‘CBS Evening News’ goes to London, jumps ‘back in time’ visually

CBS Evening News” journeyed to London for Feb. 11, 2022’s broadcast.

The network connected Norah O’Donnell’s visit to the city as being related to the U.K. preparation to deploy troops to Ukraine if Russia attempts to invade, though the top story was actually happening in North America — the “Freedom Convoy” of trucks creating a backlog in Canada.

The camera position O’Donnell sat at isn’t new — it’s been around since at least 2019 and features a recreation of the Cronkite era world map that’s been used, in a variety of ways, on various CBS News sets over the years and in multiple locations. 

In this 2019 photo from CBS’s ‘Watch’ magazine, then London based correspondent Elizabeth Palmer is pictured in front of the same wall Norah O’Donnell anchored ‘CBS Evening News’ from Feb. 10, 2022. Palmer has since been moved to the network’s Beijing bureau.

The network notably has not updated the “CBS News London” lettering that runs across the top of the backdrop (strategically positioned so the talent’s head is right between the words — a common setup for network news bureau camera positions) from the “classic” Didot font to TT Norms, the new corporate typeface. 

Behind the map are gray vertical lines and, beyond that, is space for managing feeds and other technical operations, its wall of monitors showing through the opening in the divider.

Directly behind O’Donnell is a row of face to face desks with masked staffers seated at workstations.

“Evening News” used its normal Washington, D.C.-centric open but with a revised announcer VO indicating the broadcast was originating from London.


It also made use of its “checkerboard” style OTS graphic, which was inserted next to O’Donnell by using a “push” effect rather than having the camera adjust to allow for it on the right side of the screen.