Maurice_DuBois_08_May_2007.jpgLast week we sat down with Maurice DuBois, anchor of CBS 2 News This Morning and fill in weekend anchor for The Saturday Early Show and The CBS Evening News. DuBois joined WCBS and CBS in 2004 after seven years with WNBC and NBC where he anchored Today in New York, reported for Dateline NBC and filled in on the Today Show.

Unlike a lot of the talent in the market you are a local, from Long Island. Do you feel that gives you a better perspective and an advantage in telling the stories of the tri-state area?
Absolutely. I am a home town kid. I grew up here, my parents still live here. I have family here, my teachers are still here, I have friends who are here still. There is nothing like working in your home town. I have worked all over the country and being back in New York, for ten years now, there is nothing like having roots firmly planted in the ground.

Do your friends and family give you story ideas?
Actually friends and family give me critiques. They give me criticism, and I mean that only in a good way. Mom is constantly talking about what I look like, what I wear. She doesn't know what I was talking about, but she knows how her son looks.

Was there someone on television here when you were growing up that influenced you to get into broadcasting?
I was a kid watching the likes of Jim Jensen, Bill Beutel, John Johnson - we're talking thirty plus years ago - and I think there is sort of a combination of all of them. Just watching them, it was I think an influence on me.

Did you always want to come back to New York or was it just a fortuitous chance?
Some of both. I had worked in Seattle, Sacramento, and Chicago and it was about time to come back home and there was this opening at channel 4 and it all kind of worked out.

You have been both a reporter and an anchor. Do you prefer one role over the other, do you like them both, and do you think that being a reporter gives you an advantage in being an anchor?
Loved them both. There is nothing like getting out and reporting a story from the ground, from the street mixing it up with the people. And I enjoy anchoring, too. Especially live breaking events and being on the air and getting information out to people. I think it is win-win when you can do both.

You have also worked in Seattle, Sacramento and Chicago. Is there a much of a difference in how reporting and covering the news is done there compared to here?
News is news, but each city is different and each town is different. I can just tell you that New York, anyone who is from here or has lived here knows about New York's impatientness, New York's grand scale of things, and New York sort of speaks for it self. When you are from here and you sort of get it, there is no explanation necessary.

We know you keep some crazy hours doing the morning news. What is your typical workday schedule like?
There is no typical workday schedule, but the beginning is the only part that remains the same. I am up at 3:30; I am in the office just after four. I live in Manhattan, so it makes it easy. My commute is all of nine minutes.

Between four and five we are scrambling like mad to get up speed on the show and what happened overnight, what is on the wires, what is in the papers, what is on websites and then it is a two hour program. And then after the news we do local cut ins during The Early Show until about nine o'clock and there after weíll tape interviews, we'll shoot pieces. Do that up to hopefully about midday, but sometimes that will take you deep into the afternoon, sometimes at night. You go wherever the story is, where the interview subject is. It is like the news monster is always hungry and you got to feed it. So that is what we do after the show every day.

Other than the hours, how is doing the morning news different than doing the evening news?
Light years. I think the hours are what really make it different because, look people are getting ready - brushing their teeth, they are in various states of dress and undress - so you are in sort of this intimate relationship with the viewer or the listener, since they are not necessarily staring at the TV. They may be doing a million things at once - getting the kids out the door, etcetera, etcetera.

So it sort of requires that you get personal with people, you get personal with each other out there on the set. And so you have to reveal a part of yourself. People want that, people expect that. They want to know who you are, what you are about, where you are from, what you like, what you don't like - within bounds, of course. Sometimes out of bounds, but that is what sort of makes it fun.

You have done some network work for both NBC and CBS. How much difference is there between the local and network side of things and do you prefer one to the other?
News is news. What I love about local news is the connection to the community. These are people we know, these are our neighbors. There is this immediate connection. Yesterday we were out doing the March of Dimes Walk America, we are connecting with ten thousand people and countless viewers will understand what the March of Dimes is all about.

Local news is all about that reciprocal relationship with viewers and I love that about local.

Over the years you must have had a favorite story or two.
Favorite story or two? Favorite people I have interviewed. . . I think the list is too long to just say that is my favorite, but since you asked one of my favorite all time people is Rachel Robinson, Jackie Robinson's wife. She does interviews on the rarest of occasions. She actually got up one morning and come in and do an interview with me and I was especially touched by that. But being around someone like here is like touching history, it really is because of what her husband did and the way she has carried on his work. The foundations she has created and the lives of the hundreds and thousands of kids she has sent to college. My goodness. So she is one of my favorite people.

One of the more amazing stories I have ever done was witnessing a double execution and that goes without saying is just an intense experience.

You were one of the first recipients of the Trailblazer Awards from the New York Association of Black Journalists, you have given commencements, you have worked with channel thirteen's GED program, do you feel you are a role model for the community?
Only to the extent that others may see it that way. I don't really think about it until others point it out or offer me these kinds of accolades. They are nice, they are important, they connect you with the community, when they come along it is great.