Scott Pelley is out as CBS Evening News anchor, and he’ll be returning to full-time work at the network’s flagship newsmagazine 60 Minutes.
Two people familiar with the situation confirmed reports on Wednesday that CBS is expected to announce Pelley’s departure shortly. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.
The CBS show is a distant third to ABC and NBC in the evening news rankings, and despite some critical success, has not been able to close the gap.
Reports of Pelley’s departure first surfaced in the New York Post, which said Pelley’s office at the evening news was being cleaned out on Tuesday. Pelley did not anchor the broadcast Tuesday, as it was announced he was on assignment for 60 Minutes.
CBS did not comment on the reports.
Pelley began working at the CBS Evening News almost exactly six years ago, succeeding Katie Couric. It was a meat-and-potatoes newscast aligned with the traditions of CBS News, and lately has been produced by a former NBC News president, Steve Capus.
Evening news shows don’t have the influence they once had when the likes of Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw had the jobs. But collectively, they still reach more than 20 million viewers each night for half-hour summaries of the day’s news.
They haven’t necessarily been suited to the rush of news in the Trump era. Evening news ratings have been down while news junkies turn to prime-time cable newscasts.