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CBS Mornings anchors with their kids

Exclusive: CBS Morning dads Tony Dokoupil, Vladimir Duthiers and Nate Burleson on raising children in NYC and their close bond off screen

Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca Lewis - Los Angeles
Los Angeles correspondentLos Angeles
June 16, 2024
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For Nate Burleson, Tony Doukopil and Vladimir Duthiers, working for CBS Mornings isn't just a job, it's a family.

"There's not a week that goes by where I don't ask one or both of them about something that Céline has done or something that I'm worried about," Vladimir tells HELLO! of his 16-month-old daughter, whom he welcomed with wife Marian Wang in February 2023. 

"We are one big happy family," adds Nate, who is dad to three children with wife Atoya: sons Nehemiah, 18, and Nate Burleson II, and 14-year-old daughter Mia. "It seems like every day, we're just getting closer and closer and really working on that chemistry that makes us so relatable to the viewer." 

Nate Burleson, Vladimir Duthiers and Tony Dokoupil attend the 2022 Paramount Upfront© Michael Loccisano
Nate Burleson, Vladimir Duthiers and Tony Dokoupil attend the 2022 Paramount Upfront

For Father's Day this year, Vlad and Tony - who is dad to two teenage children who live in Israel with his ex-wife, and son Teddy, five, and daughter Eloise, three, with wife Katy Tur - will be spending time with their families. 

"I'm on a kick lately where I try to make Sundays about going outdoors so we'll do something outdoors for sure. Pack a lunch, have a picnic. It's great," says Tony. 

Tony Dokoupil shares update on his children living in Israel

For HELLO!, the three anchors, who work alongside Gayle King on CBS, discuss their traditions, what they learned from their own fathers, and just what happens when their children come to set... 

What are your Father's Day traditions with your children?

Nate: They allow me to sleep in which doesn't happen often, so it's deeply appreciated. They would like to give me breakfast in bed, but I like getting up, going downstairs, sitting at the table with them and eating breakfast, talking, and having one on one time with my family -- unbothered and unplugged. 

Then after that, it's a surprise. I'll take flowers, I'll take a trip to the spa, at this point I don't need anything materialistic. To finish it off, I would love a handwritten card, a handwritten note, even a poem. That's usually the tradition and any other surprise after that is welcomed. 

Nate Burleson with his wife Atoya (center) and three children© Nate Burleson
Nate Burleson with his wife Atoya (center) and three children

Tony: I make pancakes in the morning and they eat the pancakes, and then ask for more pancakes, and then I make more pancakes -- and that sounds like work but is a great pleasure, and I hope they have sweet memories about dad's pancakes forever. 

That is my goal – to make them remember these mornings and treasure them with their own kids eventually. 

Vlad: We haven't yet established a Father's Day tradition because this is only my second one. One thing we have done already, and I hope to continue doing, is taking a picture at a very special location in Central Park near the duck pond.

 We took a picture there when she was just a newborn, and my goal is to try and take a picture there every year with her to celebrate our time together. 

I know that she loves ducks, and she loves that particular spot in the park. We'll see if that sticks, that's the plan, for now! 

Tony Dokoupil, Marian Wang, Vladimir Duthiers, Gayle King and Nate Burleson pose on the CBS Mornings set with Vlad's newborn daughter Celine© Vladimir Duthiers
Tony, Marian Wang, Vladimir , Gayle King and Nate pose on the CBS Mornings set with Vlad's newborn daughter Celine

Do you have any traditions from your own childhood you have passed on to your children? 

Vlad: We would get our dad a tie or a shirt, something that he would never buy for himself and then we would do a nice dinner that my mom would organize. 

Nate: I think cooking is what I’ve passed on. I remember cooking for my mom, cooking for my dad. That was our way of showing our appreciation. As kids, we didn't have money to go buy anything, so I would make something at school and then cook for my parents. So that's one tradition that I’ve passed on to my kids. 

Tony Dokoupil sits with son Teddy at a bar© Tony Dokoupil
Tony sits with son Teddy at a bar

Tony: I had a highly irregular childhood that I've tried to regularly eliminate from my kids' experience.

My childhood growing up was very unusual. Dad was not in the picture for most of it, and when he was, he was a coked-up lunatic. And you can quote me on that. So I've avoided those particular vices. 

How has your time on CBS Mornings and working with each other shaped you as fathers? 

CBS Mornings Co-Hosts Nate Burleson and Tony Dokoupil with CBS Mornings and CBS News Streaming Network Anchor and Correspondent, Vladimir Duthiers© CBS Photo Archive
Nate joined the team in 2021

Vlad: As a first-time father, being around Nate and Tony as I prepared for Céline’s arrival was incredibly inspirational and moving. Tony took me shopping for Céline before Céline was born. He was the first person to teach me how to swaddle a baby, the first person to explain to me that pacifiers came in different sizes. Who knew! 

Most importantly, both Tony and Nate were able to sit down with me away from the show to give me advice and guidance on what to expect and what not to expect, making sure that I understood that while Céline was part of me and part of Marian, that she was going to have her own likes, her own dislikes, and she was going to be her own person.

Marian and Vladimir Duthiers with their daughter Celine© Vladimir Duthiers
Marian and Vladimir Duthiers with their daughter Celine

I think all first time parents imagine their children will be little carbon copies of themselves so it was good to hear that, as much as you want to see them as little versions of you, and in some ways they might be - but more often than not, they are their own selves. 

Tony: I tell Vlad all kinds of stuff. In fact, I gave Vlad a huge multi-page advice column of all the things I think you need or don't need for a new baby. I'm constantly filling Vlad’s ear with probably unwanted advice. I have lots of opinions on what's important and what isn't. 

Tony Dokoupil's daughter Eloise on her second birthday© Tony Dokoupil
Tony's daughter Eloise on her second birthday

With Nate, my older kids are around the same age as his daughter, so I'm getting the early vibes that he's already lived through. We mostly just laugh about how similar they all are and how there's something timeless about puberty. Cross culture, cross country, cross everything, and we have really great laughs about that. 

Vlad: I ask Nate questions since he has kids that are older. I see the incredible job that he and Atoya have done and I’m blessed that they are a part of my dad-education. 

Nate especially is there as sort of a guidepost for me about things that I can plan ahead for and anticipate in the future. There's not a week that goes by where I don't ask one or both of them about something that Céline has done or something that I'm worried about and they are either able to give me some advice, guidance or allay my fears. And I ask Gayle too! 

Nate Burleson and wife Atoya© Nate Burleson
Nate and wife Atoya are raising three children

Nate: Tony and Vlad are amazing. They're like my brothers from a different mother. Tony is a really good husband and father as well. It's great to work with him and we're the same age, so we think a lot alike, we have to catch ourselves from just being two teenage boys on the set and maintain that sense of professionalism. 

Vlad is one of my favorite humans, he's as pure and as authentic as it gets, he's intelligent and he's well versed, so smart. I really do love Vlad and now seeing him as a father, it’s a joy.

Nate Burleson with his wife Atoya (center) and three children© Nate Burleson
Nate with his wife Atoya (center) and three children when they were younger

Tony: I've learned so much from both of them. I've learned how to be myself on television on purpose. You have to be authentic, you can't be Mike Wallace, there's only one Mike Wallace. 

You can't be any of these great broadcasters from the past, or any of these podcasters, or any of these people on social media. You have to be yourself, and you have to do it in a purposeful way.

CBS Mornings Co-Hosts Gayle King, Tony Dokoupil, Nate Burleson, with  Vladimir Duthiers. © CBS Photo Archive
CBS Mornings Co-Hosts Gayle, Tony, Nate, with Vladimir

Vlad: At this point, just 16 months into this lifelong journey, I’m in no position to offer these two Dads any advice. I’m still on training wheels. But I’ll bet they probably feel the same way. 

Of course, they are further down the path than I am but one thing that’s clear in watching them and learning from the dads in my life - being a father is a lifelong journey and my guess is that every day they - and I - will learn something new about myself, about Céline, about what I dream for her and how I can help her achieve her hopes and dreams. 

How do you balance crazy daytime anchor hours with being present for your young children? 

CBS Mornings Co-Hosts Gayle King, Tony Dokoupil, Nate Burleson, with CBS Mornings and CBS News Streaming Network Anchor and Correspondent, Vladimir Duthiers© CBS Photo Archive
CBS Mornings Co-Hosts Gayle King, Tony, Nate , with Vladimir

Vlad: The most important thing is that when I am with Céline, I am present. I’m not there in the mornings when she wakes up and so my wife Marian wakes her, feeds her breakfast, plays with her before the day starts and then walks her to school. 

But I am there to pick her up from school every day. We then walk to Central Park where we have dinner, sit by the pond, feed the ducks, go to the playground and enjoy ourselves. When we come home, I give her a bath, my wife and I both play with her and then put her to sleep.

Those are incredibly precious moments to me. 

Vladimir Duthiers and wife Marian with daughter Celine© Photo With Yuko
Vladimir and wife Marian with daughter Celine

Tony: The hours for us are actually really great because they're so front loaded. You get up before dawn and they're still sleeping, although we are not succeeding in keeping everybody sleeping in their beds at night, and we don't mind, particularly. 

Often Eloise will come into our room around 1:00 AM and I'll go to sleep in her bed. Then I'll get up at 4:30AM, Teddy will hear me always, he's a light sleeper, and I'll have to carry him into our room, and he'll sleep in our bed for the rest of the night. So that's how the day begins, but the good thing about the day beginning so early, and so sweetly, is that by 4:00pm that afternoon, it's already been a 12-hour day, and I can do things with them.

Tony Dokoupil sits with his daughter watching baseball© Tony Dokoupil
Tony Dokoupil sits with his daughter watching baseball

It's funny how the little things are really important, I like being the one who does doctor's appointments, and taking them to the dentist, and running an errand. I love the baseline contributions to fatherhood. I think they're so fundamental. I'm also big on meals. You think of the things that everybody needs, right? The essentials: food, shelter, security. I can't sew a shirt, I cannot build a house, but I can make dinner, and I make dinner most nights. 

What is it like raising children in NYC, what is the biggest challenge? What is the biggest joy? 

Vlad: What’s most amazing about raising a child in New York City is having access to so many cultural institutions and landmarks. In the 15 months that Céline has been with us, she's already been to Carnegie Hall, she has gotten to know every inch of the northern end of Central Park from the duck pond to the Loch, to North Hill. She has been to the Museum of Natural History and the Guggenheim several times. 

The New York Public Library is a weekly tradition for us, especially during the winter for story times and for book reads. That's just in the span of her early toddlerhood. Those are all within walking distance of our home without having to deal with a car seat without having to deal with the car ride, we're able to access all these incredible institutions often at a moment's notice whenever we want. 

I only expect that as she grows older, we'll continue to do that. I mean, she’s not the only one benefiting from it - visiting those places is still incredibly enriching for us too! 

The challenges are the same that every New Yorker has: it’s noisy, your head is on a swivel watching out for bikers, scooters and people acting strangely. The subway is a pain when you're loaded down with the stroller and the baby bag and if she gets fussy - which is rare - that's a rough ride! Of course, these are the things that ordinary New Yorkers deal with every day. but those are outweighed by all those wonderful things that make New York City one of those exciting cities in the world. 

Tony: The biggest challenge is keeping the kid's hands clean because New York City is like the dirtiest city in the history of cities. I mean, this makes ancient Rome seem like a clean manicured garden. Before you know it, everyone's got soot on their face. It looks like everyone's a chimney sweep by the end of the day. That's the toughest part. 

But the best part is the incredible energy and variety of New York. It's a walking education in all the different ways you can be a person in the world. 

Nate Burleson with son Nehemiah© Nate Burleson
Nate Burleson with son Nehemiah

Nate: The toughest part is us as a family, not being close to our extended family on the West Coast. The biggest joy -- it’s just one big playground, New York, New Jersey, the surrounding states. You can hop in a car, pick a direction and just go and you'll find something beautiful, and I'm not saying it's not like that everywhere else, but it's just unique. 

And New York is a character within itself and there's so many layers like an onion. You just keep peeling and peeling and you'll find some beautiful gems. That's one of the biggest joys of living and raising a family out here. 

When your children visit you on set, what is a normal day like for them? Have they bonded with your colleagues? 

Nate: Yeah, they've been to just about every show that I'm on. They've visited me in LA when I was working for the NFL Network, on the Extra set, the NFL today set and of course, CBS Mornings. 

Gayle, Tony and Vlad have been to my house. I threw a big Halloween party, so everyone, just about everyone I invited here at CBS came and had a good time and my family was there as well. We are one big happy family outside of the one that I have.

Inside Nate Burleson's 2023 Halloween party

Gayle, Tony and Vlad have embraced me, and it seems like every day, we're just getting closer and closer and really working on that chemistry that makes us so relatable to the viewer. It's one of the biggest compliments that I get is that, not only do we enjoy what we do, which that is the truth, we also enjoy each other's company and you can see that, and it's a blessing to love what you do for a living and who you do it with.

Vlad: Céline was celebrated the moment she was welcomed into our lives by Gayle, Nate, Tony, Shawna and our CBS Mornings staff. When she was about seven-months-old, she came to the set and met my co-hosts and the entire CBS Mornings staff and they were so excited to finally meet her. 

I think her favorite part was meeting the K9 security Labrador! 

Vladimir Duthiers and wife Marian with daughter Celine meeting K-9 labrador© Vladimir Duthiers
Vladimir and wife Marian with daughter Celine meeting K-9 labrador

Tony: We're a very kid friendly show. Everybody gets to sit in the chairs, pose with the anchors. Sometimes they can present a story to the camera, do a little walk and talk -- all the fundamentals of broadcast television. We try 'em out young, and if they show an aptitude, we send them to TV camp and then they have to do TV for the rest of their life. 

What did you learn from your own father that you have taught your children? 

Nate: How to show up every day for your family, wake up, go to work, help, provide clothes on their back, food on the table, and a roof over their heads and carry that not as a burden, but as a sense of pride that this family chose you to do all those things and more. He did that every day. I grew up in a household with four boys, we drove my mom and dad crazy, but my dad was there, running us from gym to gym, field to field, sport to sport. 

I remember looking up in the stands and seeing him so, for me, I wanted to be that for my kids. Whether it was a recital, a play, a game, an event, I wanted to be there as a representation, a point of reference that they can look at and say, 'My dad's here, and he always has my back.' 

Tony: My father was not a classically good father, but he was an imaginative person. He imagined a particular kind of freewheeling, fun loving, law-breaking life for himself. And it wasn't an example of the kind of life I would lead, but it was an example of being able to actualize the thing that you dream of. His dream is not one, I would say, you should emulate, but he did accomplish his dream. 

I did take that inspiration from him. 

Nate, you were an NFL player, and your sons are both now players at University of Nevada, your alma mater! How does it feel to know your children wanted to continue a legacy you began? 

Nate: It feels great – and my wife ran track there. She was a bigger superstar than me. She's an indoor hurdle champion for the Nevada Wolf Pack. Her little brother played basketball there, Joey Shaw, my little brother played basketball there, LenDale Burleson. 

Nate Burleson (second left) with sons Nate II (second right) and Nehamiah (right)© Nate Burleson
Nate Burleson (second left) with sons Nate II (second right) and Nehamiah (right)

It's becoming a family affair. Here we are, 20 plus years later, they offered my two sons scholarships, and it's great to have them wear the same Jersey that I wore and create a legacy of their own. It's a beautiful thing.

I give them advice, but it's more about [how to create] your own lane and using the NFL as the vehicle to get to where you want to go. The NFL is the motivation, right? But use football as a vehicle to launch other aspects of your life. The goal can be to play 10 years in the NFL and make a hundred million dollars, but there has to be a larger goal because once you can't jump as high, run as fast and do the things that you do on the football field, real life will begin. 

That's when you really have to come to grips that playing sports, even though significant, is a very small, small piece of your adult life. 

How has fatherhood changed you? 

Nate: Fatherhood has motivated me tremendously. I know I wouldn't be as successful as I am now if I didn't have the family that I have. 

I would be much more measured in my approach. I wouldn't have these lofty goals. I wouldn’t be pushing myself the way that I do, and working the jobs that I work, but I do it because I know my kids are watching and seeing their father set an example of what hard work can do for you.

I want to provide a life for them that is memorable with experiences, exposing them to different walks of life, different professions, make them more worldly, and they have given me the motivation that I need to strive for greatness. 

Tony Dokoupil and Katy Tur attend the WSJ. Magazine 2023 Innovator Awards© Dimitrios Kambouris
Tony Dokoupil and Katy Tur attend the WSJ. Magazine 2023 Innovator Awards

Tony: Fatherhood connects you to deep time. Fatherhood connects you to all that came before and all that will be in the future. And as a result, you become invested in the flow of your time in a deeper way. 

It creates meaning in the absence of it. For me, without it, I would feel adrift. 

Vlad: I’ve learned something that all dads and moms have learned. It can't be taught. You can't prepare for it because the only way to know it is to feel it. To experience it, to live it. The feeling that a heart's capacity for love is infinite. Limitless, without end. Dads know what that means. And now so do I.

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