Bob Schieffer to Anchor CBS News for Foreseeable Future

CBS will keep Bob Schieffer on as anchor for the foreseeable future, rather than shifting to the multi-anchor format so popular with local newscasts.

CBS won’t drop solo anchor (Boston Globe)

Despite speculation that CBS might try a multiple-anchor format, network news president Andrew Heyward said yesterday that the evening newscast will revolve around interim anchor Bob Schieffer for the foreseeable future. In a Globe interview, Heyward said that CBS chairman Leslie Moonves ”threw [the multiple-anchor concept] out as an idea, one of several different approaches that were worthy of considering. Part of Leslie’s job is to be an agent provocateur, and he’s very good at that.” But Heyward dismissed the idea of using anchors behind desks in different cities.

”I’m intrigued by an ensemble of reporters with more of an emphasis on reporting from the field,” said Heyward, who was in Boston yesterday to speak at Harvard. The plan, he added, is to use Schieffer ”as the center of gravity that allows us to highlight the roles of the reporters around him.” The 68-year-old Schieffer, who replaced Dan Rather as ”The CBS Evening News” anchor last month, has won praise for a conversational style and his habit of quizzing correspondents during unscripted on-air exchanges. Asked about Schieffer’s positive reviews, Heyward said: ”I was initially surprised by how much buzz it generated . . . Because it suits Bob’s personality so well, it feels comfortable, natural, and authentic.” ”My boss has said it’s time to get away from the anchor being ‘the voice of God,’ and I agree,” he continued. ”With Bob, you get the sense he’s learning along with you. That’s a sea change.”

While enjoying his new job, Schieffer told the Globe last week he plans to retire at age 70. ”We haven’t had any discussion with Bob about the long term,” Heyward said yesterday.

This makes a lot more sense. A multi-anchor format is rather circus-like and detracts from the presentation of news.

FILED UNDER: Media
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. bryan says:

    Plus, there’s no one in the stable at CBS to handle a multiple-anchor format.

  2. Jack Tanner says:

    Schieffer appeals to their core group of senior citizens.

  3. McGehee says:

    A multi-anchor format is rather circus-like and detracts from the presentation of news.

    And CBS was able to detract from the news with a circus-like atmosphere for 24 years without having to pay multiple anchors.

  4. John Collins says:

    Schieffer, YES!
    Schieffer is the right guy for some of the same reasons Cronkite was so admired; he’s intelligent and a first class reporter. Even better, Schieffer gives you the feeling that if you ran into him he’d give you more than the time of day, certainly more than the egomaniacs you usually see anchoring network news.
    Keep him in that chair as long he wants.
    And give him managing editor control!
    You can’t do better than Bob.