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CBS ‘Evening News’ Anchor Transition Didn’t Go Smoothly, Hurt Morale


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CBS News President David Rhodes


David Rhodes was interviewed at a CBS town hall Thursday morning by Norah O’Donnell.

In late May, it came out that after six years as anchor of the Evening News, Scott Pelley would be vacating the chair.

In an employee town hall Thursday morning, CBS News President David Rhodes was asked if he thinks the rocky transition has hurt company morale.

“I absolutely do. And I’m concerned about it,” he said, according to someone who viewed the event. “Transitions are difficult. We’ve had some very smooth ones while I’ve been here. And this one wasn’t one of the smoothest. And I’m concerned about that. It didn’t go the way that I wanted it to go.”

Rhodes was interviewed by CBS This Morning anchor Norah O’Donnell, who passed along employee questions. One employee asked: “What was the strategy behind getting rid of one anchor without having a plan in place?”

Rhodes, according to the individual who watched the event, replied, “Well, first, I wouldn’t say that we don’t have a plan in place. … If we had no plan, we’d have no broadcast tonight, and we do have a broadcast tonight, and each night.”

Rhodes said he has no one in mind right now for the role, but said: “I think we will find the right team of people to put this on. And I think largely that team is going to be drawn from the people who are putting it on today, because they’re doing a very good job,”

Later, he said of a prospective anchor, “I want someone who can really carry the best values of the kind of reporting that we’re trying to do here every night.”



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