Real News Reporter, Scott Pelley, To Anchor CBS Evening News

Now this is good news.

Scott Pelley is the new anchor of CBS News. Not that he wants you to focus on that. Howard Kurtz talks to the network’s reluctant frontman about a “news is the star” approach in today’s celebrified age.

Scott Pelley asked that his name not be put in the title of the CBS Evening News.

“I lost that fight,” he says.

He’s also asked management not to launch a publicity campaign when he makes his debut as the network’s new anchor on June 6. And why is that?

“Because it’s not about me…The anchor is the least important part of it, if you ask me.”

Wait, there’s more: “I sometimes think the cult of personality surrounding anchor people at all the networks goes too far.”

You may be getting the impression by now that Scott Pelley is no Katie Couric. He is a dogged correspondent with a serious demeanor, as self-effacing a person as you might find at the network level. “TV anchors get far too much credit for the work of others,” he says.

The 53-year-old San Antonio native is the first to admit he’s not flashy. “I’m not much for being a personality…If you need flashy, you’ve got to go elsewhere,” he says. “I am going to speak to the audience as one of them. I hope people watch me on the broadcast and see themselves. Someone who cares deeply about the country.”

If Pelley lacks a certain degree of showmanship, that may be because he’s never been an anchor before, at any level. But he has decades of reporting experience, topped by his seven-year stint at 60 Minutes, where Pelley and his team have won 14 Emmys and five Edward R. Murrow Awards, among other prizes.

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