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Norah O'Donnell tells Stephen Colbert about the TV newswoman who inspired her

"CBS Evening News" anchor Norah O'Donnell told Stephen Colbert on "The Late Show" that she wants to "have a broadcast that is about integrity because I do believe that's important to having an informed electorate that can go to the polls and make the right choices." O'Donnell took over this week as anchor and managing editor of "CBS Evening News." 

O'Donnell told Colbert she is reading storied "CBS Evening News" anchor Walter Cronkite's biography. 

"One of things [Cronkite] said is journalism is what we need to make democracy work," O'Donnell said. "I so firmly believe that in my bones about having an informed electorate and also having a trusted news source. I think there's lots of sources out there of affirmation but we provide information on the 'CBS Evening News.'"

Norah O'Donnell: Journalism Makes Democracy Work by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on YouTube

O'Donnell is only the third woman to be a solo anchor of an evening news broadcast. She told Colbert that growing up, the first female journalist she really admired was Barbara Walters.

"Even as a young girl, I was imitating Barbara Walters," O'Donnell said. "I wanted to be like Barbara Walters because she was the most powerful woman I saw on television." 

O'Donnell said success to her will be "winning reputationly."

"It means people come to our broadcast every night and say you know what, they play it straight," O'Donnell said. "They call a ball a ball, a strike a strike, I trust them. They do the most important news and they do not only point out abuse and corruption but they also point out what's happening right in America. People that are doing great service to their nation and their communities and we're also going to tell those kinds of stories."

In a lighter moment, O'Donnell read some of Colbert's rejected sign-offs for "Evening News." The rejected sign-offs were: 

  • "I'm Norah O'Donnell and you can't make this stuff up, folks."
  • "Good night and good luck with all that."
  • "I'm Norah O'Donnell and that Norah O Does It"
  • "And that is CBS Evening News. Wow I need a drink." 
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