‘CBS Evening News’ Anchor Scott Pelley On Making Mistakes And Why Cable News Doesn’t Matter As Much As We Think

By | Saturday June 15, 2013 @ 1:46pm PDT

Related: CNN’s ‘New Day’ On Battling ‘Fox & Friends’

On June 6, 2011, Scott Pelley took over as anchor of the CBS Evening News, his tenure following Katie Couric’s five-year run. The once-dominant newscast had fallen to third place behind NBC and ABC during the end of Dan Rather’s reign, and Couric’s stint saw the broadcast fall to record ratings lows. While still No. 3 among the Big Three, the CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley has seen significant growth since the Texan took over after a long run at sibling 60 Minutes. In the past year, the 6:30 PM broadcast has added 490,000 viewers, the largest annual increase for the network’s evening news in 15 years and the best among the broadcast news rivals since 2002. Overall, the CBS Evening News is up 12% in viewers since Pelley’s debut. Just before his second anniversary in the anchor chair, Deadline spoke with Pelley about the relevance of cable news and why so many mistakes are getting on the air.

Related: It’s Official: Scott Pelley New ‘CBS Evening News’ Anchor

DEADLINE: In an age where the news is a 24-hour business, how can a 6:30 PM once-a-day broadcast still give the reach and the immediacy that news stories require?
PELLEY: You know, never in human history has there been so much information available to so many people. But never in human history has there been so much bad information available to so many people. And I think people are looking for brand names that they can trust and CBS News is one of those. The other half of this is that folks are busy. They’re going to work, they’re going to school they’re getting the kids off to school, and they care about the world; they want to know about the world but they don’t have a lot of time to spend on that. So what were offering at the evening news is, within 30 minutes we’re going to tell you about the 12 most important things that happened in the world. And you’re going to get that from the CBS News brand, which you already trust. And I think that’s why we’ve added a million viewers in the last 2 years and why we grew so much this last year in particular.

DEADLINE: You said recently you believe that there’s a crisis in journalism, saying that the house is on fire: there are too many mistakes, things are being put up too fast, it’s too sloppy, and there is too great a reliance on social media.
PELLEY: The country is only as strong as its journalism — that’s the way democracies work. The higher the quality of the information, the better informed the electorate is and the better the government runs. And the American people can always be trusted with the information. What I was talking about in that particular speech is remaining vigilant to those goals. Too often in recent months and maybe over the last couple of years, in the haste to be first with a piece of news, a news organization has gotten it wrong and I was just suggesting that that race to be first is a bankrupt pursuit. It’s meaningless. It doesn’t mean anything to anyone except those of us within the industry. It’s a game that we play on our own control rooms to see who got something first. It has no value whatsoever to the audience and I think a little bit of humility on the part of journalism would serve it and the audience very well, that we should care less about competing with each other and care more about delivering the highest-quality product that we can to the audience. So that’s what I was driving at there. We’re a human institution and, worst of all things, we’re a human institution on deadline. So mistakes are going to get made all the time. At CBS and everywhere else. But the goal should always be to deliver the highest-quality product that we can. Read More »

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Jeff Glor To Anchor Sunday ‘CBS Evening News’ Along With ‘CBS This Morning’ Gig

By | Tuesday January 3, 2012 @ 2:23pm PST

Jeff Glor has been named anchor of the Sunday edition of the CBS EVENING NEWS. Glor was named Special Correspondent for CBS THIS MORNING in November 2011 and he will continue in that role.

Previously, Glor served as News Anchor of “The Early Show” since January 2011. From 2009-2010, he was anchor of the Saturday edition of the CBS Evening News and a national correspondent for all CBS News broadcasts. He joined CBS News in 2007 as a national correspondent for “The Early Show.”

While at CBS News, Glor has covered a number of major domestic and international stories. In 2011, he reported live from Norway on the twin terror attacks that rocked the country in July, and in September he won an Emmy award for his “CBS Sunday Morning” report, “Paving the Way,” a profile of the decaying Rust Belt steel town of Braddock, Pennsylvania and Mayor John Fetterman’s efforts to restore it.

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Scott Pelley Did Not Move Ratings Needle In First Week As CBS Evening News Anchor

By | Monday June 13, 2011 @ 3:15pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Despite all the media attention, maybe it doesn’t matter who the anchor of third-place-ranked CBS Evening News after all. Consider this – in his first week as the new anchor, Scott Pelley drew an average of 5.718 million viewers. In her final month, his predecessor Katie Couric averaged an almost … Read More »

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Katie Couric Signs Off ‘CBS Evening News’

By | Thursday May 19, 2011 @ 6:25pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Below is video of Katie Couric’s final minutes as anchor of CBS Evening News. Her last broadcast was today. There is speculation that Couric has reached a deal with ABC for a syndicated talk show, which CBS has the right to match. (UPDATE: I hear she is in advanced negotiations.) … Read More »

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Katie Couric’s Last Day At ‘CBS Evening News’: May 19

By | Friday May 13, 2011 @ 3:49pm PDT

CBS News announced today that Katie Couric’s last day as anchor of the CBS Evening News will be May 19, before her contract expires. She is being replaced by Scott Pelley, who will take over June 6. Of course, Couric likely … Read More »

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Patricia Shevlin Named Executive Producer Of ‘CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley’

Nellie Andreeva

The changing of the guard at CBS Evening News is complete. Patricia Shevlin has been named executive producer of the CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley effective June 6, when Pelley will make his debut as CBS’ lead news anchor. Shevlin, a 38-year CBS News veteran, has been the executive … Read More »

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It’s Official: Scott Pelley New ‘CBS Evening News’ Anchor

CBS News’ website confirmed today what everyone already knew about who is replacing Katie Couric:

Scott Pelley, one the most experienced reporters in broadcast journalism, has been named anchor and managing editor of the “CBS Evening News,” it was announced

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It’s Official: Katie Couric Announces Exit From ‘Evening News,’ Suitors Down To 2

By | Tuesday April 26, 2011 @ 12:07pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

After almost five years as anchor of CBS Evening News, Katie Couric will be stepping down in June. As expected, she made the announcement this afternoon. And as expected, she made it in a low-key fashion, just briefly acknowledging her pending departure in a statement to People. “I have decided to step down from the CBS Evening News,” Couric said. “I’m really proud of the talented team on the CBS Evening News and the award-winning work we’ve been able to do in the past five years in addition to the reporting I’ve done for 60 Minutes and CBS Sunday Morning. In making the decision to move on, I know the Evening News will be in great hands, but I am excited about the future.” She didn’t want to discuss her future plans beyond saying that she is looking for “a format that will allow me to engage in more multi-dimensional storytelling,” but the decision to make her announcement to People vs. a news-oriented outlet is a clear indication of her pending switch from hard news to daytime TV. As for Couric’s future destination, expected to be announced in the next week or two, early frontrunner NBC is “fading out,” a source close to the situation said. With Telepictures/CNN also recently leaving the picture, it is down to CBS and ABC, whose late offer is said to be very lucrative, especially on the news side, which has been important to Couric, including participation in the coverage of the 2012 presidential elections. While CBS has the pull of a very strong syndication division and a spot on the most revered newsmagazine, 60 Minutes, the company’s executives have started managing expectations, telling TV Guide magazine that they expect Couric to go to ABC. Read More »

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More Katie Couric Leaving ‘CBS Evening News’ Chatter

By | Monday April 4, 2011 @ 11:13am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Katie Couric is coming back from vacation today and is greeted the same way she was sent off on Friday, March 25: with a flurry of stories that she is most definitely, absolutely positively leaving the CBS Evening News anchor … Read More »

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Letterman To Katie Couric: You Can’t Leave

Nellie Andreeva

Katie Couric was on David Letterman last night amidst speculation that she is leaning towards leaving her CBS Evening News anchor job to do a daytime syndicated talk show when her contract is up in June. “I have no idea actually,” she said about her plans. “I’m figuring out … Read More »

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