Scott Pelley is back from his reporting trip for 60 Minutes and will finish up his anchor and managing editor role at CBS Evening News a week from Friday.
When Donald Trump’s candidacy sent TV ratings soaring last year, CBS honcho Les Moonves infamously summed up his reaction: “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” The same emphasis on corporate profits is surely the driving force behind the decision to pull Scott Pelley from the CBS Evening News anchor chair.
Two people familiar with the situation confirmed reports on Wednesday that CBS is expected to announce Pelley’s departure shortly. The CBS show is a distant third to ABC and NBC in the evening news rankings, and despite some critical success, has not been able to close the gap. Pelley is expected to return to 60 Minutes.
While CBS denies it, multiple sources tell the New York Post that the network is planning to move Scott Pelley over to 60 Minutes — where he is already an anchor — full time, and replace him on the network’s flagship news broadcast.
CBS News said its evening-news anchor, Scott Pelley, would lead the broadcast from Florida in order to provide on-the-ground perspective on the effects of Hurricane Matthew, a signal that the storm and potential damage resulting from it are likely to take more command of an already busy news cycle.
Scott Pelley says he’s been hearing predictions that the network evening newscast is doomed ever since he arrived at CBS 27 years ago. So he’s feeling pretty good about the fact that the CBS Evening News has actually gained viewers since he became anchor on June 6, 2011, taking over for Katie Couric, who left the network. He shares a few thoughts on why the format made famous by Walter Cronkite and the Huntley-Brinkley Report is holding its own at a time when viewers have plenty of other choices for video news.
They gambled, and it paid off. On the day President Obama announced he would move forward with talks aimed at normalizing relations with Cuba, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley stunned many observers when he appeared — looking crisp in a suit and tie — in Havana, the only evening news anchor on the island Wednesday night.
SteveCapus, executive producer of the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, says he’s “very, very happy” to have the network be his professional home. “I think CBS [News] has a lot of room to grow,” he says. “It was a wonderful opportunity to return to the newsroom, return to the control room, and produce a broadcast again.”
In an era when interactive devices seem to have reduced the attention span of most video consumers to that of a hummingbird on methamphetamine, the new executiveof The CBS Evening News recently tried something counterintuitive: a story segment lasting more than five minutes.
Last month, Nightly News and Evening News both had their lowest July sweep period in the key 25-54 news demo since electronic records began in 1991.
CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley is seeking a major salary raise from the network as his contract comes up for renewal in the weeks ahead, sources familiar with the negotiations say. Pelley, who also serves as a correspondent for CBS’s 60 Minutes, currently makes a reported $5 million per year, which is less than half the reported salaries of the nightly news anchors at the rival networks.
The trend lines continue to head in the right direction for the CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley, which remains in third place but has wrapped a second straight season of ratings growth.
Scott Pelley and the CBS Evening News still have a way to go, but the trend line is positive. His newscast has averaged 6.03 million viewers a night during the past year, up from 5.72 million for the previous year, according to the Nielsen Co.
Steve Hartman will host the revival of the long-running Charles Kuralt series of reports from across the U.S. beginning tonight during the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.
CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager said today that he hopes viewers who tuned out from the CBS Evening News during the Katie Couric years are being lured back by Scott Pelley.
CBS introduced Scott Pelley as the new anchor of its evening news with no fanfare last week, and the result was no new fans. The numbers for Pelley’s first week showed no growth from the audience that Katie Couric had been averaging for her last month on the air, and were actually down slightly from what CBS had scored with Harry Smith serving as the substitute anchor.
On Monday evening Scott Pelley replaced Katie Couric as anchor of the third-rated nightly newscast, seen on average by about 6 million people a night, and his debut was as understated as hers was bold five years ago.
The executive producer of the CBS Evening News, Weekend Editions will head up the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley when that broadcast debuts on June 6.