Scott Pelley, ‘America’s least-experienced anchorman,’ Reflects On One Year As Anchor

By Alex Weprin 

Tonight “CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley will be anchoring his broadcast from Chicago, where he will also sit down with Chicago Mayor and former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

Pelley, as we noted last month, celebrated one year as anchor of the broadcast. This week he spoke to Politico about his tenure on the program, with his usual self-deprecating humor.

“I’m America’s least-experienced anchorman,” Pelley said. “I’ve never anchored anything in my life, not even a local affiliate station.”

Suffice it to say, there was an adjustment period.

“I used to be one of those field correspondents who was scornful of anchors, but it turns out there’s a lot to it. It’s a very unnatural way of communicating with people on this set, behind this great desk, with all the bright lights, and I’m talking into this machine. For the audience, it’s a very different experience. It feels to them that I’m speaking to them, so I have to break through all of the artificiality on my end and have a conversation with the people at home. It’s a very unusual thing, and it requires a lot of concentration.”

He also talked about his thoughts on Twitter, views which are very familiar to another evening news anchor on a network called NBC.

He also doesn’t find much value in the technology du jour: Twitter.

Why? Because when you’re a network anchor, Twitter is sorta small ball.

“If a tweet goes viral and goes crazy and is a huge success, that means it gets seen by about 200,000 people. We have more than 6 million watching the ‘Evening News’ every day. Thirty-five million individuals watch it in the course of a week. There just aren’t that many people out there in Twitter-land compared to that.”