It's been exactly a year since Gayle King, Tony Dokoupil and Anthony Mason began hosting CBS This Morning together

By Emily Strohm
May 20, 2020 01:13 PM
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CBS THIS MORNING co-hosts (L to R) Anthony Mason, Gayle King and Tony Dokoupil
Credit: CBS

It’s been exactly a year since Gayle King, Tony Dokoupil and Anthony Mason began hosting CBS This Morning together, and to mark the special occasion, they're spilling each other’s morning-show secrets.

CBS THIS MORNING co-hosts (L to R) Anthony Mason, Gayle King and Tony Dokoupil
Credit: Jeffrey Neira/CBS

What’s one thing you learned about each other in the last year that surprised you?

Gayle King: Tony wears socks with Birkenstocks when he's broadcasting from home, and I wish he would stop doing that. He loses his cool points. Regarding Anthony Mason, I can't say that there were any real surprises because we all worked together before. We felt comfortable with each other. But it's nice because I've always known he can handle any situation. He has and always does.

Tony Dokoupil: I've learned that when Mason comes to set, he brings not only his work ID but entire thick-man wallet plus his house keys and puts them on the anchor desk. I don't know what he is preparing for, but I hope I'm ready for it too. I've learned that Gayle begins every morning in the studio by yelling to all who can hear,  "All in their places, bright shiny faces." I haven't asked if she still does that now that she is anchoring from home.

Anthony Mason: It's not a surprise really, because I went into this knowing Gayle and Tony as colleagues and have enormous respect for their work. But I am reminded constantly of what good people they are. They work incredibly hard, they're thoughtful and their hearts are always in the right place. I can't tell you how important that is when you wake up at the crack of dawn everyday to work with someone.

You have to get up extremely early for this job. Who’s the least/most “morning person”?

Tony Dokoupil: I would say Gayle is the most morning person because she admits getting up at 3:24am each morning, but, on second thought, I think that means she's the least morning person because she uses all that time to wake herself up.

Anthony Mason:  I'm probably the least morning person of the group. Gayle can survive on little sleep and is always up early taking notes. Tony is younger and more nimble (though he does have a 1-year-old!) I dreamed of being an overnight DJ as a kid, so I was never aiming to get up early. And, honestly, almost every morning when the alarm sounds at 4:30 am, there's a little voice in my head that says, ‘And you took this job, why?’ But by the time we're going on the air I realize again what a privilege it is. Especially now, as we've gone through this pandemic, and so many people have reached out to say, "We're just glad you are there."

What’s your working from home situation like, and who has adapted the best and impressed you the most?

Gayle King: Tony, because he's literally in an unfinished basement that he shares with his television wife Katy Tur, and they have a 1-year-old son. And they have different schedules. That's a lot. Anthony's and my progeny are all grown and potty-trained.

Tony Dokoupil“I think it's a tie between Anthony and Gayle. New work environment for Gayle has meant using a previously completely unused appliance — her oven. Based on Instagram pictures, I don't think what she is making is any good, but bonus points for trying. Anthony has also adapted well. He has somehow managed to get his college-age son Nick to get up with him every morning and help run the show. We sometimes hear snippets of their conversations on the microphone. My favorite is, "Hey Nick, are you awake in there?"

Anthony Mason: The new work environment has been a challenge for all of us. My office/studio is now exactly 25 steps from my bed, which is convenient, but maybe a little too close (if you know what I mean). And we miss each other. We have a real camaraderie when we're on the set. We enjoy hearing what each other thinks because we have very different perspectives. Broadcasting from home, we don't have a chance to do that as much. It's more intimate for the viewer in a way because they're in our living rooms, but less intimate for us because we're in different places. And there are technical challenges (audio delays) that make it difficult to be spontaneous. That frustrates Gayle especially, who thrives on spontaneity. But we have such a strong relationship and trust that we've managed to overcome it, I think.

CBS This Morning airs weekdays at 7 a.m. ET on CBS.