THR's 35 Most Powerful People in Media
Nine months after replacing Katie Couric as anchor of CBS Evening News, Pelley, 54, has seen viewership for the peren- nial third-place newscast improve. Up about 800,000 viewers year- over-year, the half-hour broadcast is inching closer to Diane Sawyer’s World News, even topping it in recent weeks in the coveted 25-to-54 demographic.
It’s an effort the Texas native says is best attributed to the work of the show’s correspondents, including Clarissa Ward, who smuggled herself into Syria to expose the atrocities of President Bashar al-Assad, whose military has killed 5,000 civilians in 11 months.
“That 30 minutes at the end of the day when I’m anchoring is the least important thing I do,” he says, noting the 12-hour days spent in the iconic CBS News fishbowl with producers. “We like to say around here that there’s no such thing as good writing, there’s only good rewriting.”