Scott Pelley Anchoring the ‘CBS Evening News’? ‘Everyone thought, ‘This would be heaven”

By Alex Weprin 

The NY TimesBrian Stelter profiles CBS News “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley, who is believed to be the frontrunner to replace “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric should she decide to leave the network anchor chair when her contract expires.

As Stelter notes, one of the most interesting aspects of the move is that the prominence of the evening news anchor chair has shifted in the last few years:

Some of Mr. Pelley’s colleagues privately worry that the “Evening News” could be construed as a demotion for him. That worry shows just how much the job has changed, but it belies an opportunity for Mr. Pelley and his biggest backer, Jeff Fager, who was named the chairman of CBS News last winter.

That said, staffers at CBS seemed to like Pelley when he filled in for Couric last year:

But the anchor job is also a leadership job for the entire news division. Mr. Pelley seems to sense that; last June, when he filled in for Ms. Couric on the “Evening News” for three days, he “played the part,” a senior CBS official said. The person, like others there, spoke on condition of anonymity.

The executive said, “Pelley came in early every day; called everybody and went over their scripts; and after each piece aired, he called each producer on their way home and said, ‘Great piece.’ Everyone thought, ‘This would be heaven.’ ”