*It was a surprise for many in 2021 when CBS News named Nate Burleson the new co-host of the network’s weekday morning show, taking over from Anthony Mason, the veteran CBS News journalist.
Burleson spent more than ten years as a starting wide receiver in the NFL, before retiring in 2014. In 2016, he joined NFL Network as a co-host on Good Morning Football. In 2017, he joined CBS Sports as an analyst on The NFL Today.
Burleson recently marked his first anniversary at CBS Morning and, in an interview, he talked about transitioning from television sports to television news. He also remembered the good advice her received from Michael Strahan, another well-known pro football player-turned-morning news personality.
On what the transition from sports TV to morning news was like and how he is feeling about the show and overall experience one year later, Burleson said he loves it.
“This is the most fulfilling job that I’ve ever had. Playing in the NFL for 11 years, I thought it couldn’t get any better. It was a rock star lifestyle— traveling around the country, scoring touchdowns, playing the hero or villain depending on if you’re at home or away,” he said. “I truly believe that life couldn’t get any better. Just from a fulfillment standpoint. I’m not talking about family and friends, just having the best job in the world.”
He was then asked if there are any skills he developed during his football days that he now implements as a TV personality.
He replied, “Being on a football team, you have to coexist. No matter how much of a diva wide receiver I wanted to be, I swallowed my pride when I stood next to [former Detroit Lions wide receiver] Calvin Johnson or [former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver] Randy Moss. I didn’t have the ball in my hand, it was the quarterback. I didn’t make the decision, that was the coaches.”
“So, when you think about that, you can even call Gayle the quarterback and then our producers and individuals that are in positions to make decisions like Shawna, they’re the owners, GMs, coaches. There will be times when my number’s called that I step up, and hopefully I don’t fumble the ball, using a football analogy. It’s understanding that a shared stage is better for the audience—and I don’t want the light on me, but if you shine it on me, I’ll be ready to do my dance.”
One debate that has continued since he took over from Michael Strahan is who between them is better. The interviewer wanted to know what Burleson thinks about the comparisons and what advice (if any) he received from Strahan as he took over from him.
“I talked to him when I first got the job and he was like, ‘Congratulations, man. I’ve seen this coming a mile away. It’s about time you took the next step in the evolution of your career.’ He said, ‘Let me know if you need anything. I’m always here for you.’”
Burleson also recalls a conversation he once heard with Strahan way back in 2016.
“I was in Los Angeles working at NFL Network. I was leaving a hotel headed to work to do a morning show at the network in Culver City. He was coming back in from a morning jog. I said, ‘Stra, what’s up man, how are you doing?’ He said, ‘I’m good, man. Good to see you.’ I said, ‘Listen, I know you gotta go, I gotta go, I have a car waiting—give me one bit of advice. I like to get some gems from you, every time I see you.’
He said, ‘Be careful turning down jobs because they don’t come around as often as people think and—for us—when we do get opportunities, we have to take advantage of them.’ I dapped him up, walked out—and that right there was the foundation of some of my decision-making after that.”
On what the viewers can expect coming into this season of CBS Mornings, Burleson says it is a continuation of strengthening the thread that connects the talent of correspondents, both nationally and internationally.
“I love it when we get to show the connection between how well we all work together—and the more that we can do that, the more our family grows and the viewer gets to realize that our roster is very deep. Also, like Shawna said, the exquisite storytelling—the storytelling that not only pulls on your heartstrings, that makes you think when you walk out the door, but more importantly creates change.”