Charlie Rose has 4 shows, so he takes lots of naps
If Charlie Rose isn't the busiest man on television, he's certainly near the top of the list.
Five nights a week, he's the host of "Charlie Rose," his PBS talk show. Five mornings a week, he's the main anchor of "CBS This Morning." Occasionally, he's the co-anchor of the "Person to Person" specials on CBS.
And this summer, he's added the Friday-night "Charlie Rose: The Week" to his portfolio. It's a half-hour that sums up the week.
"This show is about both curating and aggregating what we see around us," Rose said. "We are able to take from what happened in the week and define it and edit it so that it still tells a story."
Yes, a lot of it is drawn from his talk show. But, still, it's his fourth TV series. And although he tries to downplay how tough that can be, at 71, he's working harder than most people half his age. "I have four shows that I play some role, small and large, in," he said. "And they all cross-fertilize each other."
True. But still he's got four shows.
"I don't know when the man sleeps, but I am in awe," said Beth Hoppe, PBS' chief programming executive.
"Well, I actually sleep every night in a specific way," Rose said, offering these details:
• He goes to bed about 10:30 or 11 p.m.
• He gets up at 5 a.m.; arrives at CBS at 6 a.m.; and does "CBS This Morning" from 7-9 a.m.
• "At 9 o'clock there's a whole series of other things we do and talk about [for] the next day," Rose said.
• He leaves CBS at 10:30 a.m.; gets something to eat; works out; "and then I take a nap. I take two naps a day simply because it makes me, I believe in my own head, more efficient."
• Then he tapes the late-night show.
• All the while, he is "constantly thinking all week about the program on Friday night."
"So if you find the rhythm and you find you're able to be a world-class napper, you will be OK," Rose said. "It just energizes me. It makes me more efficient. I started this back in law school. At that time I just put my head down on the desk, and I learned to do it, and I felt so much better before class."
Which is part of the reason he didn't hesitate when PBS proposed adding "The Week" to his portfolio.
"I have always believed if you want to get something done, give it to a busy person," Rose said. "That is sort of my philosophy of life. I said, 'Look. If you want it, we'll do it.' And it's been a team effort."
Yvette Vega, the producer of "Charlie Rose," described her boss as "an athlete. I don't know how else to describe working day in and day out with someone like this for 21 years. It really is like you're at the races every day.
"I don't know how else to say it, other than this is an intellectual athlete, which makes me a very tired coach, I suppose."
But not a tired athlete.
He's one of the best interviewers on TV, and Rose said he would sacrifice a half-hour of interview prep to get in a nap that will leave him "operating at my maximum efficiency," which is "much better than whatever the additional preparation might have been."
Yes, he's 71. Yes, he had heart surgery seven years ago.
But, no, he doesn't want anyone to worry about him or his schedule. Because he takes care of himself.
"I promise you I do," he said. "But I'm actually flattered that you worry about me, and I would like for you to continue worrying about me."
In Utah, "CBS This Morning" airs weekdays from 8-9 a.m. on KUTV-Ch. 2 and 9-10 a.m. on KMYU-Ch. 2.2. "Charlie Rose" airs weeknights at 1 a.m. on KUED-Ch. 7. "Charlie Rose The Week" airs Fridays at 7:30 p.m. on KUED-Ch. 7.