NEW YORK, NY (WAVY) - Not many people would admit they love working, especially if they're putting in 14-hour workdays. Anderson Cooper's an exception.
He's juggling several high-profile jobs and says he wouldn't have it any other way.
In the promotion for his new talk show. Anderson Cooper made it clear he likes to keep moving. The newsman thrives on a busy schedule. "You know I like doing a lot of different jobs. For years I've had several. I've been working for 60 Minutes in addition to CNN and now I have this daytime show . I wrote a book a couple of years ago," Anderson told WAVY.com. "So I find I'm happiest when I have a lot of stuff going on and I'm busy."
WAVY.com's David Culver sat down with Anderson in his New York City studio. It was 4 o'clock in the afternoon. He'd started his day at 8 a.m. and was only halfway through the day.
David Culver: "I almost feel bad doing this interview."
Culver: "Because you've been through two shows, and your workday is not over yet."
Anderson: "Yeah, you know. It's fun though; it's nice. It beats a real job. I mean I'm having fun, I'm talking to really interesting people and learning new things, so it doesn't feel like work."
But pulling off a daily show seen across the country is work. You realize that sitting through two tapings in one day.
The Halloween show was up first. The audience was decked out in their costumes and Anderson dressed up to honor the pioneer of daytime talk, Phil Donahue.
The shows are non-stop and so is Anderson. He's running all over the studio with a microphone in hand. The studio cameramen can barely keep up. Even commercial breaks are not really breaks. He's talking with his producers and they're making changes last minute. Those on set are keeping constant communication with those back in the control room.
"This is awesome," one young guest told us. "I'm very, very excited to be here."
Once the Halloween taping wrapped production crews wasted no time. The cobwebs were pulled down, the furniture was switched out, a new audience piled in, and Anderson was back as himself.
"It's a fun process. It's totally different from what I've done, I've been a reporter for 20 years, and I'm continuing to report at night, but it's nice to be able to do different things," Anderson admitted.
Anderson stepped into the kingdom of daytime talk as the reigning queen, Oprah, stepped down.
Culver: Do you feel the pressure ever to live up to the standards that she set during the daytime?"
Anderson: "You know I think Oprah's still around and she's not going anywhere, she's still doing remarkable work. So, I'm not trying to follow in any one person's footsteps, I'm just trying to be myself and do the best show I can."
In order for Anderson to be himself he's had to open up. Interviewing his mom, Gloria Vanderbilt, he talked publicly about his family's past.
"We've had a couple things that have been incredibly emotional and my mom was on and she surprised me actually by doing an interview and talking about my dad who passed away when I was 10," Anderson told us. "And it was a show about my brother who committed suicide, so that was actually incredibly, for me, very emotional."
Culver: "You almost choked up at one point, and kind of just stopped, and your mom picked right up in...
Anderson: "Yeah, I noticed that too. That was interesting that you caught that because I... didn't know if other people noticed that, but yeah I found that really surprising too. My mom's really cool. I mean she's 87 she's in great health and she's lived this extraordinary life, kind of multiple lives. It's interesting early on in my career I never wanted people to know who my mom was, because I never wanted people to think that I somehow got in the job, or created a career based on who she was."
Anderson seems to have escaped much of that criticism. In part, because he started his career reporting from war zones. Covering conflict, he says, gave him an appreciation of our men and women serving us abroad.
"I don't think a lot of people understand the level of sacrifice that military families make," Anderson said. "Not just the member who's serving oversees, but the family members back home to me it's an extraordinary sacrifice of the entire family."
In the 20 years he's reported, Anderson's worked just about every shift in television starting with the overnights at ABC News.
Culver: "You do daytime now, primetime..."
Culver: "Is late night next?"
Anderson: "Is late night next? I don't think so! I think I've got enough jobs as it is. This is about it I think... I've maxed out."
Not that he's complaining.
"I feel very blessed if this is able to continue and I'm able to continue doing all these different things," Anderson said. "Because they are all interesting and for me they're all really educational and informative."
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