WASHINGTON -- From WUSA9 reporter trainee to CBS This Morning co-host, Gayle King, took a trip down memory lane with WUSA9's Bruce Johnson.
Johnson headed up to New York to sit down and talk with King on Tuesday after she wrapped up on the "CBS This Morning" set.
Often known for her close friendship with media mogul Oprah Winfrey, King is more than that. She said she doesn’t stand in Oprah’s shadow.
"I stand in her light," King said.
King also shed some light on her relationship with Johnson, which wasn’t always pleasant.
"It was my first on-air position. It was my first live shot in Kansas City. I had a live shot with the police chief, and I was little nervous about it. My clothes hadn’t arrived. The story was still coming together, so I call you (Bruce) looking for comfort to say, 'Bruce, I’m about to do this lives shot. I'm so nervous. My clothes haven't come in. My driver hasn't come," King said before Johnson interrupted.
"I was about to go on-air back here (Washington, D.C.). It was a weekend," Johnson said.
"You were not getting ready to go on no air. That's not true," King said. "You were just sitting there."
"And you said -- I wonder if you remember this because it was traumatizing to me – you said, 'Oh grow up,' and hung up the phone.
"Yeah, I remember that," Johnson said smiling.
King explained those words helped shape her growth and independence in what was a new career field.
A Tough Lesson
Ironically, King was once rejected for one of WUSA9's former reporter training programs. She had been working for the station as a production assistant when she applied for one of the four coveted spots.
She approached the news director, Jim Snyder, to ask for advice.
"His feet are up on the desk and I went in and said 'Can I talk to you?' and he said 'What do you want?' - which was his way," King recalled.
She asked Snyder why she hadn't gotten the spot on the training program.
"He goes, "You know what, you could've gotten it - you were qualified for it - but life ain't fair. Anything else?" she laughed.
She eventually got into the program and the rest is history.
King on the #MeToo Movement
King is not afraid to speak out on the issues. She's been reported saying men deserve "due process" when facing accusations.
"There are a couple stories I've seen, where I'm like, 'Listen girl you've just had a bad date. That doesn't make this guy a predator,'" she said. "It bothers me that if we're not careful, all men will be painted with the same brush."
She said it worried her but she does think most women should be believed.
"The fact that women are speaking out I think is important," King said. "I think that in 99.5 percent of the cases, you have to believe what the women are saying."
A New News Chapter
Monday marked King’s first episode of the new "CBS This Morning" lineup with co-hosts Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil.
"When you love what you do… I mean, I feel really privileged and honored to be here. It's a big responsibility. I never ever take it for granted and I don't take it lightly because, as you know, this TV business. This is a business, and the day comes to all of us, I believe, where they say, 'You know, we're going in a different direction. You know, we've decided to make a change,' or, 'You know, it’s just not working out,'" King said.
King added, "It's their sandbox, and they decide who plays, but as long as I'm in the sandbox, I'm going to play nicely with others and I’m going to try to figure out a way to play as long as I can. I still love absolutely everything about it,” King said.
The honor is one King said she doesn't take lightly as she took time to reflect on her start in the local news industry, one for which she still shares a deep affinity.
"This isn't a job I ever sought. I was really happy. I love local news. I still love local news. I think it's the best training ground. I was in Connecticut. I was there as an anchor there for 18 years, in Kansas City for three years. So, I was a local news baby. I didn’t have aspirations of even going to the network, to be honest with you. You know, at the time, I was working at the Oprah Winfrey Network. I had a radio show. I was working at the magazine. I was doing some TV appearances, doing interviews with different people. And then you get a call that just changes your life," King said.
Samantha Kubota, WUSA9, contributed to this story.