It’s all about ratings, so Scott Pelley’s departure was probably inevitable

Scott Pelley. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

I don’t often watch the network evening newscasts. But when I do, I watch the “CBS Evening News” with Scott Pelley, which strikes me as a little more intelligent than the competition — not to mention more willing to call out President Trump’s falsehoods, as Margaret Sullivan recently observed in The Washington Post.

So I was disappointed to learn that Pelley has been booted from the anchor chair and will return full-time to “60 Minutes.” The early breathless reporting by the New York Post turned out to be overblown. As Dylan Byers reports at CNN.com, Pelley’s office was cleared out at his request, and he’ll continue to anchor until a replacement is found, which suggests that he’s being treated with some level of respect.

But ratings are ratings. And with CBS in third place and sliding, Pelley’s departure was perhaps inevitable — although unless CBS has an animatronic Walter Cronkite waiting in the wings, it’s hard to imagine the network will come up with someone better.

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