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May 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

CBS could be repeating with Scott Pelley the same mistake it made with Katie Couric — failing to recognize that a television anchor is principally a performer (or a “presenter” as he or she is called in most other countries), someone who can help convey with intonation, cadence, and sometimes with gesture the drama behind the daily news and — equally important — form a bond with viewers. In an interview with the Baltimore Sun‘s David Zurawik, Pelley emphasized — apparently with some pride — that he has never previously anchored a television broadcast. “When I sit down on June the 6th,” he said, “that will be the first day that I have ever anchored a live television broadcast.” His principal contribution to the CBS Evening News, he told Zurawik, will be what he brings to it as managing editor. “The anchoring at the end of the day is the least important part of my day,” Pelley said. “The most important part of the day is the 10 hours before that when you go in as managing editor and you sit with the senior staff and figure out what you’re going to cover and how you’re going to cover it.” Some would argue, however, that CBS’s eminent strength has always been its lineup of top reporters in the field and that what it has lacked since the days of Walter Cronkite is someone who can effectively showcase them.