Jun 1, 2017

CBS anchor: Possible successors to Scott Pelley

Charles Sykes / AP

A day after the leak when he sent movers to his office, CBS News announced the sudden departure of Scott Pelley as anchor of the "CBS Evening News" to become a full-time "60 Minutes" correspondent.

  • A top executive at a rival network told me: "Anchor transitions just don't happen this way. This is something you plan for years."
  • Fill-in stalwart Anthony Mason "will serve as the interim anchor ... beginning in the coming weeks," the release said. (Jeff Glor anchored last night, adding to the impression of haste.)
  • Among the names mentioned for the permanent gig: CNN's Anderson Cooper, NBC's Willie Geist, NBC's Peter Alexander, Fox's Chris Wallace, CNN's Jake Tapper and others.

About all that's certain is that CBS doesn't plan to mess with its winning "CBS This Morning" team of Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell.

CBS News President David Rhodes is taking the team and key staff to dinner tonight to congratulate them on their growth, and assure them of more ratings gains ahead.

This pulpit isn't open often. It is now. Rhodes' phone is ringing and his in-box abounds.

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In photos: How coronavirus is impacting cities around the world

Revellers take part in the "Plague Doctors Procession" in Venice on Tuesday night during the usual period of the Carnival festivities, most of which have been cancelled following the coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy. Photo: Andrea Pattaro/AFP via Getty Images

The novel coronavirus has spread from China to infect people in more than 40 countries and territories around the world, killing over 2,700 people.

The big picture: Most of the 80,000 COVID-19 infections have occurred in mainland China. But cases are starting to surge elsewhere. By Wednesday morning, the worst affected countries outside China were South Korea (1,146), where a U.S. soldier tested positive to the virus, Italy (332), Japan (170), Iran (95) and Singapore (91). Just Tuesday, new cases were confirmed in Switzerland, Croatia and Algeria.

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Debate night: Candidates' last face-off before Super Tuesday

Sanders, Biden, Klobuchar and Steyer in South Carolina on Feb. 25. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders wanted to keep his momentum after winning contests in New Hampshire and Nevada, while former Vice President Joe Biden hoped to keep his own campaign alive. The other five candidates were just trying to hang on.

What's happening: Seven contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination were in Charleston, South Carolina, for the tenth debate, just days before the South Carolina primary and a week before Super Tuesday. They spoke, sometimes over each other, about health care, Russian interference in the election, foreign policy the economy, gun control, marijuana, education, and race.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

4 takeaways from the South Carolina debate

Former Vice President Joe Biden, right, makes a point during Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders listens. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The 10th Democratic debate was billed as the most consequential of the primary thus far, but Tuesday night's high-stakes affair was at times awkward and unfocused as moderators struggled to rein in candidates desperate to make one last splash before Saturday's primary in South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

The big picture: After cementing himself as the Democratic favorite with a sweeping win in Nevada, Sen. Bernie Sanders came under fire as the front-runner for the first time on the debate stage. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who will be on the ballot for the first time next Tuesday, was a progressive foil once again, but he appeared more prepared after taking a drubbing at the Nevada debate.