Highly-paid superstars aren’t preventing the exodus of TV viewers. The mind boggles that the fight to keep TV news profitable led CBS to pay Couric $15 million a year. That expense would provide an attractive living wage to 150 experienced journalists, or 300 cub reporters in feeder markets.
Pelley, a Texan who began his career at a station in Lubbock, is the opposite of a celebrity journalist. A White House correspondent for CBS during the Clinton administration, he landed the first interview with George W. Bush as president-elect. Pelley has reported from around the world, including such war zones as Iraq and Afghanistan. He and his team have won numerous awards, including 15 Emmys, for stories on such subjects as the BP oil spill, civilian deaths in Iraq, and child slavery in India.While no one would question Pelley’s hard-news credentials, he may lack the flair to boost the CBS Evening News out of third place. But then, he—or whoever the network picks—will be making far less than Couric’s $15 million annual salary.