CBS News Sunday Morning
Also known asSunday Morning
GenreNews magazine
Created byRobert Northshield E.S."Bud" Lamoreaux III
Directed by
  • Ken Sable
  • William M. Brady
  • Nora Gerard
Presented byCharles Kuralt
Charles Osgood
Jane Pauley
Theme music composerGottfried Reiche
Don Smithers
Wynton Marsalis
Opening theme"Abblasen" by Wynton Marsalis
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons40
Executive producers
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time63 minutes (with commercials)
Production companyCBS News
Original release
ReleaseJanuary 28, 1979 (1979-01-28) –
CBS Mornings
CBS Saturday Morning
CBS News Mornings

CBS News Sunday Morning (frequently shortened to Sunday Morning) is an American television newsmagazine that has aired on CBS since January 28, 1979. Created by Robert Northshield and E.S. "Bud" Lamoreaux III, and original host Charles Kuralt, the 90-minute program currently airs Sundays between 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. EST, and between 6:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. PST. Since October 9, 2016, the program has been hosted by Jane Pauley, who also hosts news segments. Her predecessor, Charles Osgood, hosted Sunday Morning for twenty-two years (and is the program's longest-serving host) after taking over from Kuralt on April 10, 1994.


Charles Kuralt era (1979–1994)

On January 28, 1979, CBS launched Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt as host. CBS News Sunday Morning was originally conceived to be a broadcast version of a Sunday newspaper magazine supplement, most typified by The New York Times Magazine. For the first few years of Sunday Morning's run, CBS News' weekday morning broadcasts were similarly branded as Monday Morning through Friday Morning respectively, and were produced on the same set. However, these broadcasts emphasized hard news as opposed to Sunday Morning's focus on feature stories.

Originally anchored by Bob Schieffer,[1] Kuralt eventually took over the daily role, and was for a short time joined by Diane Sawyer as co-host. However, the weekday program's then-limited 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. EST air time (the long-running Captain Kangaroo was entrenched in the 8:00 a.m. hour) hampered its ability to compete with Today on NBC and Good Morning America on ABC, though it expanded to ninety minutes (from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. EST) in 1981 and was renamed simply Morning.

In 1982, the weekday version was extended to two hours (7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.) and reverted to its previous title as the CBS Morning News, adopting a different set and distinct graphics in the process; by March, Kuralt had been replaced by Bill Kurtis. Meanwhile, Kuralt continued hosting Sunday Morning until April 3, 1994, when he retired after fifteen years and was succeeded by Charles Osgood.

Although the attempt to apply the same format to weekday broadcasts proved unsuccessful, the Sunday broadcast survived and retains its original format, including elements of its original graphic and set design. Long after the daily editions ended, Sunday Morning's opening sequence continued to display all seven days of the week until the early 2000s.

Charles Osgood era (1994–2016)

Osgood's first broadcast as host was on April 10, 1994. Ultimately, his tenure of twenty-two years as host exceeded Kuralt's fifteen. Osgood's final broadcast as host was on September 25, 2016.

Among Osgood's personal trademarks were his bow-tie, his weekly signoff ("Until then, I'll see you on the radio") and his propensity for delivering his commentaries in whimsical verse. For example, when the United States Census Bureau invented a designation for cohabitant(s) as "Person(s) of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters", or "POSSLQ", Osgood turned it into a pronounceable three-syllable word and composed a prospective love poem that included these lines, which he later used as the title of one of his books:[2]

"There's nothing that I wouldn't do
If you would be my POSSLQ."

On January 25, 2004, Sunday Morning celebrated its 25th anniversary with clips and highlights from the show's first quarter-century on the air. On February 1, 2009, the program celebrated its 30th anniversary, and segments examined how the world had changed in the three decades its debut, the history of Sundays in the U.S. and–as a tie-in to the show's logo–the physics of the sun. An artist was commissioned to create new sun logos for the program, which debuted on that edition and were used in future broadcasts. On May 17, 2009, Sunday Morning began broadcasting in high-definition. In 2014, rebroadcasts of the program began airing on sister cable network Smithsonian Channel (owned by CBS's parent company ViacomCBS) but has since been pulled from that channel's programming.

Jane Pauley era (2016–present)

Wordmark Logo used from 1999 to 2004

In 2014, Jane Pauley, a former co-host of NBC's Today, appeared as an interview subject on Sunday Morning; positive audience response to this segment led to Pauley being hired as a contributor to the show later that year. Pauley was elevated to the role of the program's host in 2016, succeeding Osgood, once again making her the anchor of a regular morning news program for the first time in over twenty-five years and becoming her first job as the host of any television program since 2005; she continues in this role as of 2024.[3][4] Pauley began her role as host on October 9, 2016, nearly forty years to the day since her debut on Today.


Each edition follows a story totem pole in the center of the CBS soundstage, with previews of featured stories set to air during the broadcast (the first four of which feature clips from the story packages with preview narration by the respective correspondent) during the introduction. Each story covered in a given episode has a glass plate with its headline on this pole (digitally inserted on the pole as a prepared graphic since the late 2000s), which the camera follows after the host's introductions. Music in the show is usually limited to the opening and closing title theme. The host introduces each story with a short monologue, then sends the show out to the taped segment. The show usually ends with a preview of next week's Sunday Morning broadcast. After the commercial break, there is a thirty-second tranquil nature scene.

For most of its history, the program was typically presented live, with a short summary of national and international news headlines, sports, and a national weather forecast right after the featured story teasers, and a preview of the guests and topics to air on that week's Face the Nation (which follows the program on most CBS stations) near the end of the program. During the occasional weeks that Sunday Morning aired a pre-taped theme broadcast, the headlines segment would instead be presented live by another anchor. By early 2022, observers noted that Sunday Morning had quietly shifted to a pre-taped format; in the event of a major weekend news story, it may be presented with a generic on-set introduction combined with an off-set voiceover by the host.[5]

Notably, Sunday Morning includes significant coverage of the fine and performing arts, including coverage of topics usually not covered in network news, such as architecture, painting, ballet, opera and classical music, though increasingly more popular forms of music have been included as well. The program's correspondents tend to ask nontraditional questions of guests (for instance, actor Brad Pitt was asked about his love of architecture, and Grant Hill about his painting collection). Television essays similar to the kinds delivered on PBS also appear, and the program generally has a stable of equally positive and negative news stories to fill up the program when there is no breaking news of note. Story lengths are longer (lasting up to twelve minutes at a time) and the pace of the program is considerably quieter and more relaxed than CBS Mornings and CBS Saturday Morning, even after those programs began sharing some of Sunday Morning's branding elements.

Commentators Ben Stein and Nancy Giles appear in recurring segments to deliver opinion commentaries, and correspondent Bill Geist also contributes human interest stories.[6][7] The program ends with a nature scene, not given a formal title for most of the program's history, but since entitled "Moment of Nature" as it is now a sponsored element.

Despite the stereotype of the program appealing primarily to senior citizens,[8] Sunday Morning has actually placed first in its time slot in the key demographic of adults 25–54, beating all of the political discussion-driven Sunday morning talk shows.[9][10]

On one occasion, in April 1986, the entire program served as a showcase for classical music when a live broadcast of Vladimir Horowitz's historic Moscow piano recital was aired. For that presentation only, the program departed from its usual newsmagazine format and devoted the entire ninety minutes to a complete presentation of the recital. Because the recital was given at 4:00 p.m. Moscow time, CBS was able to broadcast it at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. The presentation was such a critical and popular success that it was repeated two months later and was subsequently released on VHS and DVD.



The program is marked by its distinctive Sun of May-style logo, which is prominent in the program's title sequence. In addition, in between some segments, images of the sun in various forms also appear. The show's theme is the trumpet fanfare "Abblasen", attributed to Gottfried Reiche. A recording of the piece on a baroque trumpet by Don Smithers was used as the show's theme for many years until producers decided to replace the vinyl recording with a digital of a piccolo trumpet by Doc Severinsen; the current version is played by Wynton Marsalis.[11]

Sunday Morning and CBS' other morning news programs, under varying names and formats, have remained fully separate productions, though with occasional cross-promotion and some sharing of correspondents. On August 31, 2021, the network announced that its weekday morning show would be relaunched for the latest time as CBS Mornings and its Saturday counterpart as CBS Saturday Morning. Under this latest reformatting, both programs have taken on some branding elements of Sunday Morning like its logo and "Abblasen" fanfare, although with a more contemporary feel and aspects of CBS's new corporate branding.[12] Its second hour also features a larger focus on long-form stories not unlike Sunday Morning.[12][13]

On May 21, 2023, Sunday Morning received an updated logo and graphics package to align itself with the CBS corporate branding, while preserving the program's existing look and feel in a refreshed form rather than using the versions used by CBS Mornings.[14]

Notable on-air staff


Jane Pauley (pictured in 2012) has hosted the program since 2016.



Notable former on-air staff




Neurologist Steven Novella and paranormal investigator Joe Nickell wrote in separate Skeptical Inquirer articles about Erin Moriarty's lack of skepticism and "complete journalistic fail" over a March 2018 segment in which she showed clips of spoon-bender Uri Geller from the 1980s performing "'psychic parlor tricks'" but instead of explaining to her audience that Geller had been debunked many times, with no mention of the work of James Randi. Novella stated of Moriarty "is (most likely) just an old-school journalist who thinks of paranormal pieces as 'fluff' pieces that don't require journalistic rigor."[16] In another segment Moriarty interviewed psychic Angela Dellafiora Ford, who claims that she "psychically tracked down fugitive drug smuggler Charlie Jordan in 1989." Nickell writes that Moriarty "simply takes Ford at her word" and "gushes" over her. Nickell states that Ford's claims are an example of "retrofitting" and incorrect.[17]

Center for Inquiry (CFI) editor Kendrick Frazier wrote of his disappointment that CBS would air a pro-paranormal segment with Geller and a psychic detective. They also classified parapsychologist Dean Radin as a scientist, which he is not. In a tweet the next day in response to criticism, Moriarty wrote, "We reported on government experiments with the paranormal – supported by declassified Govt documents. We gave time to both those involved and scientists." Frazier responded, "Just because some part of the government initiated a bizarre little research program at some point in the past, that is not itself a validation of the claims it was studying." Further research by CFI timed the segment and "found it more than 97 percent pro-paranormal and only 3 percent skeptical".[18] In a press release, CFI called the Sunday Morning segment a "regrettable lapse ... in the ... usually objective and reliable coverage." and called on the program to "take steps to correct the record" and to "provide a more truthful and scientifically rigorous view of this topic."[19]

Awards and nominations

Kimberly Dozier and the crew of CBS Sunday Morning "The Way Home" at the 67th Annual Peabody Awards

The program won its first Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Morning Program in 2013, beating out Today and Good Morning America in the category. It also won a Peabody Award in 2007 for the feature segment "The Way Home."[20]

Nielsen ratings

The program's special food-themed edition on November 24, 2013, earned Sunday Morning one of its highest ratings since February 4, 1996, watched by over 6.25 million total viewers.[21]

This was surpassed by the January 18, 2015, broadcast, which had a total viewership of 6.79 million viewers, the second largest audience the program earned since January 23, 1994.[22]

March 1, 2015: 6.63 million viewers (sixth-largest audience since the 1987 advent of people meters).[23]

March 22, 2020: 6.82 million viewers (largest audience since 1994).[24]


  1. ^ "CBS rebuilding morning news show" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 4, 1978. pp. 49–52. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  2. ^ Smith, Jack (November 17, 1985). "Getting the Word Out : The Time Is Right for 'Posslq'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 17, 2023.
  3. ^ "Jane Pauley named anchor of CBS News' "Sunday Morning"". September 25, 2016. Archived from the original on April 17, 2023. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  4. ^ "Jane Pauley Will Succeed Charles Osgood as 'CBS Sunday Morning' Anchor". Variety. Archived from the original on April 16, 2023. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  5. ^ Hill, Michael P. (May 16, 2022). "Networks cover weekend of shootings across the U.S." NewscastStudio. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 12, 2022. "CBS Sunday Morning" [...] appeared to be pre-taped, as its [sic] normally is[...] It appears that the network tapes a clip of Pauley on set saying the first part of the sentence, perhaps taped ahead of time in the event of just such breaking news, but then dubbed in the specifics via the rest of the audio
  6. ^ David Bauder (March 24, 2005). "CBS Sunday Morning sticks to tradition". Columbia Daily News. Associated Press. Archived from the original on December 24, 2015. Retrieved March 15, 2009.
  7. ^ Richard Corliss (February 13, 2004). "That Old Feeling:Sunday Morning going strong". Time. Archived from the original on January 14, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2009.
  8. ^ Joel Keller (April 7, 2006). "Does anyone under 40 watch CBS Sunday Morning ... besides me?". TVSquad. Archived from the original on May 11, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2009.
  9. ^ Jon Friedman (April 7, 2006). "CBS' 'Sunday Morning' stands apart". MarketWatch. Archived from the original on May 11, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2009.
  10. ^ ""CBS Sunday Morning" Celebrated Its 30th Anniversary By Once Again Ranking As The #1 Sunday Morning News Program In All Key Demos". CBS (Press release). TV by the Numbers/Tribune Media. February 6, 2009. Archived from the original on May 13, 2009. Retrieved April 29, 2009.
  11. ^ "About CBS News Sunday Morning". CBS. July 9, 1998. Archived from the original on February 18, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2009.
  12. ^ a b Steinberg, Brian (August 31, 2021). "CBS News to Launch 'Mornings' in Bid to Capture A.M. Viewers Across The Week". Variety. Archived from the original on August 31, 2021. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
  13. ^ Battaglio, Stephen (August 31, 2021). "'CBS This Morning' will have a new name starting Sept. 7". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 31, 2021. Retrieved September 1, 2021.
  14. ^ "'Sunday Morning' gets new open more aligned with network branding, updated logotype". NewscastStudio. May 26, 2023. Archived from the original on June 3, 2023. Retrieved June 3, 2023.
  15. ^ "Who we are". CBS. Archived from the original on July 11, 2021. Retrieved July 12, 2021.
  16. ^ Novella, Steven (2018). "Gullible Reporting about ESP on CBS". Skeptical Inquirer. 42 (4). Committee for Skeptical Inquirer: 15–16.
  17. ^ Nickell, Joe (2018). "CBS Sunday Morning Seers Don't See So Well". Skeptical Inquirer. 42 (4). Committee for Skeptical Inquirer: 17.
  18. ^ Frazier, Kendrick (2018). "CBS Drops Skepticism in Sunday Morning Paranormal Segment CSI Issues Critical Statement". Skeptical Inquirer. 42 (4). Committee for Skeptical Inquiry: 5–7.
  19. ^ Fildago, Paul. "CBS Condemned by Committee for Skeptical Inquiry for 'Sunday Morning' Segment on the Paranormal". CSICOP. Center for Inquiry. Archived from the original on July 4, 2018. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  20. ^ "67th Annual Peabody Awards". Peabody Awards. May 2008. Archived from the original on February 9, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
  21. ^ "'CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood' Posts Its Best November Sweep Viewers Delivery Since the Advent of People Meters in 1987". CBS (Press release). TV by the Numbers/Tribune Media. December 2, 2013. Archived from the original on December 24, 2013.
  22. ^ "'CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood' Delivers Its Largest Audience Since 1994". CBS (Press release). TV by the Numbers/Tribune Media. January 23, 2015. Archived from the original on January 23, 2015.
  23. ^ "'CBS Sunday Morning With Charles Osgood' Delivers Sixth-Largest Audience Since the 1987 Advent of People Meters". March 5, 2015. Archived from the original on April 2, 2017.
  24. ^ "SKEDBALL: Weekly Sports TV Ratings 3.16-3.22.2020 | Showbuzz Daily". Archived from the original on March 24, 2020. Retrieved March 24, 2020.