Gayle King Recalls Embarrassing on-Air Gaffe She Made as a 'Baby Reporter': 'I Was Mortified'

·2 min read
Gayle King attends The Hollywood Reporter's annual Most Powerful People in Media issue celebration at The Pool, in New York The Hollywood Reporter's Most Powerful People in Media 2022, New York, United States
Gayle King attends The Hollywood Reporter's annual Most Powerful People in Media issue celebration at The Pool, in New York The Hollywood Reporter's Most Powerful People in Media 2022, New York, United States

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Gayle King is sharing an embarrassing story from her days as a novice journalist.

The CBS Mornings co-host, 67, appeared on the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Wednesday night, where she was asked by Colbert if she'd ever had any on-air regrets or gaffes in her past.

Seated next to her morning co-host Tony Dokoupil, King recalled one particular story, which she said happed "a long time ago, when I was a baby reporter and I was anchoring local news."

Noting that she was "feeling very good" as a weekend "anchor-slash-reporter," King explained that as the newscast was wrapping up, she stumbled as she was trying to tell the audience at home "we'll all be back next weekend."

Instead, King said something else. "I'm sitting there very straight, going, you know, 'We'll all be Black next weekend' " she told Colbert. "I was so mortified, it just took me for a nanosecond."

Luckily, King recovered quickly. She recalled: "In that moment, I said, 'Well, I'll still be Black. The rest of these guys will be back.' "

RELATED: Gayle King Marks 10 Years on CBS Mornings in Same Dress from Each Anniversary: 'Still Here!'

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The longtime anchor has notably moved on from her days as a local reporter, though the experience helped her connect with her BFF Oprah Winfrey, their paths crossing along the way in the industry.

Among King's many career achievements has been hosting a TV show on OWN, leading her own XM radio show and serving as the editor-at-large of O the Oprah Magazine.

She was tapped to help launch CBS This Morning alongside Charlie Rose and Erica Hill in 2012. The show was rebranded as CBS Mornings last September.

CBS THIS MORNING
CBS THIS MORNING

Lazarus Jean-Baptiste/CBS Gayle King and R. Kelly

RELATED: Gayle King on 'Witnessing Self-Destruction' of 'Very Troubling' R. Kelly During Raucous Interview

During a 2019 viral interview with R. Kelly in which the singer grew increasingly agitated, King's notoriety hit another level, many industry insiders crediting her for keeping her cool.

"I called the West Coast and I said, 'Gayle King is doing the most impactful interview I've ever seen,' " CBS News President Susan Zirinsky said at the time. "What was so brilliant about her handling of that interview was that she didn't react in the moment, she was able to step back and see it from the wide angle. She didn't flinch, she didn't lose composure, she stayed focused and poised, and because of that, she was able to bring him back."

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs weeknights (11:30 p.m. ET) on CBS.