CBS Evening News closed out tonight’s report with Tyne Daly, Billy Dee Williams, Secretary of State John Kerry, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), and others reading lines from Maya Angelou’s poem Caged Bird. Watch here:
Related: R.I.P. Maya Angelou
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.
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.
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.
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.) Couric’s successor at CBS Evening News, Scott Pelley, starts June 6.
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 won’t be gone long, as she is weighing offers from CBS and ABC that include a syndicated show as well as a role in their news divisions.
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 producer of CBS Evening News, Weekend Editions since January 2000. Shevlin replaces Rick Kaplan, who has served as executive producer for Pelley’s predecessor Katie Couric. His last day is tomorrow.
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 Tuesday by CBS News Chairman and “60 Minutes” Executive Producer Jeff Fager and David Rhodes, the President of CBS News. The appointment to the broadcast, to be re-named the “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley,” is effective on June 6. Pelley will continue to report stories for “60 Minutes.”
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.
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 chair. This time, the wave of speculative stories was ignited by an AP report about Couric’s pending departure. Not much has changed since we all last dissected the story ad nauseam 10 days ago: Couric is still set to leave her Evening News gig but the exit is still not official and CBS News or her reps are still not commenting. Couric is still in the midst of negotiations with CBS, NBC and Time Warner about a package deal that would include a daytime talk show, news presence between now and the launch of he talk show (and possibly beyond), as well as extensions to the Katie Couric brand on other platforms, with CBS and NBC as lead contenders. (The news offerings continue to include 60 Minutes and CBS Sunday Morning at CBS, Today and MSNBC at NBC and CNN appearances at Time Warner.) The launch of Couric’s production company and possible additional partnerships with online companies are being held off until the news anchor decides which media conglomerate she will sign with. Former NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker continues to be attached to her talk show. After anchoring CBS Evening News tonight, Couric is going on assignment …
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 what I want to do; I’m in the process of figuring out the future.”
Letterman gave her a pep talk about staying put. “Once you take the anchor chair, that’s what you do,” he said. “It’s not like it’s a temp gig.” He listed long-time evening news anchors like Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings. “They get in it, they saddle up and they ride into the sunset.”
“You can’t leave. Because it takes awhile, there’s a period of adjustment to get accustomed to the trust and build up faith in the character of the person presenting the news. And you can’t just pull the rug out from under the viewers.” Here is the video: