Jane Pauley, who hosted the NBC morning fixture from 1976 to 1989, kicked off her new gig at CBS Sunday Morning, succeeding Charles Osgood. Surely Pauley has some ideas about shaking up the Sunday Morning formula? 

Not hardly. “It’s a big mistake to arrive intending to put a big imprint on it right away,” Pauley tells The Watchman. “The show is bigger than the host.” 

OK then, maybe some new correspondents? “No, no,” she says. “No.” 

The best way to prepare for the role, Pauley says, is to continue doing what she’s been doing—contributing segments to CBS Sunday Morning

Pauley unplugs from the news noise by watching home renovation shows, foremost HGTV’s Fixer Upper. She mentions a CBS Sunday Morning segment she did on hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines. “I’ve mixed some cement with Chip and Jo,” she says. 

Meanwhile, Pauley’s old Today mate, Tom Brokaw, was in midtown Manhattan late last week to fetch a Giants of Broadcasting award from the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation and IRTS. Brokaw, inducted alongside pal Dick Ebersol, sized up the big blue bowl proclaiming his induction and quipped, “As a young man in college, if I was given a bowl like that, I would’ve filled it with a case of beer and tried to chug it.” 

Brokaw spoke about starting in TV news in Omaha, Neb., before moving on to bigger jobs in Atlanta and Washington and finally New York. Hosting Today at age 34, he was feeling pretty good about himself. One day at Bloomingdale’s, Brokaw found himself trailed by a fan. 

“You’re Tom Brokaw, right?” the man asked. 

Brokaw responded yes. 

“You used to work in Omaha?” the man, an Omaha native, asked. 

Brokaw said yes. 

“Whatever happened to you?” the man wondered. 

Other 2016 Giants of Broadcasting include Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business Network and Pauley’s CBS News colleague Steve Kroft. Kroft credited the Library of American Broadcasting for archiving the history of TV news. “I could be wrong about this, but I bet, looking ahead, there’s not going to be anybody recording, compiling and curating tweets,” Kroft says. “Except, of course, the NSA.”