By the time Susan Zirinsky takes over as president and executive producer of CBS News in March, her leadership may have already helped save the struggling division. In fact, things already seem to be looking up for the organization.
Staff at the network's news division are now saying Gayle King seems determined to stick with her post at "CBS This Morning" in spite of reports that as recently as last week suggested she was likely to cut ties from the show and the network in general.
According to the New York Post, King's role became increasingly challenging in recent months following the ouster of her "CBS This Morning" co-host Charlie Rose and CBS President Les Moonves both of whom have been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct.
The departure of producer Ryan Kadro also reportedly left King "furious," as she hinted on set in mid-December when a guest asked how she was doing.
It probably didn't help that former CBS News Chairman and "60 Minutes" Executive Producer Jeff Fager was also fired after being accused of sexual misconduct.
"Last week, 99 percent of the staff would have told you that Gayle is leaving," a CBS source recently told the Post.
But when Zirinsky spoke to the newsroom on Monday, Jan. 5, urging the group to "come with me and help make CBS the greatest it's ever been," King was absolutely on board.
"I'll come with you!" she screamed in response, according to a Post source.
Set to replace outgoing CBS News president David Rhodes — who's been blamed by some critics for the double-digit drop in "CBS This Morning" ratings that followed Rose's departure from the show — Zirinsky is a veteran news producer who's been with CBS for 46 years.
"I was doing the happy dance," King said on the air after the network announced Zirinsky's promotion. King went on to call Zirinsky "a bada– in every sense of the word," according to USA Today.
It's possible King's "happy dance" is at least in part a reaction to the fact that many see Zirinsky's recognition at the network as long overdue.
As USA Today points out, Zirinsky started at CBS "a year before the executive she's replacing, David Rhodes, was born."
"Why was it only after CBS lost three of its male stars to allegations of sexual harassment … that it finally elevated a woman?" the USA Today writer asks.
Moonves, Rose and Fager have all denied allegations of sexual misconduct lobbied against them.