New CBS anchor Scott Pelley doesn't boost ratings

News ratings are a marathon, not a sprint, as any network publicist will tell you (especially if their show is struggling), but it would have been nice to see at least a little spark when Scott Pelley took over at CBS Evening News last week.

Though Pelley received a slight bump his first night, he averaged 5.7 million viewers for the week — matching what Katie Couric delivered last month. The figures were also slightly lower than what substitute anchor Harry Smith averaged.

The CBS program was, as usual, well behind ABC’s World News (7 million) and NBC’s Nightly News (8.2 million).


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  • KikiD

    Only a miracle could get CBS out of the news cellar post-Katie. Give the guy some time

    • stu

      This i understand. But y The Talk hasn’t dethrowned The View yet is the real mystery.

      • huh?

        You must be joking. I mean seriously. The Talk panel is anchored by Julie Chen Moonves. Doesn’t bode well for ANY talk show if that is your anchor. And this is irrelevant to the conversation about CBS evening news. Stay on topic.

      • Tego Livi

        Since The Talk and The View come on in different timeslots (even different parts of the day), they aren’t really in competition with each other, anyway.

    • Tego Livi

      It takes a long time for the 80- and 90-somethings who still watch network news shows to realize a new anchor has started. That’s why the ratings trends are so slow.

    • Heather

      I agree…Give him some time……

  • Rob

    If they truly do start running longer stories in the spirit of 60 Minutes, they will keep me as a viewer.

  • markinnyc

    If you think these ratings are bad, wait till you see how bad they are for Katie Couric’s daytime talker. I imagine it will last longer then Megan Mullaly’s but shorter then Gabrielle Carteris.

    • forrest

      didn’t Jane Pauley try this as well? Leeza Gibbons and many others have tried the daily talker and come up short.I don’t expect Katie to fair any better.

  • Jerome

    I guess people prefer to get their evening news elsewhere, regardless of the anchor. CBS needs to try something different to hook new viewers, anybody have suggestions or ideas?

    • I have an idea

      Bring Dan Rather back!

      • Iggy

        What’s the frequency Kenneth?!!

  • Jimmy

    Did anyone think they would go up. As much as Katie Couric was vilified for the low ratings they it had little to do with her personally. But something tells me Pelley will escape much of the criticism Couric had heaped on her.

    • Patty

      I disagree, news shows are all about the anchor. If we don’t like someone we don’t believe what they say- and- if we don’t believe what someone says we don’t like them, it is a circle of confidence.

  • K

    He’s cheaper. That’s what matters, let’s be real here.

    • TQB

      True, if you’re going to lose money on your nightly news cast, might as well make a change that loses you less money.

  • Sara

    I wish they would have put Russ Mitchell in the anchor spot; no offense to Pelley but I have zero interest in him.

    • Tiffany

      Ohhh..Russ Mitchell is a good one. But when it comes to anchor’s who are not on ’60 Minutes’, I have always been a Harry Smith girl. He is the only one I would consider changing over for Brian Williams, consider.

      • Patty

        I agree- I would watch the CBS evening news if Harry Smith were the anchor. I stopped watching the Early Show when he left.

      • Rebecca

        Without a doubt, the most interesting man in the new media!!

  • Iakovos

    This is a shame for CBS is the best of the evening newscasts. It always has the best stable of reporters and seems less trendy and faddish. I want Scott Pelley to succeed. WIth all this upset with daytime changing, cannot CBS claim a half hour from their affils for a solid 60-minute newscast. I’d love that!

  • mason

    I feel the same way sara does, no offense to scott, but choosing him as anchor reminds me of a life changing decision a guy named lebron made, we know how that ended. I can’t say how long i have watched russ, but i am sure it’s longer than katie,schieffer, and pelley put together.

  • Andy

    Not surprising at all. There wasn’t much promotion for him, and he isn’t much of a known name, either. “Meh” replacement choice all around.

  • John M.

    Many people in “fly-over country”/the bible belt wouldn’t tune in to Katie’s newscasts due to her interview with Sarah Palin in 2008. Couric was villified for Palin & John McCain losing the White House, even though Palin couldn’t give Couric straight answers on what she was asked about Supreme Court cases and newspapers.

  • marlie

    I’m a registered Democrat, so no axe to grind except for the truth. cbs will never improve as long as they act as cheerleaders for a party or an ideology instead of reporting news. How many people out there are aware that there’s a clause in the Obamacare health bill that in 2013 will impose an additional 3.8% tax on any house sold to help fund Obamacare. If this was any other administration, cbs would be pounding you over the head with that. This is news that affects every homeowner in America and sneakily won’t happen til after 2012 election. Why wasn’t this and other stories pertinent and important to the American public reported. Unless they start reporting NEWS, it doesn’t matter who sits in that chair.

    • markinnyc

      Not true. get your facts right.
      First, there is no “sales” tax on home sales in the health care bill. The bill would impose essentially a capital gains taxes on some home sales made by a limited number of taxpayers. (The health care law contains a new 3.8 percent tax on “unearned income” for high-income taxpayers. Unearned income includes capital gains.) To be hit by the 3.8 percent capital gains tax, you first have to be a married couple making more than $250,000 in adjusted gross income or $200,000 if you are single. The capital gain on the home sale must also exceed $500,000 if this is a primary home and you are a married couple ($250,000 for singles). So for example, even if you and your spouse make $300,000 in wages and you bought a home that you lived in for a while for $600,000 that you now sell it for $1 million, your capital gains tax on that home sale would be zero. Even if the home sold for $1.2 million, thereby resulting in a capital gain of $600,000, only $100,000 of that capital gain would subject to the new tax (because of the $500,000 exclusion).

      • marlie

        Mark, why should I have to fund anyone else’s healthcare no matter how much money I make? Or education? Or their housing? Or their food? I can hardly pay my own bills and I work 2 jobs. When you take my money to pay someone else’s way in life, that’s socialism. I don’t know about you but I’m sick and tired of it. If you like paying someone else’s bills, I suggest we do it on a volunteer basis and you can be the first volunteer.

      • @marlie

        no…that is a republic. Why should my taxes go tp ay for your kids school? Your roads?
        Why? cause if your kids are smarter, then we as a nation get samrter? cause your roads lead to better transportation of goods and people. Cause by helping poor people get health care and healtheier then we as a nation do as well,a nd there is less chance of disease spreading.
        Cause if we help them pay for housing they are not on the streets begging, and stealing, just to get by.
        I have a feeling that if you have two jobs and are still only geting by, I am already paying for you in many many ways. Also, shouldn’t you be at one of your jobs instead of on the internet? Which the government helped fund and get to you?

    • @marlie

      totally agree. from Arizona. there are parts of the state owned & operated by Mexican drug cartels where American citizens can’t go. where’s that report.

  • @marlie

    I agree, there are total idiots making up lies about Obama and his healthcare plan on the internet and no one is reporting it.

  • marlie

    Your taxes didn’t pay for my kids to go to school and as much as you’d like to insult me, I don’t get any type of government assistance AT ALL, although I’d probably do better if I quit both jobs and went on the dole. But that’s where self respect comes in. Why is it that until the last few decades most Americans took care of themselves. We were not a diseased country, our roads were in better shape. There is more poverty, begging and crime today than before all this taxpayer assistance. Perhaps the results should show that this system is not working. This was a nation where people pulled themselves up on their hard work and dedication to their families and neighbors, not footing someone else’s bill. Again, I say if you feel that way it should be on a volunteer basis.

  • PN

    Maybe it just attract the same audience numbers every night, regardless of who anchors it. Just give it 80 to 100 broadcasts for Scott to build up his audience.

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