Pelley out as 'CBS Evening News' anchor

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Coronado High School and Texas Tech alumnus, Scott Pelley, has been fired from his anchor position at the CBS Evening News after an argument with CBS News division president David Rhodes.

But Pelley had the contents of his "CBS Evening News" office packed Monday while he was off on assignment for "60 Minutes", which led to reports late Tuesday that he is out.

With Pelley at the helm, CBS Evening News grew its audience in each of the first five seasons, the longest run of growth for any network evening news broadcast in the history of the modern ratings system.

Anthony Mason will serve as interim anchor of "CBS Evening News" beginning in the coming weeks, the statement said.

CBS News chiefs had been in talks with Willie Geist past year, but insiders said he wanted too much money to leave NBC.

The transition has already been a little messy: CBS had meant to announce it next week, but when workers began packing Pelley's belongings at his evening news office into boxes Tuesday night, word of his departure spread. Evening news broadcast anchors do not have the same influence that famed anchors such as Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw had when they reported the evening news. "I'm glad to accept this assignment with continuing gratitude". He has been with CBS since 1989 and has been a "60 Minutes" correspondent since 2004. Collectively, the three networks reach 24.2 million each night, down 4 percent from previous year, the Nielsen company said. Mason, who is one of the most experienced journalists at CBS News, will continue to co-anchor CBS This Morning with Alex Wagner. "Pelley paid the price for it with his job". Other TV insiders say CNN's Jake Tapper could have been up for the role as he "had been making it clear that he's ready for something bigger". But in a reflection of television news' changed circumstances, other CBS personalities like O'Donnell or "Face the Nation" host John Dickerson are not expected to be candidates.

Pelley gave the program stability - most notably during a period when Brian Williams was forced off "Nightly News" at NBC and Diane Sawyer left ABC's "World News". He's now in the Middle East reporting and will be moving to the 60 Minutes office upon his return.

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