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June 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Scott Pelley took over the anchor chair on the CBS Evening News Monday and relegated the story that most newspapers headlined and NBC led with — the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal — to No. 3 on his list of top stories, nine minutes into the newscast. “Good for Pelley and CBS News and their sense of what’s important,” said the Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik. Richard Huff in the New York Daily News said that Pelley’s was “a smooth newscast that was low on flash and high on bread-and-butter stories about war, cancer cures, and, eventually, lying Congressman Anthony Weiner.” Hank Stuever in the Washington Post said that the Pelley newscast showed “a restraint that, say, NBC Nightly News could not. … Pelley took the high road.” Robert Lloyd in the Los Angeles Times called him “a safe and a smart choice.” But Alessandra Stanley in the New York Times was unimpressed, saying that while Pelley presented himself as a no-nonsense newsman, “it was harder to glean what else he intends to offer.” Referring to recent CBS promos that viewers can now watch “the world class original reporting of 60 Minutes” every night, Stanley remarked, “Actually, judging by Monday’s broadcast, you can’t. It’s a little like claiming that Stouffer’s frozen turkey pot pies make for a fine dining experience — there is plenty to be said for speed and convenience, but it’s not the same as a four-course meal at Le Bernardin, or a four-segment episode of 60 Minutes.” One story Pelley did not cover: his predecessor, Katie Couric, on Monday signed a big deal to move to ABC.