Scott Pelley on Pre-Super Bowl Presidential Interview: ‘I would be surprised if they didn’t take advantage of this remarkable opportunity’

By Alex Weprin 

CBS is going big for this year’s Super Bowl in New Orleans February 3. As we have previously reported, every unit of the company will be represented, with four different sets in the city’s famous Jackson Square.

“CBS This Morning,” “Face the Nation” and the “CBS Evening News” will be live in New Orleans leading up to the game. TVNewser spoke to “Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley at the CBS Broadcast Center today, following a Super Bowl press conference.

Pelley says that the White House has yet to confirm the traditional pre-Super Bowl Presidential interview.


“I would be surprised if they didn’t take advantage of this remarkable opportunity for the President to speak to one third of the people of this country at one time,” Pelley said, noting that the interview “comes around like Christmas.”

“Every White House waits until the last minute, because you never know what is going to be on the President’s plate any given day,” added Pelley, who will do the honors if it comes together. Katie Couric interviewed Pres. Obama the last time CBS broadcast the Super Bowl in 2010.

CBS CEO Leslie Moonves introduced the room to “CBS This Morning’s” Charlie Rose by gently ribbing him on his penchant for staying out late in the New York social scene:

“[CBS News Chairman] Jeff Fager has asked me to make sure and mention that your official curfew in New Orleans is forthcoming,” Moonves quipped. “It is hard enough for you in New York City.”

CBS is planning around-the-clock programming leading up to the Super Bowl, including a one-hour special to air from Noon-1pm on Super Bowl Sunday hosted by CBS News contributor Wynton Marsalis and focusing on the revitalization of New Orleans.

Pelley says that his news broadcasts will also focus on what he calls the “amazing comeback story” of New Orleans.

“It has such resonance for the country, to be able to bring the Super Bowl back to that stadium, that stadium which was the focus of so much misery seven years ago and now is the focus of the biggest party this country ever throws. What an amazing comeback story,” Pelley said. “I think it will resonate with people from New York and New Jersey, who are still trying to recover from Hurricane Sandy, to see how it is done, that it is possible to come back from that kind of devastation.”