Pelley Says Complaints to Execs Led to Evening News Ouster

By Web Staff

LOS ANGELES—Former “CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley says he lost that job because he wouldn’t stop complaining to management about the hostile work environment for men and women.

Pelley was forced out of the position in 2017 after six years on the job.

The “60 Minutes” correspondent told CNN’s Reliable Sources on May 26 that things have changed after 18 months of dramatic management changes amid a slew of scandals and misconduct claims at CBS.

Executives who have departed include Jeff Fager of “60 Minutes,” network news president David Rhodes, anchor Charlie Rose, and CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves, who left in September after multiple women alleged sexual misconduct.

"60 Minutes" Executive Producer Jeff Fager poses for a photo at the "60 Minutes" offices, in New York.In this Sept. 12, 2017. Fager, who was named in reports about tolerating an abusive workplace at CBS, stepped down on Sept. 12, 2018. (Richard Drew/AP)
“60 Minutes” Executive Producer Jeff Fager poses for a photo at the “60 Minutes” offices, in New York on Sept. 12, 2017. (Richard Drew/AP)
Host Charlie Rose, left, and President, CBS News, David Rhodes
Host Charlie Rose (L) and President, CBS News, David Rhodes, participate in the “CBS This Morning” panel at the CBS 2016 Winter TCA in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 12, 2016. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

When asked to elaborate, Pelley said that four or five years ago he went to the president of the news division, who was then Rhodes, and described the hostile environment.

“He told me if I kept agitating about that internally then I’d lose my job,” Pelley said. “Having exhausted the possibilities in the news division, I went to the chairman of the CBS Corporation who listened to me very concerned for an hour, asked me some penetrating questions about what was going on…I didn’t hear back from him, but in the next opportunity in my contract, I was let go from the evening news.”

Now, Pelley said, with the promotion of people like Susan Zirinsky to head the news division, who is the first woman to hold that position, it’s all blue sky from here. Pelley added that the network is on the right track.

President of CBS News Susan Zirinsky
President of CBS News Susan Zirinsky arrives on the red carpet during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington on April 27, 2019. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

Representatives from CBS did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Network Reshuffle

On May 6, 2019, Norah O’Donnell replaced Jeff Glor, who had a short tenure after Pelley left, to become the anchor and managing editor of the “CBS Evening News.” The program she leads will debut this summer in New York before moving to its permanent home in Washington this fall, CBS said in a press release.

norah o'donnell promoted to evening news
(L): Jeff Glor attends The Hollywood Reporter’s Most Powerful People In Media 2018 at The Pool in New York City on April 12, 2018. (Ben Gabbe/Getty Images); Honoree Norah O’Donnell attends the 2019 Matrix Awards at the Sheraton New York Times Square in New York City on May 6, 2019. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

O’Donnell will become the third woman to anchor an evening newscast at a major network, after former “Evening News” anchor Katie Couric and “PBS NewsHour” anchor Judy Woodruff.

“This is a start of a new era for CBS News,” Zirinsky said. “Our job is to reveal America to itself through original reporting, strong investigative journalism, and powerful political coverage.”

It wasn’t clear what position Glor, the current anchor for “Evening News,” would shift into. Glor replaced Scott Pelley as the anchor for the program in mid-2017.

“We are grateful to Jeff Glor for his award-winning work and his commitment to both his colleagues and to our viewers. As we transition the Evening News to Washington, we are discussing opportunities for Jeff to remain with CBS News and continue providing the same substantive, trusted reporting that he has been offering for the past 12 years,” Zirinsky said.

Gayle King, a co-host of “CBS This Morning,” said that whether Glor continued working for CBS would be his choice.

According to pictures from Glor’s Instagram and Twitter accounts, he was covering a story at the Grand Canyon for the national park’s 100th anniversary and spent some time with family there.

The Associated Press and NTD news reporter Zackary Stieber contributed to this article.