Former NFL wide receiver Nate Burleson is reportedly set to replace Anthony Mason as a co-anchor of CBS This Morning alongside Gayle King and Tony Dokoupil.
Variety's Brian Steinberg reported the news, with an official announcement expected later Wednesday. Burleson, who works as a football analyst for CBS Sports and the NFL Network, previously served as a fill-in host on the morning show while Dokoupil was on paternity leave.
Burleson played 11 NFL seasons from 2003 through 2013 as a member of the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions. His playing career ended after a training camp stint with the Cleveland Browns in 2014, and he quickly transitioned to broadcasting with the NFL Network.
The University of Nevada product finished his career with 457 catches for 5,630 yards and 39 touchdowns in 135 regular-season games.
Burleson has since quickly risen through the broadcasting ranks. He joined CBS Sports' NFL coverage in 2017 and earned a high-profile assignment during last season's playoffs on the Nickelodeon simulcast of a Wild Card Round game between the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints.
In June, the 39-year-old Canada native won two Emmy Awards, one for Outstanding Sports Personality/Studio Analyst and another he shared with members of the Bears-Saints broadcast. He reacted to those awards on the NFL Network (via Chris Murray of Nevada Sports Net):
"I'm humbled. I was shocked. My eyes almost popped out of my head. But more than anything, I accept this award on behalf of everybody who has walked in my life and helped me become the person I am. As you guys know, with me it's team over everything, and I wouldn't be here without the team of people who have been along on this journey over the last seven years."
Now Burleson is being thrust into the national spotlight on CBS' morning show, which is looking for a spark in its ratings battle with NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America.
A.J. Katz of TVNewser reported CBS This Morning finished a distant third in both total viewers (2.3 million) and viewers between the ages 25 and 54 (417,000) during the week of Aug. 2. Today, which was bolstered by Olympic coverage, led the way in both categories (3.4 million and 985,000).
It's unclear whether Burleson will remain a fixture on CBS' NFL coverage, but his time on the NFL Network's morning show, Good Morning Football, will likely end since the shows' air times overlap.