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Posts Tagged ‘Scott Pelley’

How Scott Pelley Made It to Cuba Just in Time for ‘The CBS Evening News’

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 7.24.46 PMThey gambled, and it paid off. On the day President Obama announced he would move forward with talks aimed at normalizing relations with Cuba, “CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley stunned many observers when he appeared–looking crisp in a suit and tie–in Havana, the only evening news anchor on the island Wednesday night. “Everyone is so happy here,” said one CBS News insider about the hectic hours of work by dozens of “Evening News” staffers to make that liveshot happen.

On air, Pelley may have made it look effortless, but it wasn’t. Not at all. The decision to go for it was made shortly after the Cuba story broke. CBS execs decided it was worth the risk of having Pelley absent from the newscast on a major news day–Norah O’Donnell was slated to fill-in on the anchor desk in New York–for the chance to make a bold statement by having Pelley in place in Cuba.

Pelley started the day in Washington, where he attended last night’s White House media holiday party. Once the decision was made, Pelley and his team scrambled and headed directly to the airport.

In New York and Havana, producers, coordinators and fixers worked through the day to make sure that if Pelley’s travel went as hoped–entering the country is hardly without unexpected problems–there would be a live location waiting for him. The best case scenario was that Pelley would land, drive to the camera, mic up and go live.
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Who Was at the White House Holiday Party Last Night?

GretaTree“CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley and executive producer Steve Capus were among the tvnewsers at last night’s White House media holiday party.

Also spotted, Chris Licht, VP of Programming for CBS News, morning anchors Norah O’Donnell from “CBS This Morning,” “Morning Joe’s” Joe Scarborough, CNN “New Day” anchor Chris Cuomo and “Good Morning America’s” George Stephanopoulos. CNN anchors Candy Crowley and Wolf Blitzer were there, as were Fox News anchors Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren, and Greta’s husband John Coale.

CNN executives Jeff Zucker and Andrew Morse, MSNBC president Phil Griffin, PBS’s Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff, MSNBC anchor Joy Ann Reid (with her eldest son in tow), Haddad Media’s Tammy Haddad, and DC correspondents including FNC’s Shannon Bream, CBS’s Bill Plante, CNN’s Joe Johns, and NBC’s Chris Jansing and Kelly O’Donnell.

(Photo: via Greta)

Evening News Ratings: Week of December 8

eveningnews2015“NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” won another week in both total viewers and the demo, and is up +2% season-to-date in viewers: its best seasonal start in 9 years.

No. 2 ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” showed the most growth of the three evening newscasts compared to the same week last year: +5% in viewers and up +4% in the demo, and has narrowed the gap with “Nightly” -41% in total viewers.

NBC was up +1% in viewers and down -10% in the demo. No. 3 “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” was flat in viewers and down -8% in the demo.

Numbers for the week of Dec. 8, 2014:

• Total Viewers: 9,371,000 8,693,000 7,345,000
• A25-54: 2,133,000 2,118,000 1,730,000


CBS’ Scott Pelley: ‘Banging the Drum’ for Old-Fashioned Values in Digital Journalism

Scott-Pelley1“CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley‘s old enough to have grown up in a world where CBS News was a titanic force, looming over the horizon. Today, CBS fights for its share of an ever-expanding audience, not just against ABC and NBC, but also CNN, Fox, and a myriad of digital news operations like BuzzFeed and Vice and Fusion. And he’s worried. “What I would like to see in journalism today is a renaissance that spreads to the Internet — what many consider to be old-fashioned journalistic values.”

In an interview with AM New York, Pelley says the seemingly limitless supply of information available to consumers carries a risk–the difficulty of knowing whom to trust. He argues the internet needs some of the same old school values that were taught in newspaper and TV newsrooms:

Those values are not common on the Internet. They are common among major newspapers, they are common among major television networks, etc., but they need to become the ruling principles of what we’re reading on the Internet. It’s never going to be perfect, it’s never going to be pervasive, but I think we’re at an inflection point here in journalism and in media now where we’re making a decision about the quality of our country going forward because of the quality of the information that we’re offering our audience. It worries me a great deal, and I’m often on my bandwagon banging the drum, particularly with young people who are interested in journalism because we need them, but we need them to be good.

‘CBS Evening News’ Gives Torture Report 11 Minutes as CIA Story Dominates Newscasts

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 8.46.46 PMThe release of a sweeping report from the Senate Intelligence Committee into the CIA’s actions after 9/11–immediately dubbed the “torture report”–dominated Tuesday evening’s network newscasts, with the “CBS Evening News” devoting more than 11 minutes to the story.

CBS’ coverage included packages from Nancy Cordes and Bob Orr, and an extended clip of a 2007 “60 Minutes” interview Scott Pelley did with ex-CIA director George Tenet, where he firmly denied–repeatedly–that the U.S. engaged in torture.

“NBC Nightly News” spent seven and a half minutes on the story, beginning with Andrea Mitchell. ABC’s “World News Tonight” led with just over six minutes on torture, including packages from Martha Raddatz and Jonathan Karl.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 9.02.38 PMOverseas, the U.K.’s Channel 4 (left) had extensive coverage on the torture report–more than fifteen minutes–including a live report from Washington, and a story on what role, if any, Britain played in the CIA’s torture of detainees.

Al Jazeera America, by comparison, gave the story twelve minutes of coverage in the network’s flagship U.S. newscast, “America Tonight.”

Kimberly Godwin Named Senior Broadcast Producer of ‘CBS Evening News’

godwinKimberly Godwin has been named Senior Broadcast Producer of the “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.” Godwin will report to Executive Producer Steve Capus, who issued the following statement.

Kim is an accomplished executive and proven leader who has performed brilliantly at the “CBS Evening News” for seven years and has successfully run many newsrooms across the country. Kim is principled, dedicated and respected. She has helped shape some of the most important broadcasts of the of the ”CBS Evening News.” I am delighted to have her as a partner as we continue to evolve the broadcast.

See the full press release, after the jump.

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Evening News Ratings: Week of Dec. 1

evening news_2014For the week  Brian Williams celebrated his 10th anniversary as “Nightly News” anchor, the NBC newscast took wins in both total viewers and the A25-54 demo. This is NBC’s third win in the demo in the last five weeks, and its biggest win in the demo over ABC since March.

Compared to the same week last year “Nightly” lost viewers in the demo (-3%) while growing +1% in total viewers.

ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” showed the most growth of the three evening newscasts: +11% in viewers and +5% in the demo. Season to date, the ABC broadcast is No. 1 in the demo, leading “Nightly News” by 20,000 viewers. “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” was also up in the demo (+4%) and flat in viewers.

Numbers for the week of Dec. 1, 2014:

• Total Viewers: 9,649,000 8,840,000 7,485,000
• A25-54: 2,313,000 2,140,000 1,877,000


Evening News Ratings: Week of Nov. 24

evening news_2014For millions, Black Friday ended by sitting down and watching the network evening news. “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” drew a whopping 12.59 million viewers for its Friday night telecast. “Nightly News” won the holiday-shortened week in total viewers, while ABC “World News Tonight with David Muir” won in the A25-54 demo.

Compared to the same week last year “World News Tonight” saw the most growth: up +8% in viewers and up +11% in the demo. “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” was also up: +2 in viewers and +9% in the demo. “Nightly News” was up +1% in viewers and down -9% in the demo.

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, NBC is based on a four-day average (Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri) while ABC and CBS are based on two-day averages (Mon, Tue).

Numbers for the week of Nov. 24, 2014:

• Total Viewers: 10,375,000 9,781,000 7,609,000
• A25-54: 2,347,000 2,575,000 1,986,000


ABC ‘World News Tonight’ Wins First November Sweep in Younger Demo in 18 Years

DavidMuirABC’s “World News Tonight” won its first November Sweep in the A25-54 demo in 18 years. November also saw the lowest Sweep in that younger demo for “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” since at least 1991, when electronic records began.

This is the first sweeps month with anchor David Muir in the “World News Tonight” chair and the third consecutive sweeps win in the younger demo for the ABC newscast. Former anchor Diane Sawyer took wins in May and again in July.

“Nightly News” wins the month among total viewers with a +565,000 lead on “World News Tonight.” But ABC has cut that lead nearly in half. Last November, “Nightly” had a 1.095 million total viewer lead.

“World News Tonight” also saw the most growth of the three evening newscasts compared to the Nov. 2013 Sweep. ABC was up +9% in viewers and up +12% in the demo; “Nightly” was up +2% in viewers but down -4% in the demo; and No. 3 “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” was up +1% in viewers and up +3% in the demo.

Numbers for Nov. 2014 Sweep:

• Total Viewers: 9,548,000 8,983,000 7,369,000
• A25-54: 2,259,000 2,286,000 1,844,000

’60 Minutes’ Has Best Night in Two Years

WardLions“60 Minutes” had its most-watched show in two years Sunday. The CBS News magazine averaged 18.4 million viewers, the most since December 2012, finishing at No. 3 for the week. “60″ had a very strong lead-in from the Packers-Patriots game which averaged 30.9 million viewers.

The game was the most-watched Sunday game of the 2014 season and the most-watched Sunday regular-season game on any network in six years (33.8 million; New England-Indianapolis on CBS; Nov. 4, 2007).

Sunday’s “60 Minutes” featured Scott Pelley‘s report on the World Food Programme, Bill Whitaker’s story on hackers stealing credit card numbers, and Clarissa Ward’s (above) reporting from Africa on the fate of petting zoo lions when they grow — which included the  use of a drone to capture magnificent video of lions in the wild and the so-called lion whisperer.