Scott Pelley’s first week as anchor of the CBS Evening News hasn’t earned the network a huge jump in ratings.
In fact, not only are they flat from Katie Couric’s average rating during her last month on the air, they dropped slightly from the week before, when Harry Smith was filling in.
But hold it, haters: there’s no reason to start cheering just yet.
Summer viewership is always lower, and ratings usually drop a bit after anchor changes, even when the change itself is viewed as a positive.
One can hope viewers will tune in and see what’s different over at CBS. And in case you haven’t sampled Pelley’s efforts, you should. For a newsman with no real anchoring experience, he’s watchable and has a good sense of news.
And when you consider that his first day behind the desk was the same day New York Rep. Anthony Weiner held his press conference to confirm that the inappropriate photos were indeed his, Pelley buried that story in the third segment of the show, choosing to lead with coverage of American progress in Afghanistan and the deaths of several of our troops there.
The Weiner story might have seemed the obvious lead story of the night, considering its salacious nature. Pelley’s choice to move it significantly down, then to ask the correspondent covering it why the story should be regarded as a story at all spoke volumes.