One source told Deadline Pelley’s anchor tenure wrapped after talks to renew his anchor deal failed to end happily. Meanwhile, another source insisted Pelley relinquished his CBS Evening News anchor chair so as to be able to focus all his efforts on 60 Minutes‘ anniversary.
Pelley’s Evening News office was being cleared out as he was on assignment for the Sunday night newsmag.
CBS News, meanwhile, is expected to make an official announcement Wednesday morning, the division declined comment on Tuesday night’s reports. Meanwhile, no word on his replacement, or fill-in.
Pelley was a conspicuous no-show at CBS’ upfront presentation to media buyers at Carnegie Hall this month. The Eye network traditionally plugs its news programs during its presentation but this year made no mention of Pelley or his evening newscast, instead focusing CBS This Morning, with hosts by Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell chatting onstage.
CBS Evening News continues to run third among network evening newscasts in both total viewers and the news demo, behind NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir.
News of Pelley’s changed status at CBS News first was reported by Page Six.
Pelley joined CBS News in 1989, covering such major stories as Operation Desert Storm, the 1992 presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton and Ross Perot and the Oklahoma City bombing. He was Chief White House Correspondent from 1997-99, leaving to join then-new 60 Minutes II.