CBS Evening News viewers will be seeing a new face when they tune in on May 31 because Scott Pelley has left to focus on 60 Minutes. Pelley will be replaced by CBS This Morning Saturday anchor Anthony Mason. The journalist, whose love of classic rock makes him the go-to reporter for CBS Sunday Morning features on rock stars, is married to his second wife, Christina Unhoch Mason.
Before CBS announced Pelley’s plans, The New York Post reported on May 30 that Pelley has been moved to 60 Minutes exclusively. An insider claims that the decision was made because of declining ratings. Later, a source told the Post that the 60-year-old Mason was chosen as an interim anchor and will remain in the role at least through the summer while a permanent replacement is found.
Here’s what you need to know about Mason’s wife and family.
1. Mason & Christina Have a Son & a Daughter
Mason and Christina have a son and a daughter. The two live in Westchester County, according to his CBS News biography. He also has a daughter from his previous marriage to columnist Amy Dickinson.
In a 2010 interview on Imus.com, Mason admitted that he likes Vampire Weekend’s song “A-Punk,” adding, “My kids love it, but I actually gave it to them.”
He said he grew to like the band after he dedicated himself to staying in touch with modern music. He didn’t want to feel disconnected from his children.
2. Christina Used to Work as a Translator for Interfax News Agency in Moscow
After that, she returned to New York as an instructor at the Jewelry Arts Institute. In 2010, she was hired by SUNY Purchase College, where she teaches English As A Second Language (ESL) and Writing courses.
Christina attended Yale, where she earned a B.A. in Russian and East European Studies in 1990. She also spent a semester at the Pushkin Institute in Moscow. in 2011, she earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College.
3. Mason’s First Wife Was ‘Ask Amy’ Columnist Amy Dickinson
Mason’s first wife is Amy Dickinson, the “Ask Amy” advice columnist. The two were married from 1986 to 1990 and are parents to daughter Emily Mason. The 58-year-old Dickinson’s columns are published by the Chicago Tribune.
The New York Times reported in 2008 that Dickinson married again. Her second husband is Bruno Schickel, a childhood friend. Schickel has four daughters from his first marriage and they were all adopted. Caitlin Schickel and Angela Martinez were adopted from the Dominican Republic. Michaela Schickel and Avila Schickel were adopted from China.
Emily Mason is now 29 years old.
4. Mason Was the Chief Moscow Correspondent When Christina Worked in Russia
Mason has been at CBS News since 1986 and has been based in New York City since 1993. During his early years at the network, the Georgetown University graduate spent much of his time covering Europe and the Soviet Union.
As his CBS News biography notes, a year after the network hired him, he was assigned to the London bureau, where he worked from 1987 to 2000. He reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and at the frontlines in the Iran-Iraq war. He also covered the Pan Am Flight 203 bombing in Scotland. In 1989, he was on the scene for the crumbling of the Iron Curtai and won the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Journalism Award.
In 1991, Mason became the Chief Moscow Correspondent. He held that position until 1993, the same year Christina left Interfax. Mason’s coverage of the Soviet Union’s fall earned him an Emmy.
Mason is currently CBS This Morning Saturday co-anchor with Alex Wagner. He also contributes features for CBS Sunday Morning.
5. Mason Said in 2008 He’d Never Want to Cover the White House Because You’re a ‘Prisoner of Their Press Machine’
In a 2008 interview with Market Watch, when many of his stories centered on business, Mason said he would never want to cover the White House.
“You’re a prisoner of their press machine, and visually, the stories are extremely limited,” Mason told the site. “As a journalist, you’re kind of a filmmaker and you want as many tools as you can find to tell the stories. I’d find that incredibly frustrating — I’d disintegrate. I’d scream.”
Mason told Tulsa World in April 2017 that he didn’t even think of becoming a TV journalist after graduating. He thought about writing, but his father pushed him to get out of the house.
His father sent him to Memphis, where his cousin was an anchorman. That station was owned by the same company that ran KJRH in Tusla, Oklahoma. The company found a place for him at KJRH, and he earned his first job in journalism. He worked in Philadelphia and New York City before CBS News hired him in 1986.
“It’s always a battle because once you do one thing and do it reasonably well, people want you to keep doing that one thing,” Mason told Tusla World. “When I raised my hand to be the business guy, people thought I was nuts because I hadn’t shown any interest in the subject before. But I thought there were things that weren’t being done that should have, ways of presenting this information that would explain it better to the public.”