Norah O'Donnell was as on-point as ever as she welcomed viewers, of “CBS This Morning,” on May 16 with the headlines of the “Eye-Opener” that has become the trademark of the morning broadcast. Gayle King couldn't help but get a tad bit personal and off-track from the hard news. She gushed that her broadcasting buddy was especially “sparkly” this morning, in a white dress and floral pastels. In her typically professional fashion, Norah O'Donnell got “CBS This Morning” back on track with the news, noting that “I don't want to cry” this early in the broadcast.

Norah O'Donnell is much more at home with hard-hitting, insightful questions for anyone in the political sphere, and especially for her pieces that promote female achievement in any setting. Some of her esteemed female colleagues, and prestigious male counterparts, too, rallied to give their best to the highly -respected O’Donnell, whose last day as co-anchor on “CBS This Morning” was today. Her new job will be in the seat at “CBS Evening News,” where she will also be managing editor.

That role was filled by Walter Cronkite, who set the standard for sharing the news with perspective and feeling. The position has not been kind to some pretty high-powered people since Cronkite's tenure, but Norah O'Donnell has pledged her full energy, experience, and spirit to the new launch, hoping to be another example of the “girl power” she has always endorsed.

Only the last moments

Norah O'Donnell has never been given much to emotion, and only during one of her interludes of announcing the headlines for the day did she say, “This is my last time doing this.” Only in the last few moments of the morning show did Norah O'Donnell dab her eyes with a tissue, and that was after seeing her three children, twins Henry and Grace, and her daughter, Riley, praise their mom.

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Grace spoke of her mother, saying that she was “what I aspire to be,” and O'Donnell's mom and dad mostly just exuded how proud they were for her to be following in such rich journalistic shoes.

Her son, Henry, just looks forward to “before-school breakfast” with his mom. Founding CBS journalist Bob Schieffer said that, like himself, “old people get up in the morning,” and that he will miss Norah in that timeslot, but will look forward to seeing her in her evening news role.

Besides scenes of her running with distance-running champion Shalene Flanagan and keeping up perfectly. The James Taylor and Prince Harry interviews, understandably, left her a little verklempt - but in a good way.

Everyone from Katie Couric to Lester Holt (who recalled their cable news days together), to Anderson Cooper, Neil Cavuto, and David Muir each shared personal reflections with Norah O’Donnell.

No major network heavy-hitter was missing in extending congratulations.

One of the most notable inclusions was Paul Manafort’s colossal, stumbling moment, regarding Russian meddling on live TV under Norah O'Donnell’s incisive questioning. She will likely have many more opportunities like that with the evening news realm.

O'Donnell was presented with a portrait memorializing her seven years with "CBS This Morning."

Nothing but respect

The tabloids would have any casual viewer believe that Norah O'Donnell was somehow jockeying for position in a catfight with Gayle King, but nothing could be farther from reality.

In truth, it was new CBS News President, Susan Zirinsky, who felt the changes were in order to bring her network a big surge in viewership. The CBS Evening News will make Washington DC home in the fall.

Norah O'Donnell and Gayle King were side-by-side and “shoulder to shoulder” as O'Donnell recalled to ExtraTV just a week ago. They were the first emerge and face the public after the fallout from the Charlie Rose sexual misconduct scandal at CBS that sparked the #MeToo movement in a very real sense.

“She held my hand through that process,” recalls O'Donnell. Beyond that period of crisis, Norah affirms that Gayle King “has made me a better journalist, a better person, and a better mother.” She also says that Gayle is her go-to call when she needs “a boost of confidence.”

Norah O'Donnell may not have much time for girl talk starting next week, but she's got a world of professionals pulling for her from every corner of TV land.

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