'CBS Mornings' anchor Gayle King to receive 39th Cronkite Award

Still of 'CBS Mornings' anchor Gayle King smiling at a news desk.

"CBS Mornings" co-host Gayle King broadcasts live from Times Square. Photo by Michele Crowe/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Gayle King, the award-winning co-host of “CBS Mornings,” has been chosen to receive the 39th Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism from Arizona State University.

King, who is also editor-at-large of Oprah Daily and hosts a live, weekly radio show titled “Gayle King in the House” on SiriusXM, will be honored during a ceremony in Phoenix on Feb. 21, 2023, at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown.

The Cronkite Award — named after the late CBS News anchor — has honored prominent journalists since 1984. The award recognizes the recipients’ accomplishments and leadership over the course of their careers.

Registration is now open for the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism luncheon.  

“Gayle King’s career and accomplishments are remarkable, and her professionalism embodies everything that Walter Cronkite valued in journalism,” said Battinto L. Batts Jr., dean of ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “Her approach to covering important events and interviewing politicians, leaders and celebrities is unparalleled. It’s an honor to present Gayle with this prestigious award.” 

“I am honored to accept the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism," King said. "The work myself and other journalists do is important, but I don’t do it alone. My colleagues at CBS News also share in this honor and I’m inspired by the unique and meaningful stories we tell.

“Thank you for this award and I hope to inspire others when I meet the students at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in February.”

King’s notable interviews have included embattled R&B singer R. Kelly; former President Barack Obama; former First Lady Michelle Obama and her mother, Marian Robinson, in their first TV interview together; former House Speaker Paul Ryan; Tina Turner; Cher; Taylor Swift; Dave Chappelle; Amy Schumer; Elizabeth Smart; Dylan Farrow; Elon Musk; and the first interview with Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz following the controversial arrest of two Black men in a Philadelphia Starbucks.

King also landed the only national TV interview with former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke after he announced that he would run for president.

In addition, King has covered numerous significant events, including George Floyd’s murder; the Derek Chauvin verdict; the 2016 mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida; the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut; the Republican and Democratic conventions in 2016; and the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy on the Texas border.

She has reported on the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., prior to the museum’s opening, and the Supreme Court’s landmark decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

King previously hosted “The Gayle King Show,” a live, weekday television interview program on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. The program, which featured a discussion of a variety of topics ranging from politics to cultural developments, was also broadcast on XM Satellite Radio, where it premiered in 2006.

Prior to that, she worked for 18 years as a television news anchor for CBS affiliate WFSB-TV in Hartford, Connecticut, where she also hosted her own syndicated daytime program. She has worked at several other television stations, including WDAF-TV in Kansas City, Missouri, WJZ-TV in Baltimore and WTOP-TV in Washington, D.C.

King has won numerous awards, including three Emmys. In April 2019, she was named to Time Magazine’s Time 100, the magazine’s annual list of the hundred most influential people in the world, and was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 2018. King was named a Variety Power of Women honoree in 2017, and was honored with both the Individual Achievement Award for Host-Entertainment/Information and the New York Women in Communications’ Matrix Award in 2010.

In addition, she received an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award as part of CBS News’ division-wide coverage of the Newtown tragedy. King was honored in 2008 with the American Women in Radio & Television Gracie Award for Outstanding Radio Talk Show.

King spent several years of her childhood in Ankara, Turkey, before returning with her family to the United States. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in psychology.

Other Cronkite Award recipients include award-winning weatherman and anchor Al Roker; TV news anchors Lester Holt, Robin Roberts, Anderson Cooper, Scott Pelley, Christiane Amanpour, Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill; sportscasters Al Michaels and Bob Costas; newspaper journalists Dean Baquet, Ben Bradlee, Helen Thomas and Bob Woodward; and media executives Katharine Graham, Al Neuharth and William Paley.

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