February 4, 2021

Joe Biden’s first one-on-one interview as president will go to … CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell. CBS landed the first interview with President Biden thanks, in part, to the network also hosting this year’s Super Bowl.

Portions of the interview will air during the 4 p.m. Eastern hour of the Super Bowl pregame show. In addition, clips of the interview also will air on Friday’s “CBS Evening News” and Sunday morning’s “Face the Nation.”

The tradition of the president being interviewed for the Super Bowl pregame show dates back to 2004 when CBS’s Jim Nantz, who will call this year’s game, interviewed George W. Bush. That was a light interview that was mostly about the Super Bowl and seemed to be just a one-time thing.

The tradition really started when Barack Obama became president. Obama started doing Super Bowl interviews right away after his inauguration in 2009 and did one every year during his two terms as president. It was during that time that the interviews started including much tougher news questions to go along with a few fun football topics.

During his four years as president, Donald Trump did pregame Super Bowl interviews when Fox had the game in 2017 and 2020. He also did the interview with CBS in 2019. However, he turned down the interview request in 2018 when NBC carried the game.

This piece originally appeared in The Poynter Report, our daily newsletter for everyone who cares about the media. Subscribe to The Poynter Report here.

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Tom Jones is Poynter’s senior media writer for He was previously part of the Tampa Bay Times family during three stints over some 30…
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