Scott Pelley will reportedly be removed from the anchor position on CBS Evening News, a position he’s held since replacing Katie Couric in 2011. In the move, Pelley will make more frequent appearances on 60 Minutes. Pelley was usually in third place in the ratings, behind Lester Holt’s news broadcast on NBC and David Muir on ABC. CBS, which still prides itself on leading the ratings for years with legendary news anchor Walter Cronkite at the helm, was probably not content with Pelley continuing to bring up the rear.
The news was reportedly expected to be announced next week, but because of internal leaks, Pelley already began packing his belongings at the evening news office on Tuesday. Other hints that Pelley was on his way out included putting his Connecticut home on the market, as well as a recent purchase of a ranch in Texas. Pelley was on assignment overseas on Wednesday, and is expected to serve as the anchor next week before Mason takes over. In a statement, Pelley said of his colleagues in the evening news division, “I find my heart filled with gratitude for the opportunity to know you, humility in light of your sacrifices, and hope for the future of journalism because of the standards you live by. CBS has been great to me for nearly 30 years. I’m glad to accept this assignment with continuing gratitude.”
No permanent replacement has been announced, but long-time CBS employee Anthony Mason is expected to serve as the interim anchor, and an unnamed source said that Mason may be asked to stay on for the rest of this year, depending on what decision CBS comes to in terms of replacing Pelley. Besides Mason, other candidates include Jeff Glor, who already works for CBS, and Jake Tapper or Anderson Cooper, both targets that would need to be pried away from high ranking roles at CNN.