CBS has finally has a reason to smile. The CBS Evening News program's audience viewership has increased dramatically after American TV Journalist Scott Pelley took over the show in 2011. With the increase in viewership, the gap between the CBS and its competitors has closed by one million viewers within a year.
Although the viewership has increased the program still lags behind the two other network evening newscasts. NBC’s ‘Nightly news’ is on the first place followed by ABC’s ‘World News Tonight' whereas CBS’s ‘Evening News’ remains on third place.
The competition among the top three news networks was tough and CBS didn’t stand much of a chance in front of NBC and ABC. No matter what, they were stuck in the third place. But, with the debut of Scott Pelley on the Evening News show, things changed. Now despite retaining its former position, the show has got hold of a staggering number of viewers.
The network announced earlier this year that, “Evening News with Scott Pelley” added more than 1.25 million viewers over the past four years which is almost 21 percent more. The audience growth for the show for the fifth consecutive season is something that no network evening news broadcast has done since 1987.
“We finally have reached a point at the ‘Evening News’ where we’re really hitting on all 12 cylinders,” Pelley told. “The broadcast is something we’re all very proud of.”
In his 26 years long career in CBS, Scott Pelly has helped shorten the gap with its competitors. The difference that seemed quite difficult to cover before has become really shortened during Pelley’s tenure. The distance seems to be decreasing in last four years as CBS is quickly catching up with its rivals.
In past four years, “Evening News” has gone from 5.99 million to 7.23 million viewers. During that same time, NBC’s “Nightly” dropped from 9.12 to 8.99 million viewers, while ABC’s “World News” gained about half a million people, going from 8.05 to 8.59 million.
The Evening News was talk of the town during 60s and 70s as the show enjoyed an 18 year old dominance among network nightly news programs which began with legendary Walter Cronkite.
Scott Pelley is one of the most respected news correspondent and news anchor of all time. The ’60 Minutes’ correspondent, who didn’t have any experience of anchoring before, was doubted by many in the industry. Even Pelley himself was unsure about it.
“When we first started, it was a great experiment,” Pelley said. “Nobody knew whether viewers would want to watch me read the news.”
So it seems that CBS’s decision to hire Pelley as the newsman for its evening show was the right decision.
As the host of ’60 minutes’ show, he has interviewed personalities like, George W. Bush after he was elected the new President of the USA and with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The interview was the first with a Federal Chairman in decades and for which the broadcast was honored with an Emmy Award.
Audiences loved his style and the show gained popularity within a short span of time. While ‘Evening News’ and Pelley’s fame climbed its peak, both NBC and ABC experienced slight decrease in the viewership.
Scott Pelley is married to his longtime girlfriend Jane Ruth Boone. He and his wife are married since 1983 and they are still going strong with no hint of divorce. They have two children; a son Blair Pelley and a daughter Reece Pelley together. The couple seems to have had a long affair before tying knots.
Despite being one of the celebrated newsman of CBS, Pelly makes $5 million per year, which is less than half the reported salary of the nightly news anchors at the rival networks. ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer makes an estimated $12 million a year, while NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams makes an estimated $13 million a year. Pelly's net worth amounts $15 million.