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On May 3, 2011, CBS officially confirmed that Scott Pelley would replace Katie Couric on the CBS Evening News in June. Harry Smith served as the interim anchor until Pelley’s tenure started on June 6, 2011. The graphics were subtly updated, the American flag background on the news set (used since the 2008 elections) was replaced by a replica of the globe fixture during the Cronkite era, and the James Horner theme was replaced by the 1987-91 theme composed by Trivers-Myers Music that was used during the Rather era.

Pelley announced upon starting his tenure that he would bring the original reporting, unique insight, and journalistic experience popularized by 60 Minutes to the evening newscast. As managing editor, Pelley is responsible for story selection and script editing prior to air. Pelley has refocused the program towards hard news and away from the soft news and infotainment features of the early Couric era. Story selection has focused less on scandal and more on foreign policy, Washington politics, and economic subjects. The audience began to grow immediately, closing the gap between the CBS Evening News and its competitors by one million viewers within a year, although the CBS program is still in third place.

Opening Sequence


A map of the world from the Walter Cronkite era of the programme was replicated for the set of the CBS Evening News, replacing the flag of the United States that was used throughout Katie Couric’s tenure.



Special Report