NEW YORK >> In appointing Margaret Brennan as moderator of “Face the Nation” on today, CBS News gets the first person with day-to-day experience covering the Trump administration as host of a Sunday morning political talk show.
Brennan, 37, replaces John Dickerson and will start on Sunday. Dickerson recently moved to New York to become one of the three anchors of “CBS This Morning.”
Brennan, in an interview, said the Sunday political shows are an increasingly important forum for lending perspective at a time the news cycle moves so quickly for journalists and viewers.
“To be able to step back and give some perspective is value-added,” she said.
Brennan has been a panelist on “Face the Nation” and filled in as moderator since Dickerson’s exit, along with Nancy Cordes and Major Garrett. She’s currently a White House and foreign affairs correspondent for CBS, and interviewed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on “60 Minutes” this past Sunday.
She’ll exit the White House for her new job, but leaves with a perspective on how it operates and tries to get things done that may be an advantage over her rivals. “It’s not a White House that mimics any other,” she said.
Mary Hager, executive producer of “Face the Nation,” cited Brennan’s “ability to ask newsmakers tough but fair questions in a deft and respectful manner, her sharp news instincts and her tremendous ability to make complicated subjects understandable” as strengths.
Brennan worked at Bloomberg News and CNBC before joining CBS in 2012.
She takes over a broadcast that had Bob Schieffer and Lesley Stahl as long-running predecessors before Dickerson took over. CBS News President David Rhodes credited Dickerson with giving “Face” an all-week presence across digital and social media. “I can’t wait to see how Mary and Margaret together will continue to evolve this important public affairs program,” he said in a note to CBS employees.
Her competition on Sundays includes Chuck Todd at NBC, George Stephanopoulos and Martha Raddatz at ABC, Chris Wallace at Fox and Jake Tapper on CNN.
“I have thought of the show as being an exclamation point for the week that was and a starting point for the week that’s coming,” Brennan said.