Jeff Glor will take over as anchor of “CBS Evening News,” succeeding Scott Pelley as the regular presence at CBS’ flagship evening broadcast and becoming the latest heir of a tradition that stretches back to the days of Douglas Edwards and Walter Cronkite.
Glor has been part of CBS News for the past decade, serving at times as an anchor on weekends of the evening newscast, at a previous iteration of CBS’ morning programming, and on CBSN, the news unit’s streaming service. In a nod to the shifting role of the evening news, CBS said Glor would “maintain a prominent presence” on the digital outlet.
Glor inherits a broadcast that has remained in third place behind ABC’s “World News Tonight” and NBC’s “NBC Nightly News” in both overall audience and the viewership most desired by advertisers in news programming, people between 25 and 54. CBS earlier this year assigned Pelley to work full-time at “60 Minutes” – he had for several years split his attention between the Sunday newsmagazine and the evening broadcast – in an effort to find new ways to goose the audience for the venerable weekday evening program.
The top executive at CBS News hinted that the company is seeking ways to make its evening newscast more relevant to a digital generation of viewers whose decision to gather around a TV set at 6:30 p.m. each evening is far from guaranteed. “Jeff is a thoughtful, probing journalist with the versatility to anchor in any circumstance – from daily reporting to the most significant events of our time,” said David Rhodes, president of CBS News, in a prepared statement. “In his more than 10 years at CBS News, Jeff has earned the trust of viewers and his colleagues. He represents the best journalistic values and traditions that will carry the ‘Evening News’ into a digital future.”
Glor joins the evening-news race at a time when the format’s relevance is constantly being called into question. More viewers who might normally tune into a wrap up of the day’s most imporgtant events are not able to tune in when the broadcasts are on, thanks to longer working hours and the commutes that accompany them. Average viewership for the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts was roughly flat in 2016 down 1% from the year-earlier period to about 23.75 million, according to Pew Research Center analysis of Nielsen data. In 2008, that figure stood at 27.77 million.
Even so, the three broadcasts capture a significant chunk of audience. What network wouldn’t kill for 24 million people to tune into a prime-time drama or comedy?
Anthony Mason, who has served as an interim “Evening News” anchor since Pelley left the broadcast in June, will continue as CBS News senior national correspondent and co-host of the Saturday broadcast of “CBS This Morning.”
Glor, 42 years old, has in recent months reported from Alaska, covering permafrost degradation, and in Jackson, WY, to cover the recent solar eclipse. He has filed from earthquake-torn Haiti, in Iraq while embedded with the U.S. military and from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Before joining CBS News, Glor was the weekend evening news anchor and a weekday reporter for WHDH-TV Boston, and prior to that, worked as an anchor and reporter for WSTM-TV in Syracuse.